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Banks Of Doon

[FIRST VERSION.]

[An Ayrshire legend says the heroine of this affecting song was Miss
Kennedy, of Dalgarrock, a young creature, beautiful and accomplished,
who fell a victim to her love for her kinsman, McDoual, of Logan.]


I.

Ye flowery banks o' bonnie Doon,
How can ye bloom sae fair;
How can ye chant, ye little birds,
And I sae fu' o' care!

II.

Thou'll break my heart, thou bonnie bird,
That sings upon the bough;
Thou minds me o' the happy days
When my fause love was true.

III.

Thou'll break my heart, thou bonnie bird,
That sings beside thy mate;
For sae I sat, and sae I sang,
And wist na o' my fate.

IV.

Aft hae I rov'd by bonnie Doon,
To see the woodbine twine,
And ilka bird sang o' its love;
And sae did I o' mine.

V.

Wi' lightsome heart I pu'd a rose,
Frae aff its thorny tree:
And my fause luver staw the rose,
But left the thorn wi' me.

* * * * *


THE BANKS O' DOON.

[SECOND VERSION.]

Tune--"_Caledonian Hunt's Delight._"

[Burns injured somewhat the simplicity of the song by adapting it to a
new air, accidentally composed by an amateur who was directed, if he
desired to create a Scottish air, to keep his fingers to the black
keys of the harpsichord and preserve rhythm.]


I.

Ye banks and braes o' bonnie Doon,
How can ye bloom sae fresh and fair;
How can ye chant, ye little birds,
And I sae weary, fu' o' care!
Thou'lt break my heart, thou warbling bird,
That wantons thro' the flowering thorn:
Thou minds me o' departed joys,
Departed--never to return!

II.

Aft hae I rov'd by bonnie Doon,
To see the rose and woodbine twine;
And ilka bird sang o' its luve,
And fondly sae did I o' mine.
Wi' lightsome heart I pu'd a rose,
Fu' sweet upon its thorny tree;
And my fause luver stole my rose,
But, ah! he left the thorn wi' me.

* * * * *


Another “First Version”:


Sweet are the banks--the banks o' Doon,
The spreading flowers are fair,
And everything is blythe and glad,
But I am fu' o' care.
Thou'll break my heart, thou bonie bird,
That sings upon the bough;
Thou minds me o' the happy days
When my fause Luve was true:
Thou'll break my heart, thou bonie bird,
That sings beside thy mate;
For sae I sat, and sae I sang,
And wist na o' my fate.

Aft hae I rov'd by bonie Doon,
To see the woodbine twine;
And ilka birds sang o' its Luve,
And sae did I o' mine:
Wi' lightsome heart I pu'd a rose,
Upon its thorny tree;
But my fause Luver staw my rose
And left the thorn wi' me:
Wi' lightsome heart I pu'd a rose,
Upon a morn in June;
And sae I flourished on the morn,
And sae was pu'd or noon!


Robert Burns


Poetry