Verse > Anthologies > Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. > The Oxford Book of Ballads
Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. (1863–1944).  The Oxford Book of Ballads.  1910.
132. The ‘Golden Vanity’

A SHIP I have got in the North Country
  And she goes by the name of the Golden Vanity,
O I fear she’ll be taken by a Spanish Ga-la-lee,
  As she sails by the Low-lands low.

To the Captain then upspake the little Cabin-boy,
He said, ‘What is my fee, if the galley I destroy?
The Spanish Ga-la-lee, if no more it shall anoy,
  As you sail by the Low-lands low.’

‘Of silver and of gold I will give to you a’store;
And my pretty little daughter that dwelleth on the shore,        10
Of treasure and of fee as well, I’il give to thee galore,
  As we sail by the Low-lands low.’

Then they row’d him up tight in a black bull’s skin,
And he held all in his hand an augur sharp and thin,
And he swam until he came to the Spanish Gal-a-lin,        15
  As she lay by the Low-lands low.

He bored with his augur, he bored once and twice,
And some were playing cards, and some were playing dice,
When the water flowèd in it dazzled their eyes,
  And she sank by the Low-lands low.        20

So the Cabin-boy did swim all to the larboard side,
Saying ‘Captain! take me in, I am drifting with the tide!’
‘I will shoot you! I will kill you!’ the cruel Captain cried,
  ‘You may sink by the Low-lands low.’

Then the Cabin-boy did swim all to the starboard side,
Saying, ‘Messmates, take me in, I am drifting with the tide!’
Then they laid him on the deck, and he closed his eyes and died,
  As they sailed by the Low-lands low.

They sew’d his body tight in an old cow’s hide,
And they cast the gallant cabin-boy out over the ship side,        30
And left him without more ado to drift with the tide,
  And to sink by the Low-lands low.


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