Verse > Anthologies > William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. > The Book of Restoration Verse
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William Stanley Braithwaite, ed.  The Book of Restoration Verse.  1910.
 
The Three Ravens
Anonymous
 
THERE 1 were three ravens sat on a tree,
Downe a downe, hay down, hay downe
There were three ravens sat on a tree,
  With a downe
There were three ravens sat on a tree,        5
They were as blacke as they might be.
  With a downe derrie, derrie, derrie, downe, downe.
 
The one of them said to his mate,
‘Where shall we our breakefast take?’
 
‘Downe in yonder greene field,        10
There lies a knight slain under his shield.
 
‘His hounds they lie downe at his feete,
So well they can their master keepe.
 
‘His hawks they flie so eagerly,
There’s no fowle dare him come nie.’        15
 
Downe there comes a fallow doe,
As great with yong as she might goe.
 
She lift up his bloudy hed,
And kist his wounds that were so red.
 
She got him up upon her backe,        20
And carried him to earthen lake.
 
She buried him before the prime,
She was dead herselfe ere even-song time.
 
God send every gentleman,
Such hawks, such hounds, and such a leman.        25
 
Note 1. First printed in Thomas Ravenscroft’s Melismata, 1611. [back]
 
 
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