Robert Burns poem found in Suffolk album could go for thousands

A manuscript of Robert Burns

The Robert Burns poem Banks of the Cree with the poet's autograph - Credit: Courtesy of Bonhams

Scottish poet Robert Burns' work has been found in Suffolk and could fetch thousands at an auction next week. 

The handwritten Banks of the Cree was rediscovered in an 18th Century album originating from Denston Hall when it was the seat of ex-Harwich MP Sir John Robinson. 

It is unclear how Mr Robinson, whose family lived at Denston Hall until the 19th century, came into possession of the poem but London sellers Bonhams think it was added to the album only a few years after the poem's 1798 publication.

Surrounding the poem, newspaper cuttings from 1808 detail the account of the poisoning by champignons of a Mitcham woman, Mary Attwood, and her children reported in the Gentleman's Magazine and Historical Chronicle.

Robert Burns wrote the romantic verses, also known as Here is the Glen, for a tune composed by Lady Elizabeth Heron. 


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He would often visit Kerroughtree near Galloway, where the River Cree runs, to see Mrs Heron and her husband Patrick Heron. 

Burns paints Lady Elizabeth as Maria in the poem below: 

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Here is the glen, and here the bower,
All underneath the birchen shade;
The village-bell has told the hour,
O what can stay my lovely maid.

'Tis not Maria's whispering call;
'Tis but the balmy breathing gale,
Mixt with some warbler's dying fall
The dewy star of eve to hail.

It is Maria's voice I hear;
So calls the woodlark in the grove
His little, faithful Mate to chear,
At once 'tis music - and 'tis love.

And art thou come! and art thou true!
O welcome dear to love and me!
And let us all our vows renew
Along the flowery banks of Cree.

A manuscript of Robert Burns

The Robert Burns poem Banks of the Cree with the poet's autograph - Credit: Courtesy of Bonhams

The poem is being sold on Wednesday, March 31 for £8,000 to £12,000 here

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