The Twa Brothers

No: 49; variant: 49[H]

  1. Two pretty boys lived in the North, The went to the school so rare; The one unto the other said, We’ll try some battle of war.
  2. The worselaid up, the worselaid down, Till John lay on the ground; A pen-knife out of William’s pocket Gave John a deadly wound.
  3. ‘O is it for my gold?’ he said, ‘Or for my rich monie? Or is it for my land sa broad, That you have killed me?’
  4. ‘It’s neither for your gold,’ he said, ‘Or for your rich monie, But it is for your land sa broad That I have killed thee.’
  5. ‘You’ll take [me] up upon your back, Carry me to Wastlen kirk-yard; You’ill houk a hole large and deep, And lay my body there.
  6. ‘You’ll put a good stone ou my head, Another at me feet, A good green turf upon my breast, That the sounder I m[a]y sleep.
  7. ‘And if my father chance to ask What’s come of your brother John, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
  8. ‘What blood is this upon your coat? I pray come tell to me;’ ‘It is the blood of my grey hound, It would not run for me.’
  9. ‘The blood of your greyhound was near so red, I pray come tell to me;’ ‘It is the blood of my black horse, It would not hunt for me.’
  10. ‘The blood of your black horse was near so red, I pray come tell to me;’ ‘It is the blood of my brother John, Since better canna be.’
  11. He put his foot upon a ship, Saying, I am gane our the sea; ‘O when will you come back again, I pray come tell to me.’
  12. ‘When the sun and the moon passes over the broom, That[’s] the day you’ll never see.’