Lovely Davies


O how shall I, unskilfu', try The Poet's occupation? The tunefu' powers, in happy hours, That whisper, inspiration, Even they maun dare an effort mair Than aught they ever gave us, Ere they rehearse, in equal verse, The charms o' lovely Davies. Each eye it cheers when she appears, Like Phebus in the morning, When past the shower, and every flower The garden is adorning: As the wretch looks o'er Siberia's shore, When winter-bound the wave is; Sae droops our heart, when we maun part Frae charming, lovely Davies. Her smile's a gift frae boon the lift, That maks us mair than princes; A sceptr'd hand, a king's command, Is in her darting glances: The man in arms 'gainst female charms, Even he her willing slave is; He hugs his chain, and owns the reign Of conquering lovely Davies. My Muse to dream of such a theme, Her feeble powers surrender; The eagle's gaze alone surveys The sun's meridian splendor: I wad in vain essay the strain, The deed too daring brave is; I'll drap the lyre, and, mute, admire The charms o' lovely Davies.

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John Cairney

About this work

This is a song by Robert Burns. It was written in 1791 and is read here by John Cairney.

More about this song

Robert Burns composed this song in 1791 as a compliment to Deborah Duff Davies.

The poet was introduced to Deborah by her relative and Burns's friend and patron, Captain Robert Riddell (1755 - 1794). Miss Davies was apparently very frail and suffered from poor health, yet her beauty and vulnerability appear to have captured Burns's imagination.

Following this initial poetic compliment, the poet continued his correspondence with Miss Davies who also inspired the song Bonie Wee Thing.

Pauline Mackay

Themes for this song

poetry woman beauty

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