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No more shall the war-cry sever,

Or the winding rivers be red;
They banish our anger forever

When they laurel the graves of our dead!
Under the sod and the dew,

Waiting the judgment-day;
Love and tears for the Blue,
Tears and love for the Gray.



GOD prosper long our noble king,
Our lives and safeties all;
A woful hunting once there did.
In Chevy-Chase befall.

To drive the deer with hound and horn
Earl Percy 2 took his way;

The child may rue that is unborn
The hunting of that day.

The stout earl of Northumberland
A vow to God did make,
His pleasure in the Scottish woods

Three summer days to take —

1 Chev'y-Chase: that is, the hunt among the Chev'i-ot Hills which separate England from Scotland. This ballad contains an account not only of Chevy-Chase, but also of the Battle of Otterburn; in fact it is this latter battle, fought between the English and the Scotch in 1388 at Otterburn, in the border county of Northumberland, England, which gives the poem its real significance.

The Scots gained a decisive victory. Burton, in his history of Scotland, says that the fight "marks the fading from the defenders of Scotland of the dread of immediate absolute conquest by England."

2 Earl Percy: Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland. His son Henry -Shakespeare's "Hotspur," see "Henry IV.," Part 1st-killed the Scotch Earl of Douglas in the battle of Otterburn; though in the ballad Douglas is represented as meeting his death from the arrow of an English archer.

The chiefest harts 1 in Chevy-Chase
To kill and bear away.

These tidings to Earl Douglas came,
In Scotland where he lay;

Who sent Earl Percy present word
He would prevent his sport.
The English earl, not fearing that,
Did to the woods resort,

With fifteen hundred bowmen bold,
All chosen men of might,

Who knew full well in time of need
To aim their shafts aright.

The gallant greyhounds swiftly ran
To chase the fallow 2 deer;
On Monday they began to hunt
When daylight did appear;

And long before high noon they had
A hundred fat bucks slain;

Then having dined, the drovers 3 went
To rouse the deer again.

The bowmen mustered on the hills,

Well able to endure;

And all their rear, with special care,
That day was guarded sure.

The hounds ran swiftly through the woods,
The nimble deer to take,

1 Harts: bucks.

2 Fallow pale red or pale yellow.

3 Drovers: those whose duty it was to rouse or beat up the game for the archers.

That with their cries the hills and dales
An echo shrill did make.

Lord Percy to the quarry 1 went,
To view the slaughtered deer;
Quoth he, “Earl Douglas promised
This day to meet me here;

"But if I thought he would not come,
No longer would I stay;

With that a brave young gentleman
Thus to the earl did say:

"Lo, yonder doth Earl Douglas come,
His men in armor bright;

Full twenty hundred Scottish spears
All marching in our sight;

"All men of pleasant Teviotdale,
Fast by 2 the river Tweed; 3"

"Then cease your sports," Earl Percy said,
"And take your bows with speed;

"And now with me, my countrymen,
Your courage forth advance;
For never was there champion yet,
In Scotland or in France,

"That ever did on horseback come,

But if my hap1 it were,

1 Quarry a heap of dead game.

2 Fast by: near by.

8 Tweed: the Tweed forms part of the boundary between England and Scotland. It empties into the North Sea, or German Ocean.

4 Hap: chance, luck.

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Earl Douglas on his milk-white steed,
Most like a baron bold,

Rode foremost of his company,

Whose armor shone like gold.

"Show me," said he, "whose men you be, That hunt so boldly here,

That, without my consent, do chase
And kill my fallow-deer."

The first man that did answer make,

Was noble Percy he

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Who said, "We list not to declare,
Nor show whose men we be:

"Yet will we spend our dearest blood
Thy chiefest harts to slay."
Then Douglas swore a solemn oath,
And thus in rage did say:

"Ere thus I will out-braved be,

One of us two shall die;

I know thee well, an earl thou art
Lord Percy, so am I.

“But trust me, Percy, pity it were,
And great offence, to kill
Any of these our guiltless men,
For they have done no ill.

1 Break a spear: to fight with spears on horseback.

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