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  1. 1 The Rose of Yarrow 07:04 Your price

    The Rose of Yarrow

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 The Rose of Yarrow  

(The Dowie Dens of Yarrow, Child#214)  Traditional, arranged and adapted by Andrew Calhoun, recorded on Rhymer's Tower: Ballads of the Anglo-Scottish Border.
 

At Dryhope lived a lady fair, 
The fairest flower in Yarrow; 
And she refused nine noble men 
For a servant lad in Gala. 

Her father said that he should fight 
The nine lords all to-morrow;
And he that should the victor be, 
Would win the Rose of Yarrow. 

She kissed his lips, and combed his hair, 
As oft she’d done before, O;
And set him on her milk-white steed, 
To fight for her in Yarrow. 

When he got oer yon high, high hill, 
And down the flat so narrow; 
It was there he saw nine armed men, 
In the gloomy dens of Yarrow. 

“There’s nine of you and one of me, 
Which makes the chances narrow;
But I will fight ye man for man, 
To win the Rose of Yarrow. 

There he flew and there he slew, 
And there he wounded sore O; 
When her brother sprang from a bush behind, 
And ran his body through. 

They took the young man by the heels, 
And trailed him like a harrow; 
And then they threw his body in 
To a whirlpool of Yarrow. 

The lady said, “I dreamed a dream 
That fills my heart with sorrow; 
I dreamed I was pullin’ the heather green, 
In the gloomy dens of Yarrow.” 

Her brother said, “I’ll read your dream 
And take it not in sorrow; 
Go to your true love if ye please, 
For he’s sleepin’ sound in Yarrow.” 

She sought him east, she sought him west, 
She searched the forest thorough; 
Until she spied her own true love, 
Lying deeply drowned in Yarrow. 

His hair was full five quarters long, 
Its colour was of yellow; 
She twined it round her lily hand, 
And drew him out of Yarrow. 

She kissed his lips, and combed his head, 
As oft she’d done before, O; 
She laid him oer her milk-white steed, 
And bore him home from Yarrow. 

“I meant to make my bed full wide, 
But you may make it narrow; 
For now I’ve none to be my guide, 
But a dead man drowned in Yarrow.” 

“Go hold your tongue,” her father said, 
“And take it not in sorrow; 
I’ll wed ye to a better match 
Than a servant lad in Gala.” 

“Hold your own tongue, my father dear, 
And breed me no more sorrow; 
A better lord was never born, 
Than the lad I lost in Yarrow. 

‘Take home your oxen, take home your cows, 
For they have bred our sorrow; 
 I wish that they had all gone mad, 
When they came first to Yarrow.’