Painting of Johnnie Armstrong's Return, by Henry Hetherington Emerson. Henry Hetherington Emerson (1831-1895) was a…
“The Lament of a Border Widow”
My Love he built me a bonny bower
And clad it a’ wi’ lilye flour;
A brawer bower ye ne’er did see
Than my true love he built for me.
There came a man by middle day,
He spied his sport and went away,
And brought the king, that very night,
Who brake my bower and slew my knight.
He slew my knight to me sae dear,
He slew my knight and poin’d his gear;
My servants all for life did flee
And left me in extremitie.
I sew’d his sheet, making my mane,
I watched the corpse myself alane,
I watched his body night and day;
No living creature came that way.
I took his body on my back,
And whiles I gaed, and whiles I sate;
I digg’d a grave and laid him in,
And happ’d him with the sod sae green.
But think na ye my heart was sair
When I laid the moul on his yellow hair?
O think na ye my heart was wae
When I turn’d about, away to gae?
Nae living man I’ll love again
Since that my lovely knight is slain;
Wi ae lock of his yellow hair
I’ll chain my heart for evermair.
” The Oxford Book of Ballads”, Selected and edited by James Kinsley, Oxford University Press, 1982, p.525