Edward, Edward

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Thomas Percy, 1765, from Reliques of Ancient English Poetry
Scottish version

"Why does your brand sae drop wi' blude,
Edward, Edward?
Why does your brand sae drop wi' blude
And why sae sad gang ye, O?"
"O I hae killed my hawk sae gude,
Mither, mither;
O I hae killed my hawk sae gude,
And I hae nae mair but he, O."

2. "Your hawk's blude was never sae red,
Edward, Edward;
Your hawk's blude was never sae red,
My dear son, I tell thee, O."
"O I hae killed my red-roan steed,
Mither, mither;
O I hae killed my red-roan steed,
That was sae fair and free, O."

3. "Your steed was auld, and ye've plenty mair,
Edward, Edward;
Your steed was auld, and ye've plenty mair;
Some ither dule ye dree, O."
"O I hae killed my father dear,
Mither, mither;
O I hae killed my father dear,
Alas, and wae is me, O!"

4. "And whatten penance will ye dree for that,
Edward, Edward?
Whatten penance will ye dree for that?
My dear son, now tell me, O."
"I'll set my feet in yonder boat,
Mither, mither;
I'll set my feet in yonder boat,
And I'll fare over the sea, O."

5. "And what will ye do wi' your tow'rs and your ha',
Edward, Edward?
And what will ye do wi' your tow'rs and your ha',
That were sae fair to see, O?"
"I'll let them stand till they doun fa',
Mither, mither;
I'll let them stand till they doun fa',
For here never mair maun I be, O."

6. "And what will ye leave to your bairns and your wife,
Edward, Edward?
And what will ye leave to your bairns and your wife,
When ye gang ower the sea, O?"
"The warld's room: let them beg through life,
Mither, mither;
The warld's room: let them beg through life;
For them never mair will I see, O."

7. "And what will ye leave to your ain mither dear,
Edward, Edward?
And what will ye leave to your ain mither dear,
My dear son, now tell me, O?"
"The curse of hell frae me sall ye bear,
Mither, mither;
The curse of hell frae me sall ye bear:
Sic counsels ye gave to me, O!"


Percy got this piece from Lord Hailes, with pseudo-antiquated spelling. Mr. Swinburne has published a parallel ballad "From the Finnish." There are a number of parallel ballads on Cruel Brothers, and Cruel Sisters, such as SON DAVIE, which may be compared. Fratricides and unconscious incests were motives dear to popular poetry.

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