English ballad (Child #168) about their victory of the Battle of Flodden, Sept 9, 1513. James IV of Scotland was the last European monarch killed in battle. His wife Margaret was the sister of England's Henry VIII. Adapted by Andrew Calhoun. Recorded on Rhymer's Tower: Ballads of the Anglo-Scottish Border.
Scotland’s king hath made a vow,
Keep it well if he may;
That he will conquer England
Upon Saint James, his day.
“Upon Saint James’ day at noon,
At fair London will I be,
And all the lords of Scotland,
Shall dine there with me.”
Then up spoke good Queen Margaret,
The tears fell from her eye:
“Leave off these wars, most noble king,
Keep your fidelity.
“The water runs swift and wondrous deep,
From the bottom to the brim;
My brother Henry hath men good enough;
England is hard to win.”
At Flodden Field the Scots came in,
And stood in wind and rain.
At Brankston Green, this battle was seen,
And there King James was slain.
The Scots then fled in disarray,
The English beat them blind;
Their cannons were all won away,
Their ensigns left behind.
Twelve thousand were slain on Flodden Field
That to the fight did stand,
And many earls and lords were taken,
The best in all Scotland.
That day made many a fatherless child,
And many a widow poor,
And many a noble lady
Sat weeping in her bower.