ROBERT Burn's hand­written lyrics for one of his best loved songs - Ye Banks and Braes o' Bonnie Doon - have been sold to an ­American buyer for £35,000.

The bard penned the song in 1792 and it was first published in Johnson's Scots Musical Museum of that year. The well-preserved manuscript was written on a single sheet of paper bearing the royal Hanoverian watermark of a hunting horn over the GR cipher - a reminder of Burns's occupation as an Exciseman for the Crown.

It went under the hammer at Bonhams in London, where it was sold to an ­anonymous US collector.

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The manuscript, which came to sale from a private collection, was one of only two known to exist. The other is now housed in the British Library.