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The Tarbolton Lasses


If ye gae up to yon hill-tap, Ye'll there see bonie Peggy: She kens her father is a laird, And she forsooth's a leddy. There's Sophy tight, a lassie bright, Besides a handsome fortune: Wha canna win her in a night Has little art in courtin. Gae down by Faile, and taste the ale, And tak a look o' Mysie; She's dour and din, a deil within, But aiblins she may please ye. If she be shy, her sister try, Ye'll may be fancy Jenny: If ye'll dispense wi' want o' sense She kens hersel she's bonnie. As ye gae up by yon hillside, Spier in for bonnie Bessy: She'll gie ye a beck, and bid ye light, And handsomely address ye. There's few sae bonny, nane sae guid, In a' King George' dominion; If ye should doubt the truth o' this It's Bessy's ain opinion.

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Alex Norton

About this work

This is a poem by Robert Burns. It was written between 1771 and 1779 and is read here by Alex Norton.

Themes for this poem

man woman sex

Selected for 27 November

Fellowship and confraternity appealed to the Bard enormously. Along with his brother and five other friends, Burns founded the Tarbolton Bachelors' Club in November 1780. The club rules demanded 'a frank, honest, open heart'. Ruled out was, 'any haughty, self-conceited person', or anyone who aspired to, 'heap up money'. Among the topics debated were, 'whether do we derive more happiness from Love or Friendship'. And whether one should marry for love or money. The Bachelors continued to drink and deliberate even after Burns had left Ayrshire. Naturally, Robert Burns didn't socialise only with the young MEN of Tarbolton.

Donny O'Rourke

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