“Gin my seven sons were seven young rats,
Running on the castle wa,
And I were a grey cat mysell,
I soon would worry them a’.
“Gin my young sons were seven young hares,
Running oer yon lilly lee,
And I were a grew hound mysell,
Soon worried they a’ should be.”
And wae and sad Fair Annie sat,
And drearie was her sang,
And ever, as she sobbd and grat,
“Wae to the man that did the wrang!”
“My gown is on,” said the new-come bride,
“My shoes are on my feet,
And I will to Fair Annie’s chamber,
And see what gars her greet.
“What ails ye, what ails ye, Fair Annie,
That ye make sic a moan?
Has your wine-barrels cast the girds,
Or is your white bread gone?
“O wha was’t was your father, Annie,
Or wha was’t was your mother?
And had ye ony sister, Annie,
Or had ye ony brother?”
“The Earl of Wemyss was my father,
The Countess of Wemyss my mother;
And a’ the folk about the house
To me were sister and brother.”
“If the Earl of Wemyss was your father,
I wot sae was he mine;
And it shall not be for lack o gowd
That ye your love sall fyne.
“For I have seven ships o mine ain,
A’ loaded to the brim,
And I will gie them a’ to thee
Wi four to thine eldest son:
But thanks to a’ the powers in heaven
That I gae maiden hame!”
Ballad: The Dowie Dens Of Yarrow
(Child, Part III. Early Edition.)
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.
“Oh, stay at hame, my noble lord,
Oh, stay at hame, my marrow!
My cruel brother will you betray
On the dowie houms of Yarrow.”
“Oh, fare ye weel, my ladye gaye!
Oh, fare ye weel, my Sarah!
For I maun gae, though I ne’er return,
Frae the dowie banks of Yarrow.”
She kiss’d his cheek, she kaim’d his hair,
As oft she had done before, O;
She belted him with his noble brand,
And he’s away to Yarrow.
As he gaed up the Tennies bank,
I wot he gaed wi’ sorrow,
Till, down in a den, he spied nine arm’d men,
On the dowie houms of Yarrow.
“Oh, come ye here to part your land,
The bonnie Forest thorough?
Or come ye here to wield your brand,
On the dowie houms of Yarrow?”
“I come not here to part my land,
And neither to beg nor borrow;
I come to wield my noble brand,
On the bonnie banks of Yarrow.
“If I see all, ye’re nine to ane;
An that’s an unequal marrow:
Yet will I fight, while lasts my brand,
On the bonnie banks of Yarrow.”
Four has he hurt, and five has slain,
On the bloody braes of Yarrow;
Till that stubborn knight came him behind,
And ran his body thorough.