The Braes o Yarrow

No: 214; variant: 214[S]

  1. There lived a lady in the South, Ye would scarcely find her marrow; She was courted by nine gentlemen An a ploughman-lad frae Yarrow.
  2. Ae nicht the nine sat drinkin wine To the lass wha had nae marrow, When the ploughman swore, tho they were a score He wad fecht them a’ in Yarrow.
  3. It’s he’s gane ower yon high, high hill, And doon yon glen sae narrow, An there he saw nine arme:d men, To fecht wi him in Yarrow.
  4. ‘There’s nine o you an I’m but ane, An that’s an unequal marrow, But wi this gude blade and powerfu arm I’ll lay you low on Yarrow.’
  5. It’s three he slew, and three withdrew, And three lay dead on Yarrow, But in behind cam her brother John, An pierced his body thorough.
  6. ‘Gae hame, gae hame, you fause young man, An tell your sister sorrow, That her true-love John lies dead and gone In the dowie dens o Yarrow.’
  7. ‘O father dear, I’ve dreamed a dream, I’m feared it will prove sorrow; I dreamed I was puin the heather-bells sweet On the bonny braes o Yarrow.’
  8. ‘O daughter dear, your dream is read, I’m feared it will prove sorrow; Your true-love John lies dead and gone In the dowie dens o Yarrow.’
  9. It’s she’s gane ower yon high, high hill, An doon yon glen sae narrow, An there she saw her true-love John Lyin cauld an dead on Yarrow.
  10. She washed his face an combed his hair, Wi muckle grief an sorrow, pshe rowed him i the plaid she wore, In the dowie dens o Yarrow.
  11. Her hair it was three quarters lang, The colour being yellow; She tied it round his middle sma, An carried him hame frae Yarrow.
  12. ‘O daughter dear, I pray forbear, I’ll wed you to another marrow; I’ll wed you to some fitter match Than the lad that died on Yarrow.’
  13. ‘O father dear, you hae seven sons, Should you wed them a’ to-morrow, A fairer flower never grew in June Than the lad that died on Yarrow.’
  14. This lady, being six months with child To the ploughman lad of Yarrow, She fell into her father’s arms An died wi grief on Yarrow.