The Book of Scottish Song/The Bush aboon Traquair
The Bush aboon Traquair.
[This was first published in the Tea-Table Miscellany, 1724. The author is Robert Crawford of Drumsoy, not, as is generally stated, William Crawford of Auchinames. The air is very old. "The Bush aboon Traquair," says Mr. Robert Chambers, a native of the district, "was a small grove of birches that formerly adorned the west bank of the Quair water, in Peebles-shire, about a mile from Traquair house, the seat of the Earl of Traquair. But only a few spectral-looking remains now denote the spot so long celebrated in the popular poetry of Scotland. Leafless even in summer, and scarcely to be observed upon the bleak hill-side, they form a truly melancholy memorial of what must once have been an object of great pastoral beauty, as well as the scene of many such fond attachments as that delineated in the following verses."]
Hear me, ye nymphs, and ev'ry swain,
I'll tell how Peggy grieves me;
Though thus I languish and complain,
Alas! she ne'er believes me.
My vows and sighs, like silent air,
Unheeded, never move her;
The bonnie bush aboon Traquair,
'Twas there I first did love her.
That day she smil'd, and made me glad,
No maid seem'd ever kinder;
I thought myself the luckiest lad,
So sweetly there to find her.
I tried to soothe my am'rous flame,
In words that I thought tender:
If more there pass'd, I'm not to blame;
I meant not to offend her.
Yet now she scornful flies the plain,
The fields we then frequented;
If e'er we meet, she shows disdain,
She looks as ne'er acquainted.
The bonnie bush bloom'd fair in May;
Its sweets I'll aye remember;
But now her frowns make it decay;
It fades as in December.
Ye rural pow'rs who hear my strains,
Why thus should Peggy grieve me?
Oh! make her partner in my pains;
Then let her smiles relieve me.
If not, my love will turn despair;
My passion no more tender;
I'll leave the bush aboon Traquair;
To lonely wilds I'll wander.