THERE were two knights rode together,
At their backs a great meine
They were in the fair English land,
Muckle joy had they.
Fair Sir, I am old and my eyen are weak,
Your eyen are clear and keen,
I pray you name me well yon bird
Fled over the meadows green.
Whether was it a good storm-thrush
Or a jay with a blue wing,
Was it one of the birds that sing fair lauds
When the greves are green in spring?
Yon bird it was no missel-thrush
Or jay with a blue wing;
O let narrow and well away
To the song that it doth sing.
Yon was an evil maggot-pie,
He bodeth us treie and tene,
I would I had seen some other bird
Betwixt the greves green.
Though we have come safe home again
And our hap has been but good,
Cry not Ho, the old saw saith,
Till you are out of the wood.
They rode so long till the mirk night
Came over the country side;
They said one to another,
I would some house might betide.
O whatten a light is yon great light
That maketh the heaven red?
It is na the light of torches
For all men are fast abed.
O whatten alight is yon great light?
The sun was down six hours ago.
No doubt in some carle's homestead
The red cock doth crow.
O whatten a light is yon great light ?
The moon was down an hour ago.
O yon is the bonny house of Skreehope
That burneth all in a red glow.
O whatten staves are yon great staves?
They seem right great agen the low.
O yon are the spears of the fause Scots:
Cry, Mary my help for Skreehope ho!
Gin we had no fear of the French glaives
Little fear have we of the Scotch spears.
I should never see such a deadly fray
Gin I should live an hundred years.
Many a Scot was overthrown
And laid dead on the earth cold,
But our Englishmen were put aback
Though of their hearts they were full bold.
There was the lord of Skreehope slain,
And Sir John of Fulton was led away.
Skreehope House has been full cold,
None dwells there syne that day.