An earthly nurse sits and sings,
And aye, she sings by lily wean,
And little ken I by bairn's father,
Far less the land where he dwells in.
For he came one night to her bed feet,
And a grumbly guest, I'm sure was he,
Saying "Here am I, thy bairn's father,
Although i be not comely.
I am a man upon the land,
I am a selkie on the sea,
And when I'm far and far frae land,
My home it is in Sule Skerrie."
And he had ta'en a purse of gold,
And he had placed it upon her knee,
Saying: "Give it to my little young son,
And take thee up they nurse's fee."
"And it shall come to pass on a summer's day,
When the sun shines bright on every stane,
I'll come and fetch my little son,
and teach him how to swim the faem."
"And ye shall marry a gunner good,
And a right fine gunner I'm sure he'll be,
And the very first shot that he e'er shoots,
Will kill both my young son and me."