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O, Once I Lov'd A Bonie Lass
TUNE: I am a man unmarried

 

Burns Original

Standard English Translation



O, Once I Lov'd A Bonie Lass

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.
2.
As bonie lasses I hae seen,
And monie full as braw,
But for a modest gracefu' mien
The like I never saw.
3.
A bonie lass, I will confess,
Is pleasant to the e'e;
But without some better qualities
She's no a lass for me.
4.
But Nelly's looks are blythe and sweet,
And, what is best of a',
Her reputation is complete
And fair without a flaw.
5.
She dresses ay sae clean and neat,
Both decent and genteel;
And then there's something in her gait
Gars onie dress look weel.
6.
A gaudy dress and gentle air
May slightly touch the heart;
But it's innocence and modesty
That polishes the dart.
7.
'Tis this in Nelly pleases me,
'Tis this enchants my soul;
For absolutely in my breast
She reigns without controul.



O, Once I Loved A Lovely Girl

O, once I loved a lovely girl,
Yes, and I love her still
And while that virtue warms my breast,
I will love my handsome Nell.

As lovely girls I have seen,
And many just as lovely,
But for a modest graceful mien
The like I never saw.

A lovely girl, I will confess,
Is pleasant to the eye;
But without some better qualities
She is not a girl for me.

But Nelly's looks are blythe and sweet,
And, what is best of all,
Her reputation is complete
And fair without a flaw.

She dresses always so clean and neat,
Both decent and genteel;
And then there is something in her gait
Makes any dress look well.

A gaudy dress and gentle air
May slightly touch the heart;
But it is innocence and modesty
That polishes the dart.

It is this in Nelly pleases me,
It is this enchants my soul;
For absolutely in my breast
She reigns without control.

 

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