Sir Patrick Spens

No: 58; variant: 58J

Source: Miss Harris's MS., fol. 4, from the singing of her mother.

  1. Hie sits oor king in Dumfermline, Sits birlin at the wine; Says, Whare will I get a bonnie boy That will sail the saut seas fine? That will hie owre to Norraway, To bring my dear dochter hame?
  2. Up it spak a bonnie boy, Sat by the king’s ain knie: ‘Sir Patrick Spens is as gude a skipper As ever sailed the sea.’
  3. The king has wrote a broad letter, And signed it wi his hand, And sent it to Sir Patrick Spens, To read it gif he can.
  4. The firsten line he luikit on, A licht lauchter gae he; But ere he read it to the end, The tear blindit his ee.
  5. ‘O wha is this, or wha is that, Has tauld oor king o me? I wad hae gien him twice as muckle thank To latten that abee’
  6. ‘But eat an drink, my merrie young men, Eat, an be weel forn; For blaw it wind, or blaw it weet, Oor gude ship sails the morn.’
  7. Up it spak his youngest son, Sat by Sir Patrick’s knie: ‘I beg you bide at hame, father, An I pray be ruled by me.
  8. ‘For I saw the new mune late yestreen, Wi the auld mune in her arms; An ever an alake, my father dear, It’s a token o diedly storms.’
  9. ‘It’s eat an drink, my merrie young men, Eat, an be weel forn; For blaw it wind, or blaw it weet, Oor gude ship sails the morn.’
  10. They hadna sailed a league, a league, A league but only three, When the whirlin wind an the ugly jaws Cam drivin to their knie.
  11. They hadna sailed a league, a league, A league but only five, When the whirlin wind an the ugly jaws Their gude ship began to rive.
  12. They hadna sailed a league, a league, A league but only nine, When the whirlin wind an the ugly jaws Cam drivin to their chin.
  13. ‘O whaur will I get a bonnie boy Will tak the steer in hand, Till I mount up to oor tapmast, To luik oot for dry land?’
  14. ‘O here am I, a bonnie boy, Will tak the steer in hand, Till you mount up to oor tapmast, To luik oot for dry land.’
  15. He’s gaen up to the tapmast, To the tapmast sae hie; He luikit around on every side, But dry land he couldna see.
  16. He luikit on his youngest son, An the tear blindit he ee; Says, I wish you had been in your mother’s bowr, But there you’ll never be.
  17. ‘Pray for yoursels, my merrie young men, Pray for yoursels an me, For the first landen that we will land Will be in the boddam o the sea.’
  18. Then up it raise the mermaiden, Wi the comb an glass in her hand: ‘Here’s a health to you, my merrie young men, For you never will see dry land.’
  19. O laith, laith waur oor gude Scots lords To weet their cork-heeled shoon; But lang, lang ere the play was played, Their yellow locks soomed aboun.
  20. There was Saturday, an Sabbath day, An Monnonday at morn, That feather-beds an silken sheets Can floatin to Kinghorn.
  21. It’s och, och owre to Aberdour, It’s fifty faddoms deep; An there lie a’ oor gude Scots lords, Wi Sir Patrick Spens at their feet.
  22. O lang, lang will his lady sit, Wi the fan into her hand, Until she see her ain dear lord Come sailin to dry land.
  23. O lang, lang will his lady sit, Wi the tear into her ee, Afore she see her ain dear lord Come hieing to Dundee.
  24. O lang, lang will his lady sit, Wi the black shoon on her feet, Afore she see Sir Patrick Spens Come drivin up the street.