The Twa Brothers

No: 49; variant: 49D

  1. ‘O WILL ye gae to the school, brother? Or will ye gae to the ba? Or will ye gae to the wood a-warslin, To see whilk o’s maun fa?’
  2. ‘It’s I winna gae to the school, brother, Nor will I gae to the ba; But I will gae to the wood a-warslin, And it is you maun fa.’
  3. They warstled up, they warstled down, The lee-lang simmer’s day; . . . . . . . . .
  4. ‘O lift me up upon your back, Tak me to yon wall fair; You’ll wash my bluidy wounds oer and oer, And syne they’ll bleed nae mair.
  5. ‘And ye’ll tak aff my hollin sark, And riv’t frae gair to gair; Ye’ll stap it in my bluidy wounds, And syne they’ll bleed nae mair.’
  6. He’s liftit his brother upon his back, Taen him to yon wall fair; He’s washed his bluidy wounds oer and oer, But ay they bled mair and mair.
  7. And he’s taen aff his hollin sark, And riven’t frae gair to gair; He’s stappit it in his bluidy wounds, But ay they bled mair and mair.
  8. ‘Ye’ll lift me up upon your back, Tak me to Kirkland fair; Ye’ll mak my greaf baith braid and lang, And lay my body there.
  9. Ye’ll lay my arrows at my head, My bent bow at my feet, My sword and buckler at my side, As I was wont to sleep.
  10. ‘Whan ye gae hame to your father, He’ll speer for his son John: Say, ye left him into Kirkland fair, Learning the school alone.
  11. ‘When ye gae hame to my sister, She’ll speer for her brother John: Ye’ll say, ye left him in Kirkland fair, The green grass growin aboon.
  12. ‘Whan ye gae hame to my true-love, She’ll speer for her lord John: Ye’ll say, ye left him in Kirkland fair, But hame ye fear he’ll never come.’
  13. He’s gane hame to his father; He speered for his son John: ‘It’s I left him into Kirkland fair, Learning the school alone.’
  14. And whan he gaed hame to his sister, She speered for her brother John: ‘It’s I left him into Kirkland fair, The green grass growin aboon.’
  15. And whan he gaed home to his true-love, She speerd for her lord John: ‘It’s I left him into Kirkland fair, And hame I fear he’ll never come.’
  16. ‘But whaten bluid’s that on your sword, Willie? Sweet Willie, tell to me;’ ‘O it is the bluid o my grey hounds, They wadna rin for me.’
  17. ‘It’s nae the bluid o your hounds, Willie, Their bluid was never so red; But it is the bluid o my true-love, That ye hae slain indeed.’
  18. That fair may wept, that fair may mournd, That fair may mournd and pin’d: ‘When every lady looks for her love, I neer need look for mine.’
  19. ‘O whaten a death will ye die, Willie? Now, Willie, tell to me;’ ‘Ye’ll put me in a bottomless boat, And I’ll gae sail the sea.’
  20. ‘Whan will ye come hame again, Willie? Now, Willie, tell to me;’ ‘Whan the sun and moon dances on the green, And that will never be.’