The Braes o Yarrow
No: 214; variant: 214L
- AT Dryhope lived a lady fair,
The fairest flower in Yarrow,
And she refused nine noble men
For a servan lad in Gala.
- Her father said that he should fight
The nine lords all to-morrow,
And he that should the victor be
Would get the Rose of Yarrow.
- Quoth he, You’re nine, an I’m but ane,
And in that there’s no much marrow;
Yet I shall fecht ye, man for man,
In the dowie dens o Yarrow.
- She kissed his lips, and combed his hair,
As oft she’d done before, O,
An set him on her milk-white steed,
Which bore him on to Yarrow.
- When he got oer yon high, high hill,
An down the dens o Yarrow,
There did he see the nine lords all,
But there was not one his marrow.
- ‘Now here ye’re nine, an I’m but ane,
But yet I am not sorrow;
For here I’ll fecht ye, man for man,
For my true love in Yarrow.’
- Then he wheeld round, and fought so fierce
Till the seventh fell in Yarrow,
When her brother sprang from a bush behind,
And ran his body thorough.
- He never spoke more words than these,
An they were words o sorrow;
‘Ye may tell my true love, if ye please,
That I’m sleepin sound in Yarrow.’
- They’ve taen the young man by the heels
And trailed him like a harrow,
And then they flung the comely youth
In a whirlpool o Yarrow.
- The lady said, I dreamed yestreen—-
I fear it bodes some sorrow—-
That I was pu’in the heather green
On the scroggy braes o Yarrow.’
- Her brother said, I’ll read your dream,
But it should cause nae sorrow;
Ye may go seek your lover hame,
For he’s sleepin sound in Yarrow.
- Then she rode oer yon gloomy height,
An her heart was fu o sorrow,
But only saw the clud o night,
Or heard the roar o Yarrow.
- But she wandered east, so did she wast,
And searched the forest thorough,
Until she spied her ain true love,
Lyin deeply drowned in Yarrow.
- His hair it was five quarters lang,
Its colour was the yellow;
She twined it round her lily hand,
And drew him out o Yarrow.
- She kissed his lips, and combed his head,
As oft she’d done before, O;
She laid hin oer her milk-white steed,
An bore him home from Yarrow.
- She washed his wounds in yon well-strand,
And dried him wi the hollan,
And aye she sighed, and said, Alas!
For my love I had him chosen.
- ‘Go hold your tongue,’ her father said,
‘There’s little cause for sorrow;
I’ll wed ye on a better lad
Than ye hae lost in Yarrow.’
- ‘Haud your ain tongue, my faither dear,
I canna help my sorrow;
A fairer flower neer sprang in May
Than I hae lost in Yarrow.
- ‘I meant to make my bed fu wide,
But you may make it narrow;
For now I’ve nane to be my guide
But a deid man drowned in Yarrow.’
- An aye she screighed, and cried Alas!
Till her heart did break wi sorrow,
An sank into her faither’s arms,
Mang the dowie dens o Yarrow.