The Persè owt off Northombarlonde,
and avowe to God mayd he
That he wold hunte in the mowntayns
off Chyviat within days thre,
In the magger of doughtè Dogles,
and all that euer with him be.
The Ballad of Chevy Chase takes its name from its setting, a piece of hunting land or "chase" in the Cheviot Hills, which lie between England and Scotland.
Percy, the Earl of Northumberland, is leading a large hunt in this chase, against the will of the Scottish Earl of Douglas who views it as an attack on his country. He sets upon the hunting party, resulting in a great battle with many casualties.
The ballad, said to be based on the events of the Battle of Otterburn, became a favourite right across England. It inspired the naming of the town of Chevy Chase in Maryland, USA and also the US comedian Chevy Chase.