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The Daemon Lover


I am certain that plenty of readers out there have had undesirable relationships in the past which they would rather forget. In 'The Daemon Lover' we hear-tell of a woman (a wife and a mother no less) whose former lover returns to claim her.

At first she vows to stand by her family but, upon hearing of her former lover's riches she decides to leave her husband and two young children to run off with him. This is a choice she will regret when she discovers that her lover is not quite what he seems - he is the devil in another guise. This disloyal woman pays dearly for her greed.


'O where have you been, my long, long love,
This long seven years and mair?'
'O I'm come to seek my former vows
Ye granted me before.'

'O hold your tongue of your former vows,
For they will breed sad strife;
O hold your tongue of your former vows,
For I am become a wife.'

He turned him right and round about,
And the tear blinded his ee:
'I wad never hae trodden on Irish ground,
If it had not been for thee.

'I might hae had a king's daughter,
Far, far beyond the sea;
I might have had a king's daughter,
Had it not been for love o thee.'

'If ye might have had a king's daughter,
Yer sel ye had to blame;
Ye might have taken the king's daughter,
For ye kend that I was nane.

'If I was to leave my husband dear,
Ans my two babes also,
O what have you to take me to,
If with you I should go?'

'I hae seven ships upon the sea-
The eighth brought me to land-
With four-and-twenty bold mariners,
And music on every hand.'

She has taken up her two little babes,
Kissd them baith cheeks and chin:
'O fair ye weel, my ain two babes,
For I'll never see you again.'

She set her foot upon the ship,
No mariners could she behold;
But the sails were o the taffetie,
And the masts o the beaten gold.

She had not sailed a league, a league,
A league but barely three,
When dismal drew his countenance,
And drumlie grew his ee.

They had not saild a league, a league
A league but barely three,
Until she espied his cloven foot,
And she wept right bitterlie.

'O hold your tongue of your weeping,' says he,
'Of your weeping now let me be;
I will shew you how the lilies grow
On the banks of Italy.'

'O what hills are yon, yon pleasant hills,
That the sun shines sweetly on?'
'O yon are the hills of heaven,' he said,
'Where you will never win.'

'O whaten a mountain is yon,' she said,
'All so dreary wi frost and snow?'
'O yon is the mountain of hell,' he cries,
'Where you and I will go.'

He strack up the tap-mast wi his hand,
The fore-mast wi his knee,
And he brake that gallant ship in twain,
And sank her in the sea.


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