James Harris, (The Daemon Lover)
No: 243; variant: 243E
- ‘WHERE have you been, my long lost lover,
This seven long years and more?’
‘I’ve been seeking gold for thee, my love,
And riches of great store.
- ‘Now I’m come for the vows you promised me,
You promised me long ago;’
‘My former vows you must forgive,
For I’m a wedded wife.’
- ‘I might have been married to a king’s daughter,
Far, far ayont the sea;
But I refused the crown of gold,
And it’s all for the love of thee.’
- ‘If you might have married a king’s daughter,
Yourself you have to blame;
For I’m married to a ship’s-carpenter,
And to him I have a son.
- ‘Have you any place to put me in,
If I with you should gang?’
‘I’ve seven brave ships upon the sea,
All laden to the brim.
- ‘I’ll build my love a bridge of steel,
All for to help her oer;
Likewise webs of silk down by her side,
To keep my love from the cold.’
- She took her eldest son into her arms,
And sweetly did him kiss:
‘My blessing go with you, and your father too,
For little does he know of this.’
- As they were walking up the street,
Most beautiful for to Behold,
He cast a glamour oer her face,
And it shone like the brightest gold.
- As they were walking along the sea-side,
Where his gallant ship lay in,
So ready was the chair of gold
To welcome this lady in.
- They had not sailed a league, a league,
A league but scarsely three,
Till altered grew his countenance,
And raging grew the sea.
- When they came to yon sea-side,
She set her down to rest;
It’s then she spied his cloven foot,
Most bitterly she wept.
- ‘O is it for gold that you do weep?
Or is it for fear?
Or is it for the man you left behind
When that you did come here?’
- ‘It is not for gold that I do weep,
O no, nor yet for fear;
But it is for the man I left behind
When that I did come here.
- ‘O what a bright, bright hill is yon,
That shines so clear to see?’
‘O it is the hill of heaven,’ he said
‘Where you shall never be.’
- ‘O what a black, dark hill is yon,
That looks so dark to me?’
‘O it is the hill of hell,’ he said,
‘Where you and I shall be.
- ‘Would you wish to see the fishes swim
In the bottom of the sea,
Or wish to see the leaves grow green
On the banks of Italy?’
- ‘I hope I’ll never see the fishes swim
On the bottom of the sea,
But I hope to see the leaves grow green
On the banks of Italy.’
- He took her up to the topmast high,
To see what she could see;
He sunk the ship in a flash of fire,
To the bottom of the sea.