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Then up and spake an eldern knight,
Sat at the king's right knee, —

'Sir Patrick Spens is the best sailor,
That ever sailed the sea.'

The king has written a braid letter

And sealed it with his hand, And sent it to Sir Patrick Spens,

Was walking to the strand.

'To Noroway, to Noroway,

To Noroway over the faem; The king's daughter of Noroway,

'T is thou must bring her hame.'

The first word that Sir Patrick read,

Sae loud, loud, laughed he;
The next word that Sir Patrick read,

The salt tear blinded his e'e.

• O wha is this has done this deed,

And told the king o' me,
To send us out at this time o' the year,

To sail upon the sea?

'Be it wind, be it weet, be it sail, be it sleet,

Our ship must sail the faem; The king's daughter of Noroway,

'Tis we must fetch her hame.'


They hoisted their sails on Monenday morn,

Wi' a' the speed they may, • And they hae landed in Noroway

Upon a Wodensday.

They hadna been a week, a week,

In Noroway, but twae,
When that the lords o' Noroway

Began aloud to say;

• Ye Scottishmen spend a' our king's gowd,

And a' our queenis fee.' 'Ye lie, ye lie, ye liars loud! Fu' loud I hear ye lie!

'For I hae brought as much white monie

As gane my men and me, And I brought a half-fou o' gude red gowd,

Out o'er the sea wi' me.

• Make ready, make ready, my merry men a'

Our gude ship sails the morn,' 'Now ever alake, my master dear, I fear a deadly storm.

'I saw the new moon, late yestreen,

Wi' the auld moon in her arm; And if we gang to sea, master,

I fear we'll come to harm.'

They hadna sailed a league, a league,

A league but barely three, When the lift grew dark and the wind blew loud,

And gurly grew the sea.

The ankers brak, and the topmasts lap,

It was sic a deadly storm;
And the waves cam o'er the broken ship

Till a' her sides were torn.

'0 where will I get a gude sailor,

To tak my helm in hand, Till 1 get up to the tall topmast,

To see if I can spy land?'

'O here am I, a sailor gude,

To tak the helm in hand,
Till you go up to the tall topmast,

But I fear you'll ne'er spy land.'

He hadna gane a step, a step,

A step but barely ane,
When a bolt flew out of our goodly ship,

And the salt sea it came in.

'Gae fetch a web o' the silken claith,

Another o' the twine,
And wap them into our ship's side,

And let na the sea come in.'

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They fetched a web o' the silken claith,

Another o' the twine, And they wapped them round that gude ship's side,

But still the sea came in.

O laith, laith, were our gude Scots lords

To wet their cork-heeled shoon! But lang or a' the play was played

They wat their hats aboon.

And mony was the feather-bed,

That floated on the faem;
And mony was the gude lord's son,

That never mair cam hame.

The ladyes wrang their fingers white,

The maidens tore their hair,
A' for the sake o' their true loves;

For them they'll see nae mair.

O lang, lang, may the ladyes sit,

Wi' their fans into their hand, Before they see Sir Patrick Spens

Come sailing to the strand!

And lang, lang, may the maidens sit,

Wi' their gowd kames in their hair, A' waiting for their ain dear loves!

For them they '11 see nae mair.

O forty miles off Aberdeen,

'Tis fifty fathoms deep,
And there lies gude Sir Patrick Spens,

Wi' the Scots lords at his feet.

Scottish Border Minstrelsy.

I Stood upon the sullen shore,

And marked the waves, with wild unrest, And with a deep continuous roar,

Break onward to their mother's breast.

But no glad greeting waited there
The sighing wanderers of the sea,

No grassy lawn or flowerets gay,
But sterile sand's dull vacancy.

Wailing with upborne cry they haste

As if relief, redress to find;
But on cold stones their passion waste,

Then back recoil, and die resigned.


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