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The Burns Encyclopedia
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Menagerie Handbill

This handbill was found just prior to 1940 in Cambridge, the property of Jessy Lewar's great grand-daughter, Mrs Jessy Lewars Dove, along with a manuscript copy of 'The Blue-eyed Lassie'. See Lewars, Jessy.

When Burns was being nursed by Jessy on his deathbed, the handbill advertising 'A Grand Menagerie of Wild Beasts Alive', to be seen in the Market Place, Dumfries, was handed in to the poet's room. Burns took it, and on the reverse side wrote down the following impromptu verses:

"Talk not to me of savages
From Afric's burning sun;
No savage e'er can rend my heart,
As Jessy, thou hast done.
But Jessy's lovely hand in mine,
A mutual faith to plight,
Not even to view the Heavenly choir
Would be so blest a sight."

The Burns Chronicle of 1940 contains a reproduction of the handbill.

Buy the Burns Encyclopedia online
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Robert Burns Store

NEW!! robert burns store View our exclusive range of distinctive Robert Burns related products. Register with our Shopping Club for further offers and unique member offers.Click here...


Complete Burns Songs

linn recordings of burns Linn Records have completed their landmark recording of all 368 Burns songs, available as individual CDs or a 12 volume presentation box set. We have full details. Click here...


Burns Music & Recordings
Search our huge CD and music store for any Burns-related phrase!
Hint: Type "lang syne" or "peck maut" etc. into the Search box there for all artists, titles, descriptions or track listings with the words entered.
Burns Chess Sets

Burns Chess SetsUnique collectors' pieces based on Burns' life and works. (The ideal gift for your Burns Supper guests!) Click here...

Scotweb Store

ScotwebThe finest Scottish shopping site in the world, with the world's largest choice of kilts and tartans, exclusive jewelry, Highland Dress, Bagpipes and piping supplies, cashmere, and much more. Buying from these sites helps pay for the upkeep of Burns Country! Click here...