She says she lo'es me best of a'


Sae flaxen were her ringlets, Her eyebrows of a darker hue, Bewitchingly o'erarching Twa laughing e'en o' bonie blue; Her smiling, sae wyling, Wad make a wretch forget his woe; What pleasure, what treasure, Unto these rosy lips to grow: Such was my Chloris' bonie face, When first that bonie face I saw; And aye my Chloris' dearest charm, She says, she lo'es me best of a'. Like harmony her motion, Her pretty ancle is a spy, Betraying fair proportion, Wad make a saint forget the sky: Sae warming, sae charming, Her fautless form and gracefu' air; Ilk feature - auld Nature Declar'd that she could do nae mair: Hers are the willing chains o' love, By conquering Beauty's sovereign law; And still my Chloris' dearest charm, She says, she lo'es me best of a'. Let others love the city, And gaudy shew, at sunny noon; Gie me the lonely valley, The dewy eve, and rising moon Fair beaming, and streaming, Her silver light the boughs amang; While falling, recalling, The amorous thrush concludes his sang; There, dearest Chloris, wilt thou rove By wimpling burn and leafy shaw, And hear my vows o' truth and love, And say, thou lo'es me best of a'.

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Douglas Henshall

About this work

This is a song by Robert Burns. It was written in 1793 and is read here by Douglas Henshall.

Themes for this song

anguish love

Selected for 20 October

In a letter sent to his publisher on this day in 1794, Burns praised the subject of this selection as, 'one of the finest women in Scotland'. The Bard wrote 24 poems about Jean Lorimer. She was well known to Burns and his fellow excisemen since her farming family augmented their income by smuggling. Indeed some of the poems to Jean, or 'Chloris', were written on behalf of one of the customs officers. But Burns's blandishments failed to win her hand for the spurned John Gillespie. In an age which prized dark hair above fair, it was unusual for 'flaxen' locks to be swooned over. So much so, that Thomson sometimes resorted to editorial dye, substituting black for blonde!

Donny O'Rourke

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