The Demon Lover

Written Text

“Well met, well met, my own true love,

“Well met, well met,” cried he.

“I’ve just returned from the salt, salt sea,

And it’s all for the love of thee.”

“I could have married the king’s daughter fair

She would have married me

But I have forsaken her crown of gold

And it’s all for the love of thee.”

If you could have married a king’s daughter fair

I’m sure you are to blame

For I am married to a house carpenter

And I’m sure he’s a fine young man.

Forsake, forsake your house carpenter

And come along with me.

I’ll take you where the green grass grows

On the shores of Italy.

I have seven ships upon the sea

The eighth brought me to land

With four and twenty bold sailors

And music on every hand

Then she picked up her little babe

And gave it kisses three

Saying “Fair you well, my own little babe,

For I’ll never see you again.”

She set her foot upon the ship

No sailors could she behold

But the sails were made of taffeta

And the masts of beaten gold.

They had but sailed about a week

I’m sure it was not two

When dismal grew his countenance

And darkened grew his eye

They had but sailed about two weeks

I’m sure it was not three

Until she spied his cloven foot

And she wept bitterly

Then a curse, a curse to the sailor she cried

A curse, a curse she swore

“You’ve robbed me of my house carpenter

Whose face I’ll never see no more.”

“O hold your tongue of weeping,” says he,

Of your weeping now let me be.

I will show you how the lilies grow

On the banks of Italy.”

“What hills are they, those pleasant hills

That the sun shines sweetly on?”

“O those are the hills of heaven,” he said,

“Where you will never walk.”

“O what a mountain is there,” she said,

“So dreary with frost and snow?”

“O that is the mountain of hell,” he cries,

“Where you and I must go.”

He struck the top mast with his hand

The fore-mast with his knee

And he broke that gallant ship in two

And sank her in the sea.