The Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border, by Walter Scott

Katherine Janfarie.

The Ballad was published in the first edition of this work, under the title of “The Laird of Laminton.” It is now given in a more perfect state, from several recited copies. The residence of the Lady, and the scene of the affray at her bridal, is said, by old people, to have been upon the banks of the Cadden, near to where it joins the Tweed. Others say the skirmish was fought near Traquair, and KATHERINE JANFARIE’S dwelling was in the glen, about three miles above Traquair house.

There was a may, and a weel far’d may.,

Lived high up in yon glen;

Her name was Katherine Janfarie,

She was courted by mony men.

Up then came Lord Lauderdale,

Up frae the Lawland border;

And he has come to court this may,

A’ mounted in good order.

He told na her father, he told na her mother,

And he told na ane o’ her kin;

But he whisper’d the bonnie lassie hersel’,

And has her favour won.

But out then cam Lord Lochinvar,

Out frae the English border,

All for to court this bonnie may,

Weil mounted, and in order.

He told her father, he told her mother,

And a’ the lave o’ her kin;

But he told na the bonnie may hersel’,

Till on her wedding e’en.

She sent to the Lord of Lauderdale,

Gin he wad come and see;

And he has sent word back again,

Weel answered she suld be.

And he has sent a messenger

Right quickly through the land,

And raised mony an armed man

To be at his command.

The bride looked out at a high window,

Beheld baith dale and down,

And she was aware of her first true love,

With riders mony a one.

She scoffed him, and scorned him,

Upon her wedding day;

And said —“It was the Fairy court

“To see him in array!

“O come ye here to fight, young lord,

“Or come ye here to play?

“Or come ye here to drink good wine

“Upon the wedding day?”

“I come na here to fight,” he said,

“I come na here to play;

“I’ll but lead a dance wi’ the bonnie bride,

“And mount and go my way.”

It is a glass of the blood-red wine

Was filled up them between,

And aye she drank to Lauderdale,

Wha her true love had been.

He’s ta’en her by the milk-white hand,

And by the grass-green sleeve;

He’s mounted her hie behind himsell,

At her kinsmen spear’d na leave.

“Now take your bride, Lord Lochinvar!

“Now take her if you may!

“But, if you take your bride again,

“We’ll call it but foul play.”

There were four-and-twenty bonnie boys,

A’ clad in the Johnstone grey;309

They said they would take the bride again,

By the strong hand, if they may.

Some o’ them were right willing men,

But they were na willing a’;

And four-and-twenty Leader lads

Bid them mount and ride awa’.

Then whingers flew frae gentles’ sides,

And swords flew frae the shea’s,

And red and rosy was the blood

Ran down the lily braes.

The blood ran down by Caddon bank,

And down by Caddon brae;

And, sighing, said the bonnie bride —

“O waes me for foul play!”

My blessing on your heart, sweet thing!

Wae to your willfu’ will!

There’s mony a gallant gentleman

Whae’s blude ye have garr’d to spill.

Now a’ you lords of fair England,

And that dwell by the English border,

Come never here to seek a wife,

For fear of sic disorder.

They’ll haik ye up, and settle ye bye,

Till on your wedding day;

Then gie ye frogs instead of fish,

And play ye foul foul play.

309 Johnstone grey— The livery of the ancient family of Johnstone.]

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Last updated Wednesday, March 5, 2014 at 22:29