It appears in the border minstrelsy collected by Sir Walter Scott and the Child Ballads.
It is an account of the Scottish victory at the Battle of Otterburn in 1388. This battle also inspired The Ballad of Chevy Chase, an English version, but the Scottish version is more historically accurate.
Walter Scott is reputed to have muttered its words "My wound is deep I am fain to sleep" shortly before he died.
The lead verse of the ballad is:
It fell about the Lammas tide,
- When the muir-men win their hay,
The doughty Earl of Douglas rode
- Into England, to catch a prey.
Famous quotes containing the word battle:
“Hell grant soon we hear again the swords clash!
And the shrill neighs of destriers in battle rejoicing,
Spiked breast to spiked breast opposing!”
—Ezra Pound (18851972)