Verse > Anthologies > T. R. Smith, ed. > Poetica Erotica: A Collection of Rare and Curious Amatory Verse
T. R. Smith, comp.  Poetica Erotica: Rare and Curious Amatory Verse.  1921–22.
John Anderson, My Jo
By Robert Burns (1759–1796)
(From The Masque (2nd ed., p. 292); also in Merry Muses of Caledonia)

JOHN ANDERSON, my jo, John,
  I wonder what ye mean,
To lie sae lang i’ the mornin’,
  And sit sae late at e’en?
Ye’ll bleer a’ your een, John,        5
  And why do ye so?
Come sooner to your bed at e’en,
  John Anderson, my jo.
John Anderson, my jo, John,
  When first that ye began,        10
Ye had as good a tail-tree
  As ony ither man;
But now it’s waxen wan, John,
  And aft requires my helping hand,
John Anderson, my jo.        15
When we were young and yauld, John,
  We’ve lain out-owre the dyke,
And O! it was a fine thing
  To see your hurdies fyke;—
To see your hurdies fyke, John,        20
  And strike the risin’ blow;
’Twas then I lik’d your chanter-pipe,
  John Anderson, my jo.
John Anderson, my jo, John,
  You’re welcome when you please;        25
It’s either in the warm bed,
  Or else aboon the claes.
Do ye your part aboon, John,
  And trust to me below;
I’ve twa gae-ups for your gae-down,        30
  John Anderson, my jo.
When ye come on before, John,
  See that ye do your best;
When I begin to haud ye,
  See that ye grip me fast;        35
See that ye grip me fast, John,
  Until that I cry “Oh!”
Your back shall crack, or I do that,
  John Anderson, my jo.
I’m backet like a salmon,        40
  I’m breastit like a swan;
My wyme is like a down-cod,
  My waist ye weel may span;
My skin frae tap to tae, John,
  Is like the new fa’n snow,        45
And it’s a’ for your conveniency,
  John Anderson, my jo.

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