The Twa Corbies

Original Text: 
Sir Walter Scott, Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border, 2nd edn. (Edinburgh: J. Ballantyne for Longman and Rees, 1803). PR 1181 .S4 1803 St. Michael's College
3The tane unto the t'other say,
4"Where sall we gang and dine to-day?"
6I wot there lies a new slain knight;
7And naebody kens that he lies there,
8But his hawk, his hound, and lady fair.
9  "His hound is to the hunting gane,
10His hawk to fetch the wild-fowl hame;
11His lady's ta'en another mate,
12So we may mak our dinner sweet.
14And I'll pike out his bonny blue een;
17  "Mony a one for him makes mane,
18But nane sall ken where he is gane;
19Oer his white banes, when they are bare,
20The wind sall blaw for evermair."


1] This ballad was taken down from recitation in the later eighteenth century. It is a Scottish adaptation of the English ballad, The Three Ravens. Back to Line
2] corbies: ravens.
mane: moan. Back to Line
5] fail dyke: turf wall. Back to Line
13] hause bane: neck-bone, collar-bone. Back to Line
15] gowden: golden. Back to Line
16] theek: thatch. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
N. J. Endicott
RPO Edition: 
2RP.1.77; RPO 1996-2000.