1813 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

William Hamilton of Bangour

Jeremiah Holmes Wiffen, "The Bard of Yarrow" Poems by Three Friends (1813) 42-44.



Weep ye, weep ye, my fair Scottish maids,
Weep ye, weep ye with dule and sorrow,
Weep ye, weep ye my fair Scottish maids,
Fast flow your tears by the Braes of Yarrow.

Why should they weep, the fair Scottish maids,
Why should they weep with dule and sorrow?
Hushed, ah hushed are the sweetly-plaintive notes,
Hushed are the notes of the Bard of Yarrow.

Ah why does his reed, his reed no more
Echo the lay that softens sorrow,
And bids flow the tear — ah why, ah why
Hushed are the notes of the Bard of Yarrow?

Yes they shall flow, the tears shall flow,
Flow o'er the lay that softens sorrow,
For cold is his hand, and low the Bard,
Where murmurs the rippling wave of Yarrow.

Sweet, ah sweet are the earliest flowers
That Spring in her wild forest-glen discloses,
The orchis that blooms with the green-mantled lily,
And gay daffodils with the pale primroses.

As sweet was his song, but the loveliest flower,
Blossoms to day, and dies to morrow;
Not so his lay, it shall live for ever,
The lay that has told of the Braes of Yarrow.

Sweet o'er his tomb let the wild rose blossom,
His green sod be spangled with daisies fair,
But weed ye, weed ye the noxious nettle,
And let not the nightshade flourish there.

And gather, ye maidens gather
Around his grave with dule and sorrow,
Oft let the loveliest forms of beauty,
Bend o'er his tomb by the Braes of Yarrow.

There weep ye, weep ye my fair Scottish maids,
Weep ye, weep ye with dule and sorrow,
Weep ye, weep ye, my fair Scottish maids,
Fast flow your tears for the Bard of Yarrow.