The Braes o Yarrow

No: 214; variant: 214D

  1. THERE were three lords drinking of wine On the bonny braes of Yarrow; There fell a combat them between, Wha was the rose of Yarrow.
  2. Up then spak a noble lord, And I wot it was bot sorrow: ‘I have as fair a flower,’ he said, ‘As ever sprang on Yarrow.’
  3. Then he went hame to his ain house, For to sleep or the morrow, But the first sound the trumpet gae Was, Mount and haste to Yarrow.
  4. ‘Oh stay at hame,’ his lady said, ‘Oh stay untill the morrow, And I will mount upon a steed, And ride with you to Yarrow.’
  5. ‘Oh hawd your tongue, my dear,’ said he, ‘And talk not of the morrow; This day I have to fight again, In the dowy deans of Yarrow.’
  6. As he went up yon high, high hill, Down the dowy deans of Yarrow, There he spy’d ten weel armd men, There was nane o them his marrow.
  7. Five he wounded and five he slew, In the dowy deans of Yarrow, But an English-man out of a bush Shot at him a lang sharp arrow.
  8. ‘Ye may gang hame, my brethren three, Ye may gang hame with sorrow, And say this to my fair lady, I am sleeping sound on Yarrow.’
  9. ‘Sister, sister, I dreamt a dream—- You read a dream to gude, O! That I was puing the heather green On the bonny braes of Yarrow.’
  10. ‘Sister, sister, I’ll read your dream, But alas! it’s unto sorrow; Your good lord is sleeping sound, He is lying dead on Yarrow.’
  11. She as pu’d the ribbons of her head, And I wot it was wi sorrow, And she’s gane up yon high, high hill, Down the dowy deans of Yarrow.
  12. Her hair it was five quarters lang, The colour of it was yellow; She as ty’d it round his middle jimp, And she as carried him frae Yarrow.
  13. ‘O hawd your tongue!’ her father says, ‘What needs a’ this grief and sorrow? I’ll wed you on as fair a flower As ever sprang on Yarrow.’
  14. ‘No, hawd your tongue, my father dear, I’m fow of grief and sorrow; For a fairer flower ne[v]er sprang Than I’ve lost this day on Yarrow.’
  15. This lady being big wi bairn, And fow of grief and sorrow, She as died within her father’s arms, And she died lang or the morrow.