_Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border_, i. 299.
In singing, the interjection O is added to the second and fourth lines.
The king sits in Dunfermline town, Drinking the blude-red wine: "O whare will I get a skeely skipper To sail this new ship of mine?"
O up and spake an eldern knight, 5 Sat at the king's right knee: "Sir Patrick Spens is the best sailor That ever sailed the sea."
Our king has written a braid letter, And sealed it with his hand, 10 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 of Noroway, 15 'Tis thou maun bring her hame!"
The first word that Sir Patrick read, Sae loud loud laughed he; The neist word that Sir Patrick read, The tear blindit his e'e. 20
"O wha is this has done this deed, And tauld the king o' me, To send us out at this time of the year, To sail upon the sea?
"Be it wind, be it weet, be it hail, be it sleet, 25 Our ship must sail the faem; The king's daughter of Noroway, 'Tis we must fetch her hame."
They hoysed their sails on Monenday morn Wi' a' the speed they may; 30 They hae landed in Noroway Upon a Wodensday.
They hadna been a week, a week, In Noroway, but twae, When that the lords o' Noroway 35 Began aloud to say:
"Ye Scottishmen spend a' our king's goud, And a' our queenis fee."
"Ye lie, ye lie, ye liars loud!
Fu' loud I hear ye lie! 40
"For I brought as much white monie As gane my men and me,-- And I brought a half-fou o' gude red goud Out o'er the sea wi' me.
"Make ready, make ready, my merrymen a'! 45 Our gude ship sails the morn."
"Now, ever alake! my master dear, I fear a deadly storm!
"I saw the new moon, late yestreen, Wi' the auld moon in her arm; 50 And if we gang to sea, master, I fear we'll come to harm."
They hadna sailed a league, a league, A league, but barely three, When the lift grew dark, and the wind blew loud, 55 And gurly grew the sea.
The ankers brak, and the topmasts lap, It was sic a deadly storm; And the waves came o'er the broken ship, Till a' her sides were torn. 60
"O where will I get a gude sailor, To take my helm in hand, Till I get up to the tall topmast, To see if I can spy land?"
"O here am I, a sailor gude, 65 To take the helm in hand, Till you go up to the tall topmast,-- But I fear you'll ne'er spy land."
He hadna gane a step, a step, A step, but barely ane, 70 When a bout flew out of our goodly ship, And the salt sea it came in.
"Gae fetch a web o' the silken claith, Another o' the twine, And wap them into our ship's side, 75 And letna the sea come in."
They fetched a web o' the silken claith, Another o' the twine, And they wapped them roun' that gude ship's side, But still the sea came in. 80
"O laith laith were our gude Scots lords To weet their cork-heeled shoon!
But lang or a' the play was played, They wat their hats aboon.
And mony was the feather-bed 85 That flatter'd on the faem; And mony was the gude lord's son That never mair cam hame.
The ladyes wrang their fingers white, The maidens tore their hair; 90 A' for the sake of their true loves, For them they'll see nae mair.
O lang lang may the ladyes sit, Wi' their fans into their hand, Before they see Sir Patrick Spens 95 Come sailing to the strand!
And lang lang may the maidens sit, Wi' their goud kaims in their hair, A' waiting for their ain dear loves, For them they'll see nae mair. 100
O forty miles off Aberdeen 'Tis fifty fathoms deep, And there lies gude Sir Patrick Spens Wi' the Scots lords at his feet.
From _Reliques of English Poetry_, i. 65.
"This romantic legend," says Percy, "is given from two copies, one of them in the Editor's folio MS., but which contained very great variations." This second copy has been conjectured to be of Percy's own making, the ballad never having been heard of by any one else, out of his manuscript. Judging from the internal evidence, the alterations made in the printed text were not very serious.
King Easter and King Wester have appeared in the ballad of _Fause Foodrage_, (vol. iii. p. 40.) In another version of the same, they are called the Eastmure king and the Westmure king, (Motherwell's _Minstrelsy_, p. lix.) There is also a tale cited in the _Complaynt of Scotland_, (i. 98,) of a king of Estmureland that married the daughter of the king of Westmureland. This is plausibly supposed by Ritson to have been a romance of Horn, in which case the two countries should mean England and Ireland. King Esmer is one of King Diderik's champions (in the Danish ballad, _Kong Diderik og hans Kaemper_), and the father of Svend Vonved (in _Svend Vonved_). In the Flemish and German romances of _The Knight of the Swan_, Essmer, or Esmeres, is one of the seven sons of Oriant, and in _Le Dit de Flourence de Romme_ (Jubinal, _Nouveau Recueil de Contes_, etc., i. 88), Esmere is a Roman prince. (Grundtvig, i. 78, 236.) For the nonce, we are told that King Estmere was an English prince, and we may, perhaps, infer from the eighth stanza that King Adland's dominions were on the same island. But no subject of inquiry can be more idle than the geography of the romances.
Hearken to me, gentlemen, Come and you shall heare; Ile tell you of two of the boldest brethren, That ever born y-were.
The tone of them was Adler yonge, 5 The tother was kyng Estmere; They were as bolde men in their deedes As any were, farr and neare.
As they were drinking ale and wine Within kyng Estmeres halle, 10 "When will ye marry a wyfe, brother, A wyfe to gladd us all?"
Then bespake him kyng Estmere, And answered him hartilye: "I knowe not that ladye in any lande, 15 That is able to marry with mee."
"Kyng Adland hath a daughter, brother, Men call her bright and sheene; If I were kyng here in your stead, That ladye shold be queene." 20
Sayes, "Reade me, reade me, deare brother, Throughout merry England, Where we might find a messenger Betweene us two to sende."
Sayes, "You shall ryde yourselfe, brother, 25 Ile beare you companee; Many throughe fals messengers are deceived,[L27]
And I feare lest soe shold wee."
Thus they renisht them to ryde On twoe good renisht steedes, 30 And when they came to kyng Adlands halle, Of red golde shone their weedes.
And when they came to kyng Adlands halle, Before the goodlye yate, Ther they found good kyng Adland, 35 Rearing himselfe theratt.
"Nowe Christ thee save, good kyng Adland, Nowe Christ thee save and see:"
Sayd, "You be welcome, kyng Estmere, Right hartilye to mee." 40