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Broadside ballad entitled 'The Dowie Dens o' Yarrow'


The Dowie Dens o' Yarrow

Late at e'en, drinking the wine,
And ere they paid the lawing,
They set a combat them between,
To fight it in the dawing.

"You took our sister to be your wife,
And thought her not your marrow ;
You stole her frae her father's back,
When she was the Rose o' Yarrow."

"I took your sister to be my wife,
And I made her my morrow ;
I stole her frae her father's back,
And she's still the Rose o' Yarrow."

He has hame to his lady gane,
As he has dene before, O;
Says, "Madam, I maun   keep a tryst,
On the dewie dens o' Yarrow!"

"O stay at hame, my noble lord,
O stay at hame, my marrow ;
My cruel brother will you betray
On she dowie dens o' Yarrow."

"Now, hold your tongue, my lady fair,
For what needs a' this sorrow ?
For if I gae I'll soon return
Frae the dowie dens o' Yarrow."

She kiss'd his cheek, she kaim'd his hair
As of t she'd done before, O;
She belted him wi' his noble brand,
And he's awa' to Yarrow.

As he gaed up the Tennies bank,
I wot he gaed wi' sorrow ;
Till in a den he spied nine armed men,
n the dowie dens o' Yarrow.

"O come ye here to hunt or hawk,
The bonnie forest thorough?
Or come ye here to part your land,
On the dowie dens o' Yarrow ?"

"I come not here to hunt or hawk,
The bonnie forest thorough;
Nor come I here to part my land ,
But I'll fight wi' you on Yarrow.

"If I see all, ye're nine to ane,
And that's an unequal marrow;
Yet I will fight while lasts my brand,
On the bonnie banks o' Yarrow."

Four has he hurt, and five has slain,
On the bloody braes o' Yarrow,
Till that stubborn knight cam' him behind,
And ran his body thorough.

"Gae hame, gae hame, my glide brother John,
What needs this dule and sorrow ?
Gae hame, and tell my lady dear,
That I sleep sound on Yarrow."

As he gaed owre yon high high hill,
As he had done before, O;
There he met his sister dear,
Was coming fast to Yarrow.

"O gentle wind, that bloweth south,
From where my love repaireth,
Convey a kiss from his dear mouth,
And tell me how he fareth !

"I dream'd a dreary dream last nicht;
God keep us frae a' sorrow!
I dream'd I pu'd the birk sae green,
Wi 'my true love on Yarrow."

"I'll read your dream, my sister dear,
I'll tell you a' your sorrow ;
You pu'd the birk wi' your true love;
He's killed, he's killed on Yarrow."

She's torn the ribbons frae her head,
That were baith thick and narrow;
She's kiltit up her green claithing,
And she's awa' to Yarrow.

Sometimes she rade, sometimes she gaed,
As oft she'd done before, O;
And a' between she fell in a sweine,
Lang ere she cam' to Yarrow.

As she sped down yon high high hill,
She goed wi' dule and sorrow;
And in the glen spied ten slain men,
On the dowie dens o' Yarrow.

She's taen him in her airms twa,
And geiu him kisses thorough;
And wi' her tears had washed his wounds
On the dowie dons o' Yarrow.

"Now hand your tongue, my daughter dear,
For a' this breeds but sorrow;
I'll wed ye to a better lord
Than him ye lost on Yarrow."

She kissed his lips and kaimed his hair,
As oft she'd done before, O;
Syne wi' a sigh her heart did break,
On the dowie braes o' Yarrow.

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Probable period of publication: 1880-1900   shelfmark: RB.m.143(120)
Broadside ballad entitled 'The Dowie Dens o' Yarrow'
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