The Great Silkie of Sule Skerrie        [seal

An earthly nourrice sits and sings,        [nurse
And aye she sings, 'Ba, lily wean!
Little ken I my bairn's father,
Far less the land that he staps in.'        [stops=dwells

Then ane arose,at her bed-fit,         [foot
An' a grumly guest I'm sure was he:         [grim
'Here am I, thy bairn's father,
Although that I be not comelie.

I am a man, upo' the lan',
An' I am a silkie in the sea;
And when I'm far and far frae lan',
My dwelling is in Sule Skerrie.'

'It was na weel,' quo' the maiden fair,         [not well
'It was na weel, indeed,' quo' she,
That the Great Silkie of Sule Skerrie
Suld hae come and aught a bairn to me.'         [owned

Now he has ta'en a purse of goud,
And he has pat it upo' her knee,
Sayin', 'Gie to me my little young son,
An' tak thee up thy nourrice-fee.

'An' it sall pass on a simmer's day,
When the sin shines het on evera stane,         [sun; hot
That I will tak my little young son,
An' teach him for to swim his lane.         [alone

'An' thu sall marry a proud gunner,
An' a proud gunner I'm sure he'll be,
An' the very first schot that ere he shoots,
He'll schoot baith my young son and me.'

Back to index