Henry Martyn

No: 250; variant: 250B

  1. THERE was three brothers in merry Scotland, In merry Scotland there were three, And each of these brothers they did cast lots, To see which should rob the salt sea.
  2. Then this lot did fall on young Henry Martyn, The youngest of these brothers three, So now he’s turnd robber all on the salt seas, To maintain his two brothers and he.
  3. He had not saild one long winter’s night, One cold winter’s night before day, Before he espied a rich merchant-ship, Come bearing straight down that way.
  4. ‘Who are you? Who are you?’ said Henry Martyn, ‘Or how durst thou come so nigh?’ ‘I’m a rich merchant-ship for old England bound, If you please, will you let me pass by.’
  5. ‘O no! O no!’ cried Henry Martyn, ‘O no! that never can be, Since I have turnd robber all on the salt seas, To maintain my two brothers and me.
  6. ‘Now lower your topsails, you alderman bold, Come lower them under my lee;’ Saying, ‘I am resolved to pirate you here, To maintain my two brothers and me.’
  7. Then broadside to broadside to battle they went For two or three hours or more; At last Henry Martyn gave her a death-wound, And down to the bottom went she.
  8. Bad news, bad news to England has come, Bad news I will tell to you all, ‘Twas a rich merchant-ship to England was bound, And most of her merry men drownd.