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HANDSOME NELL.*

TUNE-"I am a man unmarried."

OH once I lov'd a bonnie lass,

Ay, and I love her still;

An' whilst that honour warms my breast I'll love my handsome Nell.

As bonnie lasses I ha'e seen,
An' mony full as braw;
But for a modest, gracefu' mien,
The like I never saw.

A bonnie lass, I will confess,

Is pleasant to the e'e,

But without some better qualities,

She's no the lass for me.

But Nelly's looks are blithe and sweet, An', what is best of a',

Her reputation is complete,

An' fair without a flaw.

She dresses aye sae clean and neat,
Both decent and genteel:
An' then there's something in her gait
Gars ony dress look weel.

*This was the Poet's first composition.

Bonnie Lesley.

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, 'Tis this enchants my soul; For absolutely in my breast She reigns without control.

19

BONNIE LESLEY.

TUNE "The collier's bonnie lassie.

Oн saw ye bonnie Lesley,

As she gaed owre the border?

She's gane, like Alexander,

To spread her conquests farther.

To see her is to love her,

An' love but her for ever;

For nature made her what she is
An' never made anither!

Thou art a queen, fair Lesley,
Thy subjects we, before thee;
Thou art divine, fair Lesley,

The hearts o' men adore thee.

The de'il he could na scaith thee,
Or aught that wad belang thee;
He'd look into thy bonnie face,

An' say, "I canna wrang thee!"

The powers aboon will tent thee;
Misfortune sha' na steer thee;
Thou 'rt like themselves sae lovely,
That ill they'll ne'er let near thee.

Return again, fair Lesley,

Return to Caledonie !

That we may brag, we ha'e a lass
There's nane again sae bonnie.

I DREAM'D I LAY WHERE FLOWERS WERE SPRINGING.

["These two stanzas I composed when I was seventeen: they are among the oldest of my printed pieces.”—Burns.]

I DREAM'D I lay where flowers were springing
Gaily in the sunny beam;

List'ning to the wild birds singing,

By a falling crystal stream:

Straight the sky grew black and daring;

Thro' the woods the whirlwinds rave;

Trees with aged arms were warring

O'er the swelling drumlie wave.

Luckless Fortune.

Such was my life's deceitful morning,
Such the pleasure I enjoy'd;

But lang or noon, loud tempests storming,
A' my flowery bliss destroy'd.

Tho' fickle fortune has deceiv'd me,

She promis'd fair, and perform'd but ill;
Of mony a joy and hope bereav'd me,
I bear a heart shall support me still.

LUCKLESS FORTUNE.

OH raging fortune's withering blast
Has laid my leaf full low, O!
Oh raging fortune's withering blast
Has laid my leaf full low, O!

My stem was fair, my bud was green,
My blossom sweet did blow, O;
The dew fell fresh, the sun rose mild,
And made my branches grow, O.

But luckless fortune's northern storms
Laid a' my blossoms low, O;

But luckless fortune's northern storms
Laid a' my blossoms low, O.

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21

THE MAUCHLINE LADY.

TUNE-"I had a horse, I had nae mair."
WHEN first I came to Stewart Kyle,
My mind it was na steady,
Where'er I gaed, where'er I rade,
A mistress still I had aye.

But when I cam' roun' by Mauchline toun, Not dreadin' any body,

My heart was caught before I thought,

An' by a Mauchline lady.*

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Yestreen I met you on the moor,
Ye spak na but gaed by like stoure;
Ye geck at me because I'm poor,
But fient a hair care I.

* Miss Armour, afterwards the Poet's wife.

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