Poem of the day

The Three Ravens
Anonymous ballad
Richard Dyer-Bennet called this “requiem for chivalry.” Here is his version, and Alfred Deller’s, and Peter, Paul and Mary’s, and Andreas Scholl’s.

There were three ravens sat on a tree,
They were as black as they might be.

The one of them said to his make,
“Where shall we our breakfast take?”

“Down in yonder greene field
There lies a knight slain under his shield;

“His hounds they lie down at his feet,
So well they can their master keep;

“His hawks they flie so eagerly,
There’s no fowl dare come him nigh.”

Downe there comes a fallow doe,
As great with young as she might goe.

She lift up his bloody head,
And kist his wounds that were so red.

She gat him up upon her back,
And carried him to earthen lake.

She buried him before the prime,
She was dead herself ere evensong time.

God send every gentleman,
Such hounds, such hawks, and such a leman.

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