Verse > Anthologies > > Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. > The Oxford Book of Victorian Verse
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Arthur Quiller-Couch, comp.  The Oxford Book of Victorian Verse.  1922.
 
The Bush aboon Traquair
By John Campbell Shairp (1819–1885)
 
  WILL ye gang wi’ me and fare
  To the bush aboon Traquair?
Owre the high Minchmuir we ’ll up and awa’,
    This bonny simmer noon,
    While the sun shines fair aboon,        5
And the licht sklents saftly doun on holm 1 and ha’.
 
  ‘And what wad ye do there,
  At the bush aboon Traquair?
A lang dreich 2 road, ye had better let it be;
    Save some old scrunts o’ birk        10
    I’ the hill-side that lirk
There ’s nocht i’ the world for man to see.’
 
  But the blythe lilt o’ that air,
  ‘The Bush aboon Traquair,’
I need nae mair, it ’s eneuch for me;        15
    Owre my cradle its sweet chime
    Cam sughin’ frae auld time,
Sae, tide what may, I’ll awa’ and see.
 
  ‘And what saw ye there,
  At the bush aboon Traquair?        20
Or what did ye hear that was worth your heed?’
    —I heard the cushies croon
    Thro’ the gowden afternoon,
And the Quair burn singing down to the Vale o’ Tweed.
 
  And birks saw I three or four        25
  Wi’ grey moss bearded owre,
The last that are left o’ the birken shaw,
    Whar mony a simmer e’en
      Fond lovers did convene,
They bonny bonny gloamings that are lang awa’.        30
 
  Fra mony a but and ben, 3
  By muirland, holm and glen,
They came ane hour to spen’ on the greenwood sward;
    But lang ha’e lad an’ lass
    Been lying ’neath the grass,        35
The green green grass o’ Traquair Kirkyard.
 
  They were blest beyond compare
  When they held their trysting there,
Amang thae greenest hills shone on by the sun;
    And then they wan a rest,        40
    The lonest and the best,
I’ Traquair Kirkyard when a’ was done.
 
  Now the birks to dust may rot,
  Name o’ luvers be forgot,
Nae lads and lasses there ony mair convene;        45
    But the blythe lilt o’ yon air
    Keps the bush aboon Traquair,
And the luve that ance was there, aye fresh and green.
 
Note 1. holm.  water-mead. [back]
Note 2. dreich.  dry, tedious. [back]
Note 3. but and ben.  cottage kitchen and parlour. [back]
 
 
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