The king sits in Dumferling 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 braid1 letter,
And signd it wi his hand,
And sent it to Sir Patrick Spens,
Was walking on the sand.
Te first line that Sir Patrick red,
A loud lauch2 lauched he;
The next line that Sir Patrick red,
The teir blinded his ee.3
"O wha is this has don this deid4,
This ill deid done 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 sae5, my master deir,
For I feir a deadlie storme.
"Late, late yestreen 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 laith6
To weet their cork-heild schoone7;
Bot lang owre a' the play wer playd,
Thair hats they swam aboone.
O lang, lang may their ladies sit,
Wi their fans into their hand,
Or eir8 they se Sir Patrick Spens
Cum sailing to the land.
O lang, lang may their ladies stand,
Wi their gold kems in their hair,
Waiting for their ain deir lords,
For they'll se thame na mair.
Haf owre, haf owre to Aberdour,
It's fiftie fadom9 deip,
And thair lies guid Sir Patrick Spens,
Wi the Scots lords at his feit.
1.braid- broad. It seems that this is a popular variation.
2.lauch- Laugh. And people say that English doesn't change.
3.ee- eye. "ee" just rhymes better, apparently.
4.deid- deed. This seems to be a popular diphthong. Look for appearances in other words, like "deip", etc.
5.say na sae- the oh-so-popular "Say it ain't so."
6.richt laith- right loath. See 4 for popular diphthongs.
7.cork-heild schoone- cork-heeled shoes.
8.Or eir- before they ever. Ah, aren't contractions wonderful?
9.fadom- fathoms. See Shakespeare's Tempest for more info.