Verse > Anthologies > T. H. Ward, ed. > The English Poets > Vol. I. Chaucer to Donne
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Thomas Humphry Ward, ed.  The English Poets.  1880–1918.
Vol. I. Early Poetry: Chaucer to Donne
 
Ballads: Romantic
The Twa Corbies
 
 [An English version makes the lady faithful,—
 ‘She lifted up his bloody head,
And kissed his wounds that were so red;
She buried him before the prime,
She was dead herself ere evensong time.’]

AS I was walking all alane,
I heard twa corbies 1 making a mane;
The tane unto the t’other say,
‘Where sall we gang and dine to-day?’
 
‘In behint yon auld fail dyke,        5
I wot there lies a new-slain knight;
And nae body kens that he lies there,
But his hawk, his hound, and lady fair.
 
‘His hound is to the hunting gane,
His hawk to fetch the wild-fowl hame,        10
His lady ’s ta’en another mate,
So we may make our dinner sweet.
 
‘Ye ’ll sit on his white hause 2 bane,
And I ’ll pike out his bonny blue een:
Wi’ ae lock o’ his gowden hair,        15
We ’ll theek 3 our nest when it grows bare.
 
‘Mony a one for him makes mane,
But nane sall ken whare he is gane;
O’er his white banes, when they are bare,
The wind sall blaw for evermair.’        20
 
Note 1. ravens. [back]
Note 2. neck. [back]
Note 3. thatch. [back]
 
 
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