The following is an Anglish translation of the Scots ballad "The Mermaid."
To yonder false stream þat, nigh þe sea,
Hides many an elf and plum,
And rifes with fearful din þe stones,
A witless knight did come.
Þe day shines clear--far in he’s gone,
Where silfer shells are bright,
Fishes were leaping ill and arund,
And sparkling to þe light.
When as he lafed, sunds comb so sweet,
From ilk of rock and tree,
Þe merry was ute, ’twas him it doomed
Þe Mermaid’s leer to see.
From beneaþ a rock, soon, soon she rose,
And friþely on she swam.
Stopped in þe midst, and becked and sang,
To him to strech his hand.
Golden glist þe yellow links
Arund her neck of iþe;
Her evening war o’ þe sky hewen,
Her lips did mock þe liþe;
Þe smile upon her boney cheek
Was sweeter þan þe bee;
Her reard afrimed the birdy’s song
Upon þe birchen tree.
Say cuþy, cuþy did she look,
And mickle had she fleeched;
Ute shot his hand--alas! Alas!
Fast in þe swirl she screeched.
Þe Mermaid laughed, her merry gone,
Þe kelpy’s blast was blowing,
Full low she heretowed, nefer reared again,
For deep, deep was the flowing.
Abofe þe stream his wraiþ was seen,
Warlocks þirled long at gloaming;
Þat efening was mean, þat blast blew hoarse,
Ere long the wafes were foaming.
Writ by Sammy