Translated as "The Two Ravens
", a creepy Old Scottish ballad
about an overheard conversation
between two carrion
The Twa Corbies
As I was walking all alane
I heard twa corbies making a mane;
The tane unto t'other say,
"Where sall we gang and dine today?"
"In behint yon auld fail1 dyke,
I wot there lies a new-slain knight;
And naebody 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,
His lady's ta'en another mate,
So we may make our dinner sweet.
"Ye'll sit on his white hause-bane2,
And I'll pick out his bonny blue een;
Wi ae lock o' his gowden hair
We'll theeck3 our nest when it grows bare.
"Mony a one for him makes mane,
But nane sall ken where his is gane;
O'er his white banes when they are bare,
The wind sall blow for evermair."
1. fail, turf.
2. hause-bane, neck-bone
3. theek , thatch
Sources: Treasury of Favorite Poems, ed. Louis Untermeyer