Home  »  The Oxford Book of English Verse  »  500. Bonnie Lesley

Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. 1919. The Oxford Book of English Verse: 1250–1900.

Robert Burns. 1759–1796

500. Bonnie Lesley

O SAW ye bonnie Lesley 
  As she gaed o’er the Border? 
She ‘s gane, like Alexander, 
  To spread her conquests farther. 
To see her is to love her,         5
  And love but her for ever; 
For Nature made her what she is, 
  And ne’er made sic anither! 
Thou art a queen, fair Lesley, 
  Thy subjects we, before thee:  10
Thou art divine, fair Lesley, 
  The hearts o’ men adore thee. 
The Deil he couldna scaith thee, 
  Or aught that wad belang thee; 
He’d look into thy bonnie face  15
  And say, ‘I canna wrang thee!’ 
The Powers aboon will tent thee, 
  Misfortune sha’na steer thee: 
Thou’rt like themsel’ sae lovely, 
  That ill they’ll ne’er let near thee.  20
Return again, fair Lesley, 
  Return to Caledonie! 
That we may brag we hae a lass 
  There ‘s nane again sae bonnie! 
GLOSS:  scaith] harm.  tent] watch.  steer] molest.