It fell about the Lammastide
When moor-men win their hay
The doughty Douglas bound him to ride
Into England, to drive a prey
And he has burned the dales of Tyne
And part of Bamburghshire
And three good towers on Reidswire Fells
He left them all on fire
Then he's marched on down to Newcastle
"Whose house is this so fine?"
It's up spoke proud Lord Percy
"I tell you this castle is mine!"
"If you're the lord of this fine castle
Well it pleases me
For, ere I crossed the Border fells
The one of us shall die."
Then Percy took a long, long spear
Shod with metal free
And for to meet the Douglas there
He rode right furiously
How pale, how pale his lady looked
From the castle wall
When down before the Scottish spear
She saw proud Percy fall
"Had we two been upon the green
No other eye to see
I would have had you, flesh and fell
Now your pennon shall go with me!"
Now I'll go up to Otterburn
There I'll wait for thee
If you not come ere three days end
A false knight I'll call thee."
"Oh it's I will come," proud Percy said
"I swear by our Lady."
Then there I'll wait," says Douglas
"My troth I plight to thee."
They've ridden high on Otterburn
Upon the bent so brown
They've lighted high on Otterburn
And threw their pallions down
The day being done and the night come on
A clear moon o'er the land
"Awake, awake my lord!
For Percy is hard at hand."
"You lie, you lie, you little page!
Loud I hear you lie!
For Percy had not men yestreen
To dight my men and me
But I have dreamed a dreadful dream
Beyond the Isle of Skye
I saw a dead man win a fight
And I think that man was I."
He's belted on his good broad sword
And to the field he ran
But he forgot the helmet good
That should have kept his brain
They hacked their swords till the sweat did flow
Blood ran down like rain
And Percy wounded Douglas on the brow
And he fell never more to rise again
He's called to him the Lord Montgomery
"What recks the death on one?
Last night I dreamed a dreadful dream
And I know that this day is your own
Oh bury me by the bracken bush
'Neath the briar tree
Oh hide me by the bracken bush
That my merry men might not see."
The moon was clear, the day drew near
The spears in flinders flew
Many's the bold Englishman
Ere day these Scotsmen slew
The Percy and Montgomery met
The blood so free did flow
"Now yield thee, Percy," he says
"Or else I'll lay you low
You shall not yield to lord nor loun
Nor shall you yield to me
But yield unto the bracken bush
That grows by yonder briar tree."
"I will not yield to a bracken bush
Nor to a briar tree
But I would yield to Earl Douglas
Or else to Lord Montgomery."
This deed was done at the Otterburn
At the break of day
The buried Douglas by the bracken bush
And led Percy a captive away