Home  »  Poems of Places An Anthology in 31 Volumes  »  Sir Patrick Spence

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Scotland: Vols. VI–VIII. 1876–79.

Ballads: Dunfermline

Sir Patrick Spence

By Percy’s Reliques

THE KING sits in Dumferling toune,

Drinking the blude-reid wine:

O quhar will I get guid sailór,

To sail this schip of mine?

Up and spak an eldern knicht,

Sat at the kings richt kne:

Sir Patrick Spence is the best sailór,

That sails upon the se.

The king has written a braid letter,

And signed it wi’ his hand;

And sent it to Sir Patrick Spence,

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 quha is this has don this deid,

This ill deid don to me;

To send me out this time o’ the zeir,

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 yestreen I saw the new moone

Wi’ the auld moone in hir arme;

And I feir, I feir, my deir mastér,

That we will com to harme.

O our Scots nobles wer richt laith

To weet their cork-heild schoone;

Bot lang owre a’ the play wer playd,

Thair hats they swam aboone.

O lang, lang may thair ladies sit

Wi’ thair fans into their hand,

Or eir they se Sir Patrick Spence

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.

Have owre, have owre to Aberdour,

It ’s fiftie fadom deip:

And thair lies guid Sir Patrick Spence,

Wi’ the Scots lords at his feit.