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.