"How can I keep my maidenhead"

By Robert Burns 1759–1796 Robert Burns
How can I keep my maidenhead,
    My maidenhead, my maidenhead;
How can I keep my maidenhead,
    Among sae mony men, O.

The Captain bad a guinea for’t,
    A guinea for’t, a guinea for’t,
The Captain bad a guinea for’t,
    The Colonel he bad ten, O.

But I’ll do as my minnie did,
    My minnie did, my minnie did,
But I’ll do as my minnie did,
    For siller I’ll hae nane, O.

I’ll gie it to a bonie lad,
    A bonie lad, a bonie lad;
I’ll gie it to a bonie lad,
    For just as gude again, O.

An auld moulie maidenhead,
    A maidenhead, a maidenhead;
An auld moulie maidenhead,
    The weary wark I ken, O.

The stretchin’ o’t, the strivin’ o’t,
    The borin o’t, the rivin’ o’t,
And ay the double drivin o’t,
    The farther ye gang ben, O.

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Poet Robert Burns 1759–1796

POET’S REGION Scotland

SCHOOL / PERIOD Romantic

Subjects Love, Desire

 Robert  Burns

Biography

Born on 25 January 1759 in Alloway, Scotland, to William and Agnes Brown Burnes, Robert Burns followed his father's example by becoming a tenant farmer. Unlike William Burnes, however, Burns was able to escape the vicissitudes and vagaries of the soil in two ways: toward the end of his life he became an excise collector in Dumfries, where he died in 1796; and throughout his life he was a practicing poet. As a poet he recorded . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Love, Desire

POET’S REGION Scotland

SCHOOL / PERIOD Romantic

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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