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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Scotland: Vols. VI–VIII. 1876–79.


The Braes of Yarrow

By John Logan (1748–1788)

THY braes were bonnie, Yarrow stream,

When first on them I met my lover;

Thy braes how dreary, Yarrow stream,

When now thy waves his body cover!

Forever, now, O Yarrow stream!

Thou art to me a stream of sorrow;

For never on thy banks shall I

Behold my love, the flower of Yarrow!

He promised me a milk-white steed,

To bear me to his father’s bowers;

He promised me a little page,

To squire me to his father’s towers;

He promised me a wedding-ring,—

The wedding-day was fixed to-morrow:

Now he is wedded to his grave,

Alas, his watery grave in Yarrow!

Sweet were his words when last we met,

My passion as I freely told him;

Clasped in his arms, I little thought

That I should nevermore behold him.

Scarce was he gone, I saw his ghost,—

It vanished with a shriek of sorrow;

Thrice did the Water Wraith ascend,

And give a doleful groan through Yarrow!

His mother from the window looked,

With all the longing of a mother;

His little sister weeping walked

The greenwood path to meet her brother:

They sought him east, they sought him west,

They sought him all the forest thorough;

They only saw the cloud of night,

They only heard the roar of Yarrow.

No longer from the window look;

Thou hast no son, thou tender mother!

No longer walk, thou lovely maid;

Alas, thou hast no more a brother!

No longer seek him east or west,

No longer search the forest thorough;

For wandering in the night so dark,

He fell a lifeless corse in Yarrow.

The tears shall never leave my cheek;

No other youth shall be my marrow;

I ’ll seek thy body in the stream,

And there with thee I ’ll sleep in Yarrow!

The tear did never leave her cheek:

No other youth became her marrow;

She found his body in the stream,

And with him now she sleeps in Yarrow.