Verse > Harvard Classics > Robert Burns > Poems and Songs
Robert Burns (1759–1796).  Poems and Songs.
The Harvard Classics.  1909–14.
264. Song—On a Bank of Flowers
ON a bank of flowers, in a summer day,
  For summer lightly drest,
The youthful, blooming Nelly lay,
  With love and sleep opprest;
When Willie, wand’ring thro’ the wood,        5
Who for her favour oft had sued;
    He gaz’d, he wish’d
    He fear’d, he blush’d,
And trembled where he stood.
Her closèd eyes, like weapons sheath’d,        10
  Were seal’d in soft repose;
Her lip, still as she fragrant breath’d,
  It richer dyed the rose;
The springing lilies, sweetly prest,
Wild-wanton kissed her rival breast;        15
    He gaz’d, he wish’d,
    He mear’d, he blush’d,
His bosom ill at rest.
Her robes, light-waving in the breeze,
  Her tender limbs embrace;        20
Her lovely form, her native ease,
  All harmony and grace;
Tumultuous tides his pulses roll,
A faltering, ardent kiss he stole;
    He gaz’d, he wish’d,        25
    He fear’d, he blush’d,
And sigh’d his very soul.
As flies the partridge from the brake,
  On fear-inspired wings,
So Nelly, starting, half-awake,        30
  Away affrighted springs;
But Willie follow’d-as he should,
He overtook her in the wood;
    He vow’d, he pray’d,
    He found the maid        35
Forgiving all, and good.


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