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Broadside ballad entitled 'Braes of Yarrow'




Copies can always be had in the Poet's Box, [80] London Street, Glasgow.


A.         "BUSK ye, busk ye, my bonnie, bonnie bride !
        Busk ye, busk ye, my winsome marrow !
        Busk ye, busk ye, my bonnie, bonnie bride,
        And think nae mair of the braes of Yarrow.
B.         "Where gat ye that bonnie, bonnie bride,
        Where gat ye that winsome marrow ?"
A.         " I get her whare I daurna weel be seen,
        Puing the birks on the braes of Yarrow,
        Weip not weip not, my bonnie, bonnie bride,
        Weip not weip not, my winsome marrow !
        Nor let thy heart lament to leive
        Puing the birks on the braes of Yarrow,
B.         " Why does she weip, thy bonnie, bonnie bride,
        Why does she weip, thy winsome marrow,
        And why daur ye nae mair be seen,
        Puing the birks on the braes of Yarrow.

A.         " Lang maun she weip, lang maun she, maun she weip,
        Lang maun she weip wi' dule and sorrow,
        And lang maun I nae mair weel be seen
        Puing the birks on the braes of Yarrow.

        For she has tint her luver, luver deir,
        Her luver deir, the cause of sorrow ;
        And I ha'e slain the comeliest swain
        That e'er pu'd birks on the braes of Yarrow.

        Why runs thy stream, O Yarrow. Yarrow, red,
        Why on thy braes heard the voice of sorrow:
        And why yon melancholious weids,
        Hung on the bonnie birks of Yarrow ?

        What's yonder floats on the rueful, rueful flude?
        What's yonder floats ??Oh, dule and sorrow !
        "Tis he, the comely swain I slew
        Upon the dulefu" braes of Yarrow.

        Wash, oh wash his wounds, his wounds in tears,
        His wounds in tears o' dule and sorrow;
        And wrap his limbs in mourning weids.
        And lay him on the banks of Yarrow.

        Then build, then build, ye sisters, sisters, sad,
        Ye sisters sad, his tomb wi' sorrow,
        And weip around, in waeful wise,
        His hapless fate on the braes of Yarrow!

        Curse ye, curse ye, his useless, useless shield,
        The arm that wrocht the deed of sorrow,
        The fatal spier that pierced his briest,
        His comely briest 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,
        Thou met'st, and fell on the braes of Yarrow.

        Sweit smells the birk; green grows, green grows the grass
        Yellow on Yarrow's braes the gowan;
        Fair hangs the apple frae the rock;
        Sweit the wave of Yarrow flowen !

        Flows Yarrow sweit ? as sweit, as sweit flows Tweed ;
        As green its grass; its gowan as yellow ;
        As sweit smells on its braes the birk ;
        The apple from its rock as mellow !

        Fair was thy love, fair, fair, indeed, thy love !
        In flowery bands thou didst him fetter;
        Though he was fair, and well-beloved again,
        Than me he never loved thee better.

        Busk ye. then, busk, my bonnie, bonnie bride!
        Busk ye, busk ye, my winsome marrow;
        Busk ye, and lo'e me on the banks o' Tweed,
        And think nae mair on the braes of Yarrow."

        C. " How can I busk a bonnie, bonnie bride !
        How can I busk a winsome marrow;
        How can I lo'e him on the banks o' Tweed,
        That slew my love on the braes of Yarrow !

        Oh, Yarrow fields, may never, never rain,
        Nor dew the tender blossoms cover!
        For there was basely slain my love,
        My love, as he had been a lover.

        The boy put on his robes his robes of green,
        His purple vest?'twas my ain sewing;
        Ah, wretched me ! I little, little kenned,
        He was, in these, to meet his ruin.         

        The boy took out his milk-white, milk-white Steed,
        Unmindful of my dule and sorrow;
        But, ere the too-fa' of the nicht,
        He lay a corpse on the banks of Yarrow !

        Much I rejoiced, that waefu', waefu' day;
        I sang, my voice the woods returning;
        But, lang eare nicht, the spear was flowing,
        That slew my love, and left me mourning.

        What can my barbarous, barbarous father do,
        But with his cruel rage pursue me ?
        My lover's blude is on thy spear-
        How canst 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 braes,
        My luver nailed in his coffin.

        My brother Douglas may upraid,
        And strive with threatening words to muva me ;
        My luver's bluid is on thy spear-
        How canst thou ever bid me love thee ?

        Yes, yes prepare the bed, the bed of luve !
        With bridal sheets my body cover !
        Unbar, ye bridal mades, the door!
        Let in th expected husband lover!

        But who the expected husband, husband is?
        His hands, methinks are bathed in slaughter !
        Ah, me! what gastly 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 off, take off, these bridal weids!
        And crown my careful head with willow.

        Pale though thou art, yet best, yet best beloved,
        Oh, could my warmth to life restore thee!
        Yet lie all night between my breists?
        No youth lay ever there before thee!

        Pale, pale, indeed, oh lovely, lovely youth,
        Forgive, forgive so foul a slaughter,
        And lie all night between my breists,
        No youth shall ever lie there after!"

        A. " Return, return, O mournful, mournful bride !
        Return, and dry thy useless sorrow !
        Thy luver heids nocht of thy sighs;
        Ho lies a corpse on the braes of Yarrow."

        Saturday-morning. 2nd July 1870.

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Date of publication: 1870   shelfmark: RB.m.143(003)
Broadside ballad entitled 'Braes of Yarrow'
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