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May 3, 2018

Click here to listen: https://soundcloud.com/words-of-burns/young-jessie


This is the first Burns recording from my new studio – I hope the sound quality is OK. The subject of this poem by Robert Burns was Jessie Staig, daughter of the provost of Dumfries, David Staig.


“True hearted was he, the sad swain o' the Yarrow, 
And fair are the maids on the banks of the Ayr; 
But by the sweet side o' the Nith's winding river, 
Are lovers as faithful, and maidens as fair: 
To equal young Jessie seek Scotland all over; 
To equal young Jessie you seek it in vain, 
Grace, beauty, and elegance, fetter her lover, 
And maidenly modesty fixes the chain. 

O, fresh is the rose in the gay, dewy morning, 
And sweet is the lily, at evening close; 
But in the fair presence o' lovely young Jessie, 
Unseen is the lily, unheeded the rose. 
Love sits in her smile, a wizard ensnaring; 
Enthron'd in her een he delivers his law: 
And still to her charms she alone is a stranger; 
Her modest demeanour's the jewel of a'.”

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© 2014 Neil Macgillivray