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The Braes o Yarrow

No: 214; variant: 214I

  1. TEN lords sat drinking at the wine Intill a morning early; There fell a combat them among, It must be fought, nae parley.
  2. ‘O stay at hame, my ain gude lord! O stay, my ain dear marrow!’ ‘Sweetest min, I will be thine, An dine wi you tomorrow.’
  3. She kissd his lips, an combed his hair, As she had done before O, Gied him a brand down by his side, An he is on to Yarrow.
  4. As he gaed oer yon dowey knowe, As he had dane before O, Nine armed men lay in a den, Upo the braes o Yarrow.
  5. ‘O came ye here to hunt or hawk, As ye had dane before O? Or came ye here to wiel your brand, Upo the braes o Yarrow?’
  6. ‘I came nae here to hunt nor hawk, As I hae done before O; But I came here to wiel my brand, Upo the braes o Yarrow?’
  7. Four he hurt, an five he slew, Till down it fell himsell O; There stood a fause lord him behin, Who thrust his body thorrow.
  8. ‘Gae hame, gae hame, my brother John, An tell your sister sorrow; Your mither woud come take up her son, Aff o the braes o Yarrow.’
  9. As he gaed oer yon high, high hill, As he had dane before O, There he met his sister dear, Came rinnin fast to Yarrow.
  10. ‘I dreamd a dream last night,’ she says, ‘I wish it binna sorrow; I dreamd I was puing the heather green Upo the braes o Yarrow.’
  11. ‘I’ll read your dream, sister,’ he says, ‘I’ll read it into sorrow; Ye’re bidden gae take up your luve, He’s sleeping sound on Yarrow.’
  12. She’s torn the ribbons frae her head—- They were baith thick an narrow—- She’s kilted up her green claithing, An she’s awa to Yarrow.
  13. She’s taen him in her arms twa, An gaen him kisses thorough, An wi her tears she bath’d his wounds, Upo the braes o Yarrow.
  14. Her father, looking oer the castle-wa, Beheld his daughter’s sorrow; ‘O had your tongue, daughter,’ he says, ‘An lat be a’ your sorrow! I’ll wed you wi a better lord Than he that died on Yarrow.’
  15. ‘O had your tongue, father,’ she says, ‘An lat be till tomorrow! A better lord there coudna be Than he that died on Yarrow.’
  16. She kissd his lips, an combd his hair, As she had done before O, An wi a crack her head did brack, Upo the braes o Yarrow.