The Twa Corbies

As I was walking all alang,
I spied twa corbies, makin a mane;
The tane unto, the t’ ither did say-o,
“Whar shall we gang and dine the-day-o?
Whar shall we gang an dine the-day-o?

“Down behind yon, auld fail dyke,
I wot there lies, a new slain knight;
Naebody kens that he lies there-o,
but his hawk, and his hound an his lady fair-o.
“His hawk, and his hound an his lady fair-o!”

“His hound is tae, the huntin gang,
His hawk tae fetch, the moor-fowl hame,
His lady’s tain, anither mate-o,
So may we may mak oor dinner swate-o.
swate we may mak oor dinner swate-o”

“Ye’ll light upon his white hause-bane,
An I’ll pick oot his bonny blue een;
Wi’ many ae lock o’ his gowden hair-o
We’ll theek oor nest whan it grow’s bare-o.
“we’ll theek oor nest, whan it grows bare-o!”

“Mony a one for him maks mane,
But nane shall ken, whar he is gane;
Oer his white banes, whan they are bare-o!
The wind shall blaw for evermore-o.
The wind shall blow for evermore-o”

As I was walking all alang,
I spied twa corbies, makin a mane;
The tane unto, the t’ither did say-o,
“Whar shall we gang and dine the-day-o?
Whar shall we gang an dine the-day-o?”

There is an English version of this ballad (The three Ravens); but this version has (The Twa Corbies) proven to be the oldest, and as such, most authentic of all versions of such ballads concerning this tale; them Twa Corbies: being the original ballad; are representative of the Knight of death, and the Knight of life. The Knight of death surpasses the corpse of life. And as his bones are picked clean and forgotten; death prevails; and only he remembers the new-slain Knight. Who is left to slumber and rot eternal; never discovered nor avenged; such is life. The dead Knight, despite his beautiful person; his blonde hair and blue eyes; in death he is as mundane as the nest of  two ravens. Beauty and pride means nothing when the world itself moves on.

 

Cinead MacAlpin.

 

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