Verse > Harvard Classics > Robert Burns > Poems and Songs
  PREVIOUS NEXT  
CONTENTS · BOOK CONTENTS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD · GLOSSARY
Robert Burns (1759–1796).  Poems and Songs.
The Harvard Classics.  1909–14.
 
1. Song—Handsome Nell
 
 
Tune—“I am a man unmarried.” 1
 
 
O ONCE I lov’d a bonie lass,
  Ay, and I love her still;
And whilst that virtue warms my breast,
  I’ll love my handsome Nell.
 
As bonie lasses I hae seen,        5
  And mony full as braw;
But, for a modest gracefu’ mein,
  The like I never saw.
 
A bonie lass, I will confess,
  Is pleasant to the e’e;        10
But, without some better qualities,
  She’s no a lass for me.
 
But Nelly’s looks are blythe and sweet,
  And what is best of a’,
Her reputation is complete,        15
  And fair without a flaw.
 
She dresses aye sae clean and neat,
  Both decent and genteel;
And then there’s something in her gait
  Gars ony dress look weel.        20
 
A gaudy dress and gentle air
  May slightly touch the heart;
But it’s innocence and modesty
  That polishes the dart.
 
’Tis this in Nelly pleases me,        25
  ’Tis this enchants my soul;
For absolutely in my breast
  She reigns without control.
 
Note 1. The first of my performances.—R. B. [back]
 

CONTENTS · BOOK CONTENTS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD · GLOSSARY
  PREVIOUS NEXT  
 
Loading
Click here to shop the Bartleby Bookstore.

Shakespeare · Bible · Strunk · Anatomy · Nonfiction · Quotations · Reference · Fiction · Poetry
© 1993–2014 Bartleby.com · [Top 150] · Subjects · Titles · Authors