Sir Patrick Spens

i. The Sailing

The king sits in Dunfermline town
Drinking the blude-red wine;
'O whare will I get a skeely skipper
To sail this new ship o' mine?'

O up and spak an eldern knight,
Sat at the king's right knee:
'Sir Patrick Spens is the best sailor
That ever sail'd the sea.'

Our king has written a braid letter,
And seal'd it with his hand,
And sent it to Sir Patrick Spens,
Was walking on the strand.

'To Noroway, to Noroway,
To Noroway o'er the faem;
The king's daughter o' Noroway,
'Tis thou must bring her hame.'

The first word that Sir Patrick read
So loud, loud laugh'd he ;
The neist word that Sir Patrick read
The tear blinded his e'e.

'O wha is this has done this deed
And tauld the king o' me,
To send us out, at this time o' year,
To sail upon the sea?

'Be it wind, be it weet, be it hail, be it sleet,
Our ship must sail the faem;
The king's daughter o' Noroway,
'Tis we must fetch her hame.'

They hoysed their sails on Monenday morn
Wi' a' the speed they may;
They hae landed in Noroway
Upon a Wodensday.

ii. The Return

'Mak ready, mak ready, my merry men a'!
Our gude ship sails the morn.' --
'Now ever alack, 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 sail'd a league, a league,
A league but barely three,
When the lift grew dark, and the wind blew loud,         [sky
And gurly grew the sea.

The ankers brak, and the topmast lap,        [sprang
It was sic a deadly storm:
And the waves cam owre the broken ship
Till a' her sides were torn.

'O where will I get a gude sailor
To tak' my helm in hand,
Till I 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 saut sea it came in.

'Go fetch a web o' the silken claith,
Another o' the twine,
And wap them into our ship's side,        [wrap
And let nae the sea come in.'

They fetch d a web o' the silken claith,
Another o' the twine,
And they wapp'd 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-heel'd shoon;
But lang or a' the play was play'd
They wat their hats aboon.

And mony was the feather bed
That flatter'd on the faem;
And mony was the gude lord's son
That never mair cam hame.

O lang, lang may the ladies 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'll see nae mair.

Half-owre, half-owre to Aberdour,
'Tis fifty fathoms deep;
And there lies gude Sir Patrick Spens,
Wi' the Scots lords at his feet!

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