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The Braes o Yarrow

No: 214; variant: 214J

  1. IN Thoro town there lives a maid, I am sure she has no marrow; For she has forsaken both lords and knights, And loved a servant-lad in Galla.
  2. Evening and morning her page he ran, Her page he ran wi sorrow, With letters bound, just frae the town, To the servant-lad in Galla.
  3. Her father he got word of that, And he’s bred all her sorrow; He sent him forth to fight wi nine, In the dowie glens of Yarrow.
  4. She washd his face, she combd his hair, She thought he had no marrow; Wi a thrusty rapier by his side, She sent him forth to Yarrow.
  5. She’s taen fareweel of him that day, As she had done before, O, And she’s comd back to her bonny bower, But her love’s away to Yarrow.
  6. He wanderd up, he wandred down, His heart was full of sorrow; There he spied nine gentlemen, Watering their steeds in Yarrow.
  7. ‘O come away, young man,’ they said, ‘I’m sure ye’r no our marrow; Ye’r welcome here, young man,’ they said, ‘For the bonny lass o Thorro.’
  8. ‘Nine against one, weel do ye ken, That’s no an equal marrow; Yet for my love’s sake I’ll venture my life, In the dowie glens of Yarrow.’
  9. Five was wounded, and four was slain, Amongst them a’ he had no marrow; He’s mounted on his horse again, Cries, I have won the bonny lass of Thorro!
  10. Up then spake her father dear—- And he’s bred all her sorrow—- And wi a broad sword ran him through, In the dowie glens of Yarrow.
  11. ‘I have dreamd a dream, father, I doubt I have dreamd for sorrow; I dreamd I was pouing the heather green Wi my true love in Yarrow.’
  12. ‘O I will read your dream, daughter, Although it be for your sorrow; Go, and ye’ll find your love lying sound, In a heather-bush in Yarrow.’
  13. She’s calld on her maidens then—- Her heart was full of sorrow—- And she’s away wi her maidens twa, To the dowie glens o Yarrow.
  14. She wandered up, she wandred down, In the dowie glens of Yarrow, And there she spied her lobe lying sound, In a heather-bush in Yarrow.
  15. She’s washd hin in the clear well-strand, She’s dry’d him wi the holland, And aye she sighd, and said, Alass! For my love I had him chosen.
  16. His hair it was three quarters long, Three quarters long and yellow; And she’s rapt it round her middle small, And brought it home to Thorro.
  17. ‘O hold your tongue, my daughter dear, And talk no more of sorrow; I’ll soon wed you on a better match Than your servant-lad in Galla.’
  18. ‘O you may wed a’ your seven sons, I wish you may wed them in sorrow: O you may wed a’ your seven sons, For you’ll neer wed the bonny lass of Thoro.’
  19. This lady being big wi child, And her heart was full wi sorrow, She died between her father’s arms, In the bonny house of Thorro.