On Miss PK

Young Peggy blooms our boniest lass, Her blush is like the morning, The rosy dawn, the springing grass, With early gems adorning: Her eyes outshine the radiant beams That gild the passing shower, And glitter o'er the crystal streams, And cheer each fresh'ning flower. Her lips more than the cherries bright, A richer die has graced them, They charm th' admiring gazer's sight, And sweetly tempt to taste them; Her smile is as the ev'ning mild, When feath'red pairs are courting, And little lambkins wanton wild, In playful bands disporting. Were Fortune lovely Peggy's foe, Such sweetness would relent her, As blooming spring unbends the brow Of surly, savage winter. Detraction's eye no aim can gain, Her winning pow'rs to lessen; And fretful envy grins in vain, The poison'd tooth to fasten. Ye Pow'rs of Honour, Love, and Truth, From ev'ry ill defend her; Inspire the highly-favour'd Youth The Destinies intend her: Still fan the sweet connubial flame Responsive in each bosom; And bless the dear parental name With many a filial blossom.


Paul Young

About this work

This is a song by Robert Burns. It was written in 1784 and is read here by Paul Young.

Themes for this song

beauty woman nature

Selected for 30 March

Spring is now surely and safely sprung. In today’s poem the spring-like charms of a lovely young woman can vanquish even 'surly, savage' winter itself. Margaret (Peggy) Kennedy was just 18 when Burns met her in 1784. Andrew M’Dougall, who denied their 'private' marriage and refused to accept paternity of Margaret's child is the Logan M’Dowall, 'Sculdudry' of the 'Election Ballad', selected for March 25. And the tune these verses in Peggy's honour are usually set to is the same Niel Gow air used for, 'Address to the Woodlark' (March 22). It's a small Burns world!

Donny O'Rourke

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