Traditional Scottish Songs
- The Bonnie Bark

Allan Cunningham (1784-1842) who wrote this and many other works, ranks next to James Hogg as a writer of Scottish song. He wrote of the hills and valleys of his native Scottish Borders with warmth, simplicity and imagination. His A Wet Sheet and a Flowing Sea is regarded as one of the best British sea-songs, although written by a landsman. Here is another song of the sea...

The Bonnie Bark

O come, my bonnie bark!
      O'er the waves let us go,
With thy neck like the swan,
      And thy wings like the snow.
Spread thy plumes to the wind,
      For a gentle one soon
Must welcome us home,
      Ere the wane of the moon.

The proud oak that built thee
      Was nursed in the dew,
Where my gentle one dwells,
      And stately it grew.
I hew'd its beauty down;
      Now it swims on the sea,
And wafts spice and perfume,
      My fair one, to thee.

Oh, sweet, sweet 's her voice,
      As a low warbled tune;
And sweet, sweet her lips,
      Like the rose-bud of June.
She looks to sea, and sighs,
      As the foamy wave flows,
And treads on men's strength,
      As in glory she goes.

Oh haste, my bonnie bark,
      O'er the waves let us bound,
As the deer from the horn,
      Or the hare from the hound.
Pluck down thy white plumes,
      Sink thy keel in the sand,
Whene'er ye see my love,
      And the wave of her hand.

Return to the Index of Traditional Scottish Songs

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