The Grey Selchie of Sule Skerry

1.

In Norway lands there lived a maid,
" Hush, ba, loo lillie, " this maid began;
" I know not where my baby's father is,
Whether by land or sea does he travel in. "

2.

It happened on a certain day,
When this fair lady fell fast asleep,
That in cam' a good grey selchie,
And set him doon at her bed feet,

3.

Saying, " Awak, awak, my pretty fair maid,
For oh! how sound as thou dost sleep.
An' I'll tell thee where thy baby's father is;
He's sittin' close at they bed feet. "

4.

" I pray, come tell to me thy name,
Oh! tell me where does thy dwelling be? "
" My name it is good Hein Mailer,
An' I earn my livin' oot o' the sea.

5.

" I am a man upon the land;
I am a selchie in the sea;
An whin I'm far frae every strand,
My dwellin' is in Shool Skerrie. "

6.

" Alas! alas! this woeful fate;
This weary fate that's been laid for me!
That a man should come frae the wast o'hoy,
To the Norway lands to have a bairn wi' me. "

7.

" My dear, I'll wed thee with a ring,
With a ring, my dear, I'll wed wi' thee. "
" Thoo may go wed thee weddens wi' whom thoo wilt;
For I'm sure thoo'll never wed none wi' me. "

8.

" Thoo will nurse my little wee son
For seven long years upo' thy knee,
An' at the end o' seven long years
I'll come back an' pay the norish fee. "

9.

She's nursed her little wee son
For seven long years upo' her knee,
An' at the end o' seven long years
He cam' back wi' gold an' white monie.

10.

She says, " My dear, I'll wed thee wi' a ring,
With a ring, my dear, I'll wed wi' thee. "
" Thoo may go wed thee weddens wi' whom thee will;
For I'm sure thoo'll never wed none wi' me.

11.

" But I'll put a gold chain around his neck,
An' a gey good gold chain it'll be,
That if ever he comes to the Norway lands,
Thoo may hae a gey good guess on hi'.

12.

" An thoo will get a gunner good,
An' a gey good gunner it will be,
An' he'll gae oot on a May mornin'
An' shoot the son an' the grey selchie. "

13.

Oh! sha has got a gunner good,
An' a gey good gunner it was he,
An' he gaed oot on a May mornin'
An' he shot the son and the grey selchie.

14.

" Alas! alas! this woeful fate!
This weary fate that's been laid for me! "
An' ance or twice she sobbed and sighed,
An' her tender heart did brak in three.

I N Norway land there lived a maid.
Hush ba loo lillie, this maid began:
I know not where my baby's father is,
Whether by land or sea does he travel in.

It happened on a certain day
When this fair lady fell fast asleep,
That in cam' a good grey selchie
And set him down at her bed feet.

Saying, Awak, awak, my pretty fair maid,
For oh, how sound as thou dost sleep,
An' I'll tell thee where thy baby's father is:
He 's sittin close at thy bed feet.

I pray come tell to me thy name,
Oh tell me where does thy dwelling be?
My name is good Hein Mailer,
I earn my livin oot o' the sea.

I am a man upon the land,
I am a selchie in the sea,
An' whin I'm far from every strand
My dwelling is [on] Shool Skerry.

Alas, alas this woeful fate,
This weary fate that's been laid on me,
That a man should come from the Wast o' Hoy
To the Norway lands to have a bairn wi' me.

My dear, I'll wed thee with a ring,
With a ring, my dear, will I wed with thee. —
Thoo may go wed thee weddens wi' whom thoo wilt,
For I'm sure thoo'll never wed none wi' me.

Thoo will nurse my little wee son
For seven long years upon thy knee;
An' at the end o' seven long years
I'll come back and pay the nursing fee.

She 's nursed her little wee son
For seven long years upon her knee,
An' at the end o' seven long years
He came back wi' gold and white monie.

He says, My dear, I'll wed thee wi' ring,
Wi' a ring, my dear, I'll wed wi' thee. —
Thoo mat go wed thee weddens wi' whom thoo wilt,
For I'm sure thoo'll never wed none wi' me.

But I'll put a gold chain around his neck,
An' a gey good gold chain it'll be,
That if ever he comes to the Norway lands
Thoo may bae a gey good guess on he.

An thoo will get a gunner good,
An' a gey good gunner it will be,
An' he'll gae out a May morning
An' shoot the son an' the grey selchie.

Oh she has gotten a gunner good,
An' a gey good gunner it was he,
An' he gaed oot on a May morning
An' he shot the son an' the grey selchie.
[When the gunner returned and showed the Norway woman the gold chain which he found round the
neck of the young seal she realized that her son had perished, and gave expression to her sorrow in the
last verse.]

Alas, alas this woeful fate,
This weary fate that's been laid on me.
An' ance or twice she sobbed and sighed,
An' her tender heart did brak in three.
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