by Robert Burns (1759 - 1796)

Beware o' bonnie Ann
Language: Scottish (Scots) 
Ye gallants bright, I rede ye right,
⁠  Beware o' bonnie Ann;
Her comely face sae fu' o' grace,
⁠  Your heart she will trepan.
Her een sae bright, like stars by night,
  ⁠Her skin is like the swan;
Sae jimply laced, her genty waist,
⁠  That sweetly ye might span.

Youth, grace, and love, attendant move,
⁠  And pleasure leads the van;
In a' their charms, and conquering arms,
⁠  They wait on bonnie Ann.
The captive bands may chain the hands,
  ⁠But love enslaves the man;
Ye gallants braw, I rede ye a',
⁠  Beware o' bonnie Ann.

Confirmed with The Book of Scottish Song, collected and illustrated with historical and critical notices by Alex Whitelaw, Blackie and Son, 1843. Includes the following note: "Written by Burns in 1788 for Johnson's Museum, in compliment to Ann Masterton, (afterwards Mrs. Derbishire, London,) daughter of the poet's friend, Allan Masterton, who composed the tune. Masterton was a teacher of writing and arithmetic in Edinburgh, who possessed a great taste for music, which he cultivated as an amateur on the violin. He was composer of several other tunes for Burns's words, and, among the rest, of the tune to "Willie brew'd a peck o' maut." In the latter song he also figures as one of the heroes."


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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website: 2022-02-08
Line count: 16
Word count: 100