Jesse (William Knyvett)

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Editor: Christopher Shaw (submitted 2024-03-30).   Score information: A4, 5 pages, 257 kB   Copyright: CC BY SA
Edition notes: Includes a keyboard reduction of the a cappella choral score. Please click on the link for preview/playback/PDF download.

General Information

Title: Jesse
Composer: William Knyvett
Lyricist: Robert Burns
Number of voices: 4vv   Voicing: SATB
Genre: SecularGlee

Language: English
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1804
Description: A setting of Robert Burns arranged as a concert glee.

External websites:

Original text and translations

English.png English text

True hearted was he, the sad swain of 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 Jesse seek Scotland all over;
To equal young Jesse 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 Jesse
Unseen is the lily, unheeded the rose.

Love sits in her smile, a wizard ensnaring,
Enthron'd in her e'en he delivers his law,
And still to her charms she alone is a stranger,
Her modest demeanour's the jewel of a'.