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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
Sir Patrick Spens
The Ballad
 
1.  THE KING sits in Dumferling toune,
      Drinking the blude-reid wine:
  “O whar will I get guid sailor,
      To sail this ship of mine?”
 
2.  Up and spak an eldern knight,        5
      Sat at the kings right kne:
  “Sir Patrick Spens is the best sailor,
      That sails upon the sea.”
 
3.  The king has written a braid letter, 1
      And sign’d it wi’ his hand,        10
  And sent it to Sir Patrick Spens,
      Was walking on the sand.
 
4.  The first line that Sir Patrick read,
      A loud laugh laughed he;
  The next line that Sir Patrick read,        15
      The tear blinded his ee.
 
5.  “O wha is this has done this deed,
      This ill deed done to me,
  To send me out this time o’ the year,
      To sail upon the sea!”        20
 
6.  “Make haste, make haste, my mirry men all,
      Our guide ship sails the morne:”
  “O say na sae, my master dear,
      For I fear a deadlie storme.
 
7.  “Late, late yestreen I saw the new moone, 2        25
      Wi’ the auld moone in hir arme,
  And I fear, I fear, my dear master,
      That we will come to harme.”
 
8.  O our Scots nobles were right laith
      To weet their cork-heeled shoone;        30
  But lang owre a’ the play wer play’d,
      Their hats they swam aboone.
 
9.  O lang, lang may their ladies sit,
      W’ their fans into their hand,
  Or e’er they see Sir Patrick Spens        35
      Cum sailing to the land.
 
10.  O lang, lang may the ladies stand,
      Wi’ their gold kems 3 in their hair,
  Waiting for their ain dear lords,
      For they’ll se thame na mair.        40
 
11.  Half owre, half owre to Aberdour,
      It’s fiftie fadom deep,
  And their lies guid Sir Patrick Spens,
      Wi’ the Scots lords at his feet.
 
Note 1. “A braid letter, open or patent, in opposition to close rolls.”—Percy. [back]
Note 2. Note that it is the sight of the new moon late in the evening which makes a bad omen. [back]
Note 3. Combs. [back]
 
 
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