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To drive the deer with hound and horn,

Earl Percy 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;
The chiefest harts 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-deer :
On Monday they began to hunt,

Ere daylight did appear;
And long before high noon they had

An hundred fat bucks slain;
Then having dined, the drovers went

To rouse the deer again.
The bowmen muster’d on the hills,

Well able to endure:
Their bodies all, with special care,

That day were guarded sure.
Their hounds ran swiftly through the
· woods,

The nimble deer to take,
That with their cries the hills and dales

An echo shrill did make.
Lord Percy to the quarry went,

To view the slaughter'd deer ;
Quoth he, “ Earl Douglas promised

This day to meet me here.

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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 armour bright;
Full twenty hundred Scottish spears,

All marching in our sight;
All men of pleasant Tivydale,

Fast by the river Tweed.”
“Ho, cease your sports,” Earl Percy

“And take your bows with speed.
And now with me, my countrymen,

Your courage forth advance ;
For there was never champion yet,

In Scotland nor in France,
That ever did on horseback come,

But if my hap it were,
I durst encounter man for man,

With him to break a spear."
Earl Douglas on his milk-white steed,

Most like a baron bold,
Rode foremost of his company,

Whose armour shone like gold.



"Show me,” said he, “whose men you

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;
Who said, “ We list not to declare,

Nor show whose men we be:
Yet we will 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 outbravèd be,

One of us two shall die :
I know thee well—an earl thou art, il

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.

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