Menu

O once I lov’d

This song was Robert Burns’s first composition, written when he was 15, for Nelly Kilpatrick, alongside whom he worked at harvest time

O ONCE I lov'd a bonnie lass,
An’ aye, I love her still,
An’ whilst that virtue 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' mein
The like I never saw.

A bonny 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 blythe and sweet,
And what is best of a',
Her reputation is compleat,
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

Back to top