The Braes of Yarrow, pp.242-246.

[Tea-Table Miscellany Contents]

BUsk ye, busk ye, my bonny bonny bride, 

Busk ye, busk ye, my winsom marrow, 

Busk ye, busk ye, my bonny bonny bride, 

And let us leave the braes of Yarrow

– 

Where got ye that bonny bonny bride, 

Where got ye that winsom marrow? 

I got her where I durst not well be seen, 

Puing the birks on the braes of Yarrow

– 

Weep not, weep not, my bonny bonny bride, 

Weep not, weep not, my winsom marrow, 

Nor let thy heart lament to leave 

Puing the birks on the braes of Yarrow

– 

Why does she weep, thy bonny bonny bride? 

Why does she weep, thy winsome marrow? 

And why dare ye nae mair well be seen, 

Puing the birks on the braes of Yarrow? 

– 

Lang must she weep, lang must she, must she weep, 

Lang must she weep with dole and sorrow, 

And lang must I nae mair well be seen 

Puing the birks on the braes of Yarrow

– 

For she has tint her lover, lover dear, 

Her lover dear, the cause of sorrow, 

And I have slain the comliest swain, 

That ever pued birks on the braes of Yarrow

– 

Why runs thy stream, O Yarrow, Yarrow, reid? 

Why on thy braes heard the voice of sorrow? 

And why yon melancholious weeds, 

Hung on the bony birks of Yarrow? 

– 

What’s yonder floats on the rueful, rueful flood? 

What’s yonder floats? O dole and sorrow, 

O ‘tis the comely swain I slew 

Upon the doleful braes of Yarrow

– 

Wash, O wash his wounds, his wounds in tears, 

His wounds in tears of dole and sorrow, 

And wrap his limbs in murning weeds, 

And lay him on the braes of Yarrow

– 

Then build, then build, ye sisters, sisters fad, 

Ye sisters sad, his tomb with sorrow, 

And weep around in woful wise, 

His helpless fate on the braes of Yarrow

– 

Curse ye, curse ye, his useless, useless shield, 

My arm that wrought the deed of sorrow, 

The fatal spear that pierc’d his breast 

His comly breast on the braes of Yarrow

– 

Did I not warn thee not to, not to love, 

And warn from fight? but to my sorrow, 

Too rashly bold, a stronger arm 

Thou met’st, and fell on the braes of Yarrow

– 

Sweet smells the birk, green grows, green grows the Grass, 

Yellow on Yarrow’s braes the gowan, 

Fair hangs the apple frae the rock, 

Sweet the wave of Yarrow flowan. 

– 

Flows Yarrow sweet, as sweet, as sweet flows Tweed

As green its grass, its gowan as yellow, 

As sweet smells on its braes the birk, 

The apple from its rocks as mellow. 

– 

Fair was thy love, fair, fair indeed thy love, 

In flow’ry bands thou him didst fetter; 

Tho’ he was fair, and well belov’d again, 

Than me he never lov’d thee better. 

– 

Busk ye, then busk, my bony bony bride, 

Busk ye, then busk, my winsom marrow, 

Busk ye, and loe me on the banks of Tweed

And think nae mare on the braes of Yarrow

– 

How can I busk a bony bony bride? 

How can I busk a winfom marrow? 

How loe him on the banks of Tweed

That slew my love on the braes of Yarrow? 

– 

O Yarrow fields, may never, never rain, 

No dew thy tender blossoms cover, 

For there was vilely kill’d my love, 

My love as he had not been a lover. 

– 

The boy put on his robes, his robes of green, 

His purple vest, ‘twas my awn sewing, 

Ah! wretched me, I little, little knew, 

He was in these to meet his ruin. 

– 

The boy took out his milk white, milk white steed, 

Unheedful of my dole and sorrow, 

But e’er the toofal of the night, 

He lay a corps on the braes of Yarrow

– 

Much I rejoyc’d that woeful, woeful day, 

I sung, my voice the woods returning, 

But lang e’er night, the spear was flown 

That slew my love, and Ieft me mourning. 

– 

What can my barbarous, barbarous father do, 

But with his cruel rage pursue me? 

My lover’s blood is on thy spear; 

How can’st thou, barbarous man, then woo me? 

– 

My happy sisters may be, may be proud, 

With cruel and ungentle scoffing, 

May bid me seek on Yarrow’s braes 

My lover nailed in his coffin. 

– 

My brother Douglas may upbraid, 

And strive with threatning words to move me. 

My lover’s blood is on thy spear, 

How can’st thou ever bid me love thee? 

– 

Yes, yes, prepare the bed, the bed of love, 

With bridal sheets my body cover, 

Unbar, ye bridal maids, the door, 

Let in the expected husband lover. 

– 

But who the expected husband, husband is? 

His hands, methink, are bath’d in slaughter. 

Ah me! what ghastly spectre’s yon, 

Comes, in his pale shroud, bleeding after? 

– 

Pale as he is, here lay him, lay him down, 

O lay his cold head on my pillow; 

Take aff, take aff these bridal weeds, 

And crown my careful head with yellow. 

– 

Pale tho’ thou art, yet best, yet best belov’d, 

O could my warmth to life restore thee; 

Yet lye all night between my breasts; 

No youth lay ever there before thee. 

– 

Pale, pale indeed, O lovely, lovely youth! 

Forgive, forgive so foul a slaughter, 

And ly all night between my breasts, 

No youth shall ever lye there after. 

– 

Return, return, O mournful, mournful bride, 

Return and dry thy useless sorrow, 

Thy lover heeds nought of thy sighs, 

He lies a corps in the braes of Yarrow

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