The Braes o Yarrow

No: 214; variant: 214M

  1. O AY he sat, and ay he drank, An ay he counted the laying, An ay he drank to the lass’es health Was to meet him in the dawning.
  2. Up he gaes on yon high, high hill, An a wat he geas wi sorrow, An in a den he spy’d nine well armd men, On the dowie banks of Yarrow.
  3. ‘Oh woe be to young women’s wit! For the’ve bred to me meikle sorrow; She promisd for to meet me here, An she’s sent nine men to slay me.
  4. ‘But there is two swords in my scabba[rd], They cost me gold and money; Tak ye the best, and I’ll tak the wa[rst], An come man for man, I’ll not fly yo[u].’
  5. Ay he stood, an ay he fought, Till it was near the dawning, Then up an rose her brother James, An has slain him in the dawning.
  6. ‘O the last night I dreamd a dream, God keep us a’ frae sorrow! I dreamd I was powing the heather green In the dowie banks of Yarrow.’
  7. Up she gaes on yon high, high hill, An a wat she gaes with sorrow, An in a den she spy’d nine slain men, In the dowie banks of Yarrow.
  8. ‘O the last time I saw my love He was a’ clad oer in tartan; But now he’s a’ clad oer in red, An he’s a’ blood to the gartin.’
  9. She kist his mouth, an she’s combd his hair, As she had done before, O, She drank the blood that from him ran, In the dowie banks of Yarrow.
  10. ‘O hold your tongue now. daughter,’ he says, ‘An breed to me no more sorrow; For I’ll wed you on a better match Than you have lost on Yarrow.’
  11. ‘Hold your tongue now, father,’ she says, ‘An breed to me no more sorrow; For a better rose will never spring Than I have lost on Yarrow.’