the demon lover

THE DEMON LOVER

"O where have you been, long, long, love,
This long seven years and mair?
O I'm come to seek my former vows-
Ye granted me before. "

"O hold your tongue of your former vows
For they will breed sad strife;
O hold your tongue of your former vows,
For I am become a wife."

He turned him right and round about
And the tear blinded his e'e.
"I wad ne'er hae trodden on Irish ground
Had it not been for love of thee."

"I might have had a king's daughter
Far, far beyond the sea;
I might have had a king's daughter
Had it not been for love of thee."

"If ye might have had a king's daughter,
Yer self ye had to blame;
Ye might have taken the king's daughter,
Fer ye kend that I was nane."

"O false are the vows o' womankind,
But fair is their false bodie;
I ne'er wad hae trodden on Irish ground
Had it not been for love o' thee. "

"If I was to leave my husband dear,
And my two babes also,
O what have you to take me to,
If with you I should go? "

"I have seven ships upon the sea,
The eighth brought me to land;
With four-and-twenty bold mariners
And music on every hand."

She has taken up her two little babes,
Kissed them baith cheek and chin:
"O fare ye well, my ain two babes,
For I'll ne'er see you again."

She set her foot upon the ship,
No mariners could she behold;
But the sails were of the taffetie,
And the masts of the beaten gold.

She had not sailed a league, a league,
A league but barely three,
When dismal grew his countenance
And drumlie grew his e'e.

The masts that were like the beaten gold
Bent not on the heaving seas;
And the sails that were o'the taffetie
Filled not in the eastland breeze.

They had not sailed a league, a league,
A league but barely three,
Until she espied his cloven foot,
And she wept right bitterlie.

"O hold your tongue of your weeping," says he
"Of you weeping now let me be;
I will show you how the lilies grow
On the banks of Italy."

"O what hills are yon, yon pleasant hills,
That the sun shines sweetly on?"
"O yon are the hills of heaven," he said,
"There you will never win."

"O whaten a mountain is yon," she said,
"All so dreary wi' frost and snow?"
"O yon is the mountain of hell," he cried,
"Where you and I will go."

And aye when she turned her round about,
Aye, taller he seemed to be;
Until that the tops of the gallant ship
Nae taller were than he.

The clouds grew dark and the wind grew loud,
And levin filled her e'e;
And waesome wailed the snow-white sprites
Upon the girlie sea.

He strack the tapmast wi' his hand
The foremast wi' his knee
And he brake the gallant ship in twain
And sank her in the sea.

Child #243
 

 


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