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Sir Walter Scott
The Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border
Katharine Janfarie


The ballad was published in the first edition of this work, under the title of "The Laird of Laminton." It is here given in a more perfect state, from several recital 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 Katharine Janfarie's dwelling was in the glen about three miles above Traquair House.*

KATHARINE JANFARIE

There was a may, and a weel-far'd may,
Lived high up in yon glen;
Her name was Katharine 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 nae ane o' her kin:
But he whisper'd the bonnie lassie hersell,
And has her favour won.

But out then cam Lord Lochinvar,**
Our frae the English Border,
All for to court this bonny may,
Weel 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 hersell
Till on her wedding e'en.

She sent to the Lord o' Lauderdale,
Gin he wad come and see;
And he has sent word back again,
Weel answer'd 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 bonny 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 monted her hie behind himsell,
At her kinsmen speir'd na leave. +++

"Now take your bride, Lord Lochinvar!
Now take her if you may!
But, if you take your bride agine,
We'll call it but foul play."

There were four-and twenty bonnie boys
A' clad in the Johnstone grey;*+
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
But 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 bonny bride -
"O wae's me for foul play!"**+

My blessing on your heart, sweet thing!
Wae to your wilfu' will!
There's mony a gallant gentleman
Whae's bluid 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.

*{At page 225 of Motherwell, the reader will find another version of this ballad, in which the heroine bears not the name of of Janfarie, but Johnstone, and her lover is, as in the first edition of the Minstrelsy, the Laird of Lamington - i.e. Baillie of Lamington, in Clydesdale, the head of that ancient family. - ED.}
** Gordon of Lochinvar, head of a powerful branch of that name, afterwards Viscounts of Lochinvar.
*** {"Then spoke the bride's father, his hand on his sword,
For the poor craven bridegroom said never a word,
'O come ye in peace here, or come ye in war,
Or to dance at our bridal, young Lord Lochinvar?'"
- Lady Heron's Songs, Marmion, Canto V.}
+ {"'I long woo'd your daughter, my suit ye denied -
Love swells like the Solway, but ebbs like its tide -
And now am I come, with this lost love of mine,
To lead but one measure, drink one cup of wine.'"
- Ibid.}
++ "The bride kiss'd the goblet; the knight took it up.
He quaffed off the wine, and he threw down the cup,
She looked down to blush, and she looked up to sigh,
With a smile on her lips, and a tear in her eye."
- Ibid.}
+++ {"One touch to her hand, and one word in her ear,
When they reach'd the hall door, and the charger stood near.
So light to the croupe the fair lady he swung,
So light to the saddle before her he sprung!
'She is won! we are gane, over bank, bush, and scaur;
They'll have fleet steeds that follow,' quoth young Lochinvar."
- Ibid.}
*+ Johnstone Grey - The livery of the ancient family of Johnstone. {This circumstance appears to support the Clydesdale copy, which gives Katharine the surname of Johnstone. I incline to suspect that she was a Johnstone of Wamphray, and that Katharine o' Wamphray has been blundered, by the Ettrick reciters, into Katharine Jeffrey, vulgarly pronounced Janfarie. - ED.}
**+ {"It's up at the Cowden bank,
And down the Cowden brae;
And aye she made the trumpet sound
It's a weel won play.
O meikle was the blood was shed
Upon the Cowden brae,
And aye she made the trumpet sound,
It's a' fair play." MOTHERWELL, p. 229.}

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