Verse > Anthologies > William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. > The Book of Restoration Verse
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William Stanley Braithwaite, ed.  The Book of Restoration Verse.  1910.
 
Bessie Bell and Mary Gray
Anonymous
 
O BESSIE BELL 1 and Mary Gray,
  They war twa bonnie lasses!
They bigget a bower on yon burn-brae,
  And theekit it o’er wi’ rashes.
 
They theekit it o’er wi’ rashes green,        5
  They theekit it o’er wi’ heather;
But the pest cam frae the burrows-town,
  And slew them baith thegither.
 
They thought to lie in Methven kirk-yard
  Amang their noble kin;        10
But they maun lye in Stronach haugh,
  To biek forenent the sin.
 
And Bessie Bell and Mary Gray,
  They war twa bonnie lasses;
They biggit a bower on yon burn-brae,        15
  And theekit it o’er wi’ rashes.
 
Note 1. From Sharpe’s Ballad Book, 1823. Tradition related that these young ladies, daughters of countrymen of Perth, to escape the plague which raged in 1645, built themselves a bower at a place called Burn-Braes, where they retired. After living there some time, they caught the infection from a young gentleman who brought their provisions and who was said to have been in love with both ladies. They were buried at Dranoch-haugh, near the river Almond. [back]
 
 
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