Featured Poem: Saw Ye Bonie Lesley

This week’s featured poem, Saw Ye Bonie Lesley comes from Robert Burns:

Robert Burns was born in January 1759, his birthday commemorated with the annual Burns Night celebrations. An acclaimed poet and lyricist, Burns is widely regarded as the national poet of Scotland. Much of his writing celebrates the Scots dialect, though he also wrote in standard English.

Burns is considered a pioneer of the Romantic movement but as well as creating influential original compositions, he also collected folk songs from across Scotland, often revising or adapting them.

Saw Ye Bonie Lesley

O saw ye bonie 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,
And love but her for ever;
For Nature made her what she is,
And never made anither!

Thou art a queen, fair Lesley,
Thy subjects, we before thee;
Thou art divine, fair Lesley,
The hearts o’ men adore thee.

The deil he could na scaith thee,
Or aught that wad belang thee;
He’d look into thy bonie face,
And say-“I canna wrang thee!”

The Powers aboon will tent thee,
Misfortune sha’na steer thee;
Thou’rt like themselves sae lovely,
That ill they’ll ne’er let near thee.

Return again, fair Lesley,
Return to Caledonie!
That we may brag we hae a lass
There’s nane again sae bonie.

Robert Burns

1 thought on “Featured Poem: Saw Ye Bonie Lesley”

  1. Magic ! What a beautiful poem, filled with a sense of loss and longing for this lovely girl to return to her home.
    That’s a lovely choice for a Monday 😁

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