Sir Patrick Spens

(2 versions)
by Anonymous

Sir Patrick  Spens (Version 1)

The king sits in Dunfermling toune,
Drinking the blude-reid wine:
‘O whar will I get guid sailor,
To sail this schip of mine?’

Up and spak an eldern knicht,
Sat at the kings richt kne:
‘Sir Patrick Spens is the best sailor
That sails upon the se.’

The king has written a braid letter,
And signd it wi his hand,
And sent it to Sir Patrick Spens,
Was walking on the sand.

The first line that Sir Patrick red,
A loud lauch lauched he;
The next line that Sir Patrick red,
The teir blinded his ee.

‘O wha is this has don this deid,
This ill deid don to me,
To send me out this time o’ the yeir,
To sail upon the se! ‘

‘Mak haste, mak haste, my mirry men all,
Our guid schip sails the morne:’
‘O say na sae, my master deir,
For I feir a deadlie storme.

‘Late late yestereen I saw the new moone,
Wi the auld moone in hir arme,
And I feir, I feir, my deir master,
That we will cum to harme.’

O our Scots nobles wer richt laith
To weet their cork-heild schoone;
Bot lang owre a’ the play were playd,
Thair hats they swam aboone.

O lang, lang may their ladies sit,
Wi their fans into their hand,
Or eir they se Sir Patrick Spens
Cum sailing to the land.

O lang, lang may the ladies stand,
Wi thair gold kems in their hair,
Waiting for thair ain deir lords,
For they’ll se thame na mair.

Haf owre, haf owre to Aberdour,
It’s fiftie fadom deip,
And thair lies guid Sir Patrick Spens,
Wi the Scots lords at his feit.

Sir Patrick Spens  (Version 2)

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,
And gurly grew the sea.

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

‘Go fetch a web o’ the silken claith,
Another o’ the twine,
And wap them into our ship’s side,
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!

literature, poetry

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