The Twa Corbies

Melody -

As I was walking all alane,
I heard twa corbies making a mane;
The tane unto the t'other say,
"Where sall we gang and dine the day?"

2. "In behint yon auld fail dyke,
I wot there lies a new-slain knight;
And naebody kens that he lies there
But his hawk, his hound, and his lady fair.

3. "His hound is to the hunting gane,
His hawk to fetch the wild-fowl hame,
His lady's ta'en another mate,
So we may make our dinner sweet.

4. "Ye'll sit on his white hause-bane,
And I'll pike out his bonny blue een;
Wi ae lock o his gowden hair
We'll theek our nest when it grows bare.

5. "Mony a one for him makes mane,
But nane sall ken whae he is gane,
Oer his white banes, when they are bare,
The wind sall blaw for evermair."

The English version, "Three Ravens," was published in Melismata, by T. Ravensworth (1611). In Scots, the lady "has ta'en another mate" his hawk and hound have deserted the dead knight. In the English song, the hounds watch by him, the hawks keep off carrion birds, as for the lady -

"She buried him before the prime,
She was dead herselfe ere evensong time."

The English is probably the earlier version.

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