(Traditional Child Ballad)
An earthly nourris sits and sings
And aye she sings, "Ba lily wean!
Little ken I of my bairn's father,
Far less the land in where he be."
Then one arose at her bedside,
And a grim-faced man inded was he,
Saying, "Here I am, thy bairn's father,
Though I be not handsome unto thee."
"I am a man upon the land,
I am a silkie on the sea,
And when I'm far and far frae land,
I make my home in Sule Skerry."
"It was nae weel," quoth the maiden fair,
"It was nae weel, indeed," quoth she,
"For the Great Silkie of Sule Skerry
Should have come and gi'en a bairn to me."
Now he has ta'en a purse of gold,
And he has placed it on her knee,
Saying, "Give to me my wee young son,
And take this gold as thy nourris fee."
"It shall come to pass, on a summer's day,
When the sun shines hot on every stone,
That I will take my wee young son
And teach him for to swim the foam."
"And thou shalt marry a proud gunner,
And a proud gunner I'm sure he'll be,
And the very first shot that e'er he shoots,
He'll kill both my young son and me."
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