Handsome Nell

Robert Burns 1759 (Alloway) – 1796 (Dumfries)



O, once I lov'd a bonnie lass,
     Aye, and I love her still;
And whilst that virtue warms my breast
     I'll love my handsome Nell.

As bonnie lasses I hae seen,
     And 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 ee,
But without some letter qualities
     She's no a lass for me.

But Nellie's looks are blithe and sweet,
     And what is best of a'
Her reputation is complete,
     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.

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.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

Modified on April 04, 2023

48 sec read
303

Quick analysis:

Scheme XABX CDCE XFXF GXGE GXXA DHFH FIBI
Closest metre Iambic tetrameter
Characters 863
Words 156
Stanzas 7
Stanza Lengths 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4

Robert Burns

Robert Burns was a Scottish poet and lyricist. more…

All Robert Burns poems | Robert Burns Books

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