The February 2, 1842 edition of Graham’s Magazine featured many fine pieces of fiction, literature, articles, and poetry. A few of these pieces were accompanied by illustrations. The most best of the illustrations in the issue accompanied My Bonnie Steed, a poem by Alex A. Irvine. With bonnie here meaning handsome or attractive (see the classic folk music use-case), a woman waxes poetic (literally poetic, in this case) about her lovely and lively horse. The illustration leaves no doubt that her steed was worth waxing poetic about. Below, I re-print the poem with its original illustration as it appears in the 1842 issue of Graham’s.
“My Bonnie Steed” by Alexander A. Irvine
My bonnie steed, with merry speed, Away we gallop free, The first to drink the morning breeze, Or brush the dewy lea, To hail the sun as o'er the hills His slanting ray he flings, Or hear the matin of the lark That high in heaven rings. My bonnie steed, o'er the noontide mead We've swept in canter gay, Through woodland path have boldy dash'd, Oh! what can check our way? With hound and horn in jocund band And hearts that smile at fear, And flowing rein and gay halloo, We've chased the flying deer. My bonnie steed, with matchless speed At eve we dash away, The zephyrs laughing round our path As children at their play, And while in merry race and free, Away, away we fly, The thick stars shining overhead Seem speeding swifter by. My bonnie steed, my bonnie steed, True friend indeed thou art, And none are brighter in mine eye Or dearer to my heart. Let others smile on gallants gay I mock the lover's creed, Then onward press, away, away, My bonnie, bonnie steed.