Subscribe for ad free access & additional features for teachers. Authors: 267, Books: 3,607, Poems & Short Stories: 4,435, Forum Members: 71,154, Forum Posts: 1,238,602, Quizzes: 344

Anna With the Gowden Locks

Tune--"_Banks of Banna._"

["Anne with the golden locks," one of the attendant maidens in Burns's
Howff, in Dumfries, was very fair and very tractable, and, as may be
surmised from the song, had other pretty ways to render herself
agreeable to the customers than the serving of wine. Burns recommended
this song to Thomson; and one of his editors makes him say, "I think
this is one of the best love-songs I ever composed," but these are not
the words of Burns; this contradiction is made openly, lest it should
be thought that the bard had the bad taste to prefer this strain to
dozens of others more simple, more impassioned, and more natural.]

I.

Yestreen I had a pint o' wine,
A place where body saw na';
Yestreen lay on this breast o' mine
The gowden locks of Anna.
The hungry Jew in wilderness
Rejoicing o'er his manna,
Was naething to my hinny bliss
Upon the lips of Anna.

II.

Ye monarchs tak the east and west,
Frae Indus to Savannah!
Gie me within my straining grasp
The melting form of Anna.
There I'll despise imperial charms,
An empress or sultana,
While dying raptures in her arms
I give and take with Anna!

III.

Awa, thou flaunting god o' day!
Awa, thou pale Diana!
Ilk star gae hide thy twinkling ray,
When I'm to meet my Anna.
Come, in thy raven plumage, night!
Sun, moon, and stars withdrawn a';
And bring an angel pen to write
My transports wi' my Anna!

IV.

The kirk an' state may join and tell--
To do sic things I maunna:
The kirk and state may gang to hell,
And I'll gae to my Anna.
She is the sunshine of my e'e,
To live but her I canna:
Had I on earth but wishes three,
The first should be my Anna.

Robert Burns


Poetry