Handsome Nell.

A poem by Robert Burns

Tune. - "I am a man unmarried."


O once I lov'd a bonnie lass,
Ay, and I love her still;
And whilst that honour 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 e'e,
But without some better qualities
She's no a lass for me.


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


She dresses ay 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

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