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On a bank of flowers

Language: Scottish (Scots)

On a bank of flow'rs in a summer's day,
For summer lightly drest,
The youthful, blooming Nelly lay
With love and sleep opprest ;
When Willie, wand'ring thro' the wood,
Who for her favour oft had su'd.
He gaz'd, he wish'd,
He fear'd, he blush'd,
And trembled where he stood.

Her closed eyes, like weapons sheath'd,
Were seal'd in soft repose ;
Her lips, still as she fragrant breath'd,
It richer dy'd the rose :
The springing lilies sweetly prest,
Wild, wanton, kiss'd her rival breast;
He gaz'd, he wish'd,
He fear'd, he blush'd,
His bosom ill at rest.

Her robes light waving in the breeze,
Her tender limbs embrace ;
Her lovely form, her native ease,
All harmony and grace:
Tumultuous tides his pulses roll,
A faltering, ardent kiss he stole :
He gaz'd, he wish'd,
He fear'd, he blush'd,
And sigh'd his very soul.

As flies the partridge from the brake
On fear-inspired wings,
So Nelly, starting, half awake,
Away affrighted springs.
But Willy follow'd — as he shou'd :
He overtook her in the wood ;
He vow'd, he pray'd,
He found the maid
Forgiving all and good.

Translation(s): FRE

List of language codes

Confirmed with The Complete Poetical Works of Robert Burns, Cambridge edition, Boston and New York, Houghton Mifflin Company, 1897, page 218.

Submitted by Ferdinando Albeggiani and Pierre Mathé [Guest Editor]


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Available translations, adaptations, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , title 1: "Sur une berge fleurie", copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Text added to the website: 2013-03-28.
Last modified: 2014-11-25 09:59:03
Line count: 36
Word count: 191

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