Katherine Jafray

No: 221; variant: 221J

  1. THERE was a lass, as I heard say, Lived low down in a glen; Her name was Catharine Johnson, Weel known to many men.
  2. Doun cam the laird o Lamingtoun, Doun frae the South Countrie, And he is for this bonnie lass, Her bridegroom for to be.
  3. He’s askd her father and mother, The chief of a’ her kin, And then he askd the bonnie lass, And did her favour win.
  4. Doun cam an Ehglish gentleman, Doun frae the English border; He is for this bonnie lass, To keep his house in order.
  5. He askd her father and mother, As I do them say, But he never askd the lass hersell, Till on her wedding-day.
  6. But she has wrote a lang letter, And sealed it wi her hand, And sent it to Lord Lamington, To let him understand.
  7. The first line o the letter he read, He was baith glad and fain; But or he read the letter owre He was baith pale and wan.
  8. Then he has sent a messenger, And out through all his land, And four-and-twenty armed men Was all at his command.
  9. But he has left his merry men, Left them on the lea; And he’s awa to the wedding-house, To see what he could see.
  10. But when he came to the wedding-house, As I do understand, There were four-and-twenty belted knights Sat at a table round.
  11. They rose all for to honour him, For he was of high renown; They rose all for to welcome him, And bade him to sit doun.
  12. O meikle was the good red wine In silver cups did flow, But aye she drank to Lamingtoun, For with him would she go.
  13. O meikle was the good red wine In silver cups gaed round, At length they began to whisper words, None could them understand.
  14. ‘O came ye here for sport, young man? Or cam ye here for play? Or cam ye for our bonnie bride, On this her wedding-day?’
  15. ‘I came not here for sport,’ he said, ‘Neither did I for play; But for one word o your bonnie bride I’ll mount and ride away.’
  16. They set her maids behind her, To hear what they would say, But the first question he askd at her Was always [answered] nay; The next question he askd at her Was, ‘Mount and come away.’
  17. It’s up the Couden bank, And doun the Couden brae; And aye she made the trumpet sound, ‘It’s a weel won play.’
  18. O meikle was the blood was shed Upon the Couden brae; And aye she made the trumpet sound, ‘It’s a’ fair play.’
  19. Come, all ye English gentlemen, That is of England born, Come nae doun to Scotland, For fear ye get the scorn.
  20. They’ll feed ye up wi flattering words, And that’s fair play; And they’ll dress ye frogs instead o fish, Just on your wedding-day.