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.
Robert Burns's Other Poems
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