The Banks of Doon

by ROBERT BURNS (1759-1796)

Ye flowery banks o’ bonie Doon,
How can ye blume sae fair!
How can ye chant, ye little birds,
An I sae fu’ o’ care!

Thou’ll break my heart, thou bonie bird,
That sings upon the bough;
Thou minds me o’ the happy days
When my fause luve was true.

Robin and Wild Roses Photo Poster

Thou’ll break my heart, thou bonie bird,
That sings beside thy mate;
For sae I sat, and sae I sang,
And wist na o’ my fate.

Aft hae I rov’d by bonie Doon,
To see the woodbine Twine;
And ilka bird sang o’ its luve;
And sae did I o’ mine.

Wi’ lightsome heart I pu’d a rose,
Frae aff its thorny tree;
And my fause luver staw the rose,
But left the thorn wi’ me.

Robert Burns

In Robert Burns’ 1783 poem, “The Banks O’ Doon,” the abandoned lover is talking about the river Doon,
which is known in Scots Gaelic as Abhainn Dhùin. The Doon flows from Loch Doon to the Firth of Clyde in Ayrshire. A great lover of ballads, Burns set the poem to music a few years later. He rewrote the lyrics 3 times before it was actually published. Listen to the song with slightly different words

Robert Burns Contemporaries
William Blake
Friedrich von Schiller
Thomas Warton
William Cowper

Share