Robert Burns

Robert Burns Poems

O my Luve's like a red, red rose
That's newly sprung in June;
O my Luve's like the melodie
That's sweetly play'd in tune.
...

A fond kiss, and then we sever;
A farewell, and then forever!
Deep in heart-wrung tears I'll pledge thee,
Warring sighs and groans I'll wage thee.
...

Is there for honesty poverty
That hings his head, an' a' that;
The coward slave - we pass him by,
We dare be poor for a' that!
...

When biting Boreas, fell and doure,
Sharp shivers thro' the leafless bow'r;
When Phœbus gies a short-liv'd glow'r,
Far south the lift,
...

Farewell to the Highlands, farewell to the North,
The birth-place of Valour, the country of Worth;
Wherever I wander, wherever I rove,
The hills of the Highlands for ever I love.
...

Wee, sleekit, cowrin, tim'rous beastie,
O, what a panic's in thy breastie!
Thou need na start awa sae hasty,
Wi' bickering brattle!
...

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And auld lang syne!
...

There's nane that's blest of human kind,
But the cheerful and the gay, man,
Fal, la, la, &c.
...

Is there a whim-inspired fool,
Owre fast for thought, owre hot for rule,
Owre blate to seek, owre proud to snool,
Let him draw near;
...

Ae fond kiss, and then we sever;
Ae fareweel, and then forever!
Deep in heart-wrung tears I'll pledge thee,
Warring sighs and groans I'll wage thee.
Who shall say that Fortune grieves him,
...

Guid-Mornin' to our Majesty!
May Heaven augment your blisses
On ev'ry new birth-day ye see,
A humble poet wishes.
...

Fair fa' your honest, sonsie face,
Great chieftain o' the puddin-race!
Aboon them a' ye tak your place,
Painch, tripe, or thairm:
...

A Tale
"Of Brownyis and of Bogillis full is this Buke."
Gawin Douglas.

...

My curse upon your venom'd stang,
That shoots my tortur'd gums alang;
And thro' my lugs gies mony a twang,
Wi' gnawing vengeance;
...

O thou! whatever title suit thee,--
Auld Hornie, Satan, Nick, or Clootie!
Wha in yon cavern, grim an' sootie,
Clos'd under hatches,
...

Flow gently, sweet Afton, among thy green braes,
Flow gently, I'll sing thee a song in thy praise;
My Mary's asleep by thy murmuring stream,
Flow gently, sweet Afton, disturb not her dream.
...

Ah, woe is me, my mother dear!
A man of strife ye've born me:
For sair contention I maun bear;
...

Humid seal of soft affections,
Tend'rest pledge of future bliss,
Dearest tie of young connections,
Love's first snow-drop, virgin kiss.
...

A Guide New-year I wish thee, Maggie!
Hae, there's a ripp to thy auld baggie:
Tho' thou's howe-backit now, an' knaggie,
I've seen the day
...

My Son, these maxims make a rule,
An' lump them aye thegither;
The Rigid Righteous is a fool,
The Rigid Wise anither:
...

Robert Burns Biography

Burns, sometimes known as the 'ploughman poet', was the eldest son of a poverty-stricken farmer. Though his father had moved to Ayrshire, where Burns was born, in order to attempt to improve his fortunes, he eventually died as a bankrupt - after taking on first one farm and then, unsuccessful, moving to another - in 1784. Robert, who had been to school since the age of six, and was also educated at home by a teacher, had, by the age of fifteen, already become the farm's chief labourer. He had also acquired a reading knowledge of French and Latin and had read Shakespeare, Dryden, Milton and the Bible. After his father's death, he and his brother continued farming together, working now at Mossigiel.

The poverty of Burns' early life, though far from being overcome, had produced in him a supporter of the French Revolution and a rebel against both Calvinism and the social order of his time. His rebellious nature soon became evident in his acts. Burns' first illegitimate child was borne to him by Elizabeth Paton in 1785. Two sets of twins later followed, and various amorous intrigues, from Jean Amour, whom he afterward married.

It was also during this period that Burns' first achieved literary success. Though he had thought of emigration to Jamaica as a possible way to avoid his mounting problems, he published his Poems Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect on July 31 1786 at Kilmarnock. This volume contained, among others, 'The Cotter's Saturday Night', 'To a Mouse', 'To a Mountain Daisy' and 'The Holy Fair', all of which were written at Mossigiel. The volume brought him immediate success.

After 1787 Burns, married in 1788 and having moved to Ellisland with his bride, worked chiefly for James Johnson, whom he met in Edinburgh, and, later, for George Thomson. It was for these men that Burns compiled and added to the two great compilations of Scottish songs: Thomson's Scott's Musical Museum and Johnson's Select Collection of Original Scottish Airs for the Voice. Alongside this work, which Burns did on an unpaid basis, he also worked, from 1791 onward, as an Excise Officer. This allowed him to give up farming and move to the Dumfries. He died from rheumatic fever just five years later, having also published, again in 1791, his last major work, a narrative poem entitled 'Tom O'Shanter'.

The Best Poem Of Robert Burns

A Red, Red Rose

O my Luve's like a red, red rose
That's newly sprung in June;
O my Luve's like the melodie
That's sweetly play'd in tune.

As fair art thou, my bonnie lass,
So deep in luve am I:
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
Till a' the seas gang dry:

Till a' the seas gang dry, my dear,
And the rocks melt wi' the sun:
I will luve thee still, my dear,
While the sands o' life shall run.

And fare thee well, my only Luve
And fare thee well, a while!
And I will come again, my Luve,
Tho' it were ten thousand mile.

Robert Burns Comments

Ted Mohr 11 December 2009

Your copy of Robert Burns' A Man's a Man for A' That appears to me to have left out one line in the final stanza which when entered would make the 5th and 6th lines read: For a' that, an' a' that, It’s cuming yet, for a' that,

247 262 Reply
Ryan Walker 26 January 2012

Interesting. His poetry reminds me of when I read Mark Twain's Huckelberry Finn. It's a great use of broken and common language. It certainly adds an aspect to his poetry.

231 271 Reply
Stephen W 01 January 2014

@Ryan Walker: he was writing in Scotch, a perfectly respectable language, later suppressed by a tyrannical government.

186 178 Reply
Jennifer Barker 21 May 2015

The language is actually Scots, not Scotch (as in the whisky) . It is a 800+ year old language.

52 33 Reply
Robert Buchanan 17 July 2015

Stephen he may well have been drinking Scotch but as Jennifer says the language is Scots or Auld Scots and it was not so much the language which was suppressed but the culture of the people, the music and the dress but to give two examples. Robert Burns was a remarkable man, his breath may have stopped but his voice is still heard.

51 32 Reply
DawnMarie Crake 25 January 2022

It's Burns' Night - celebrate accordingly!

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DawnMarie Crake 25 January 2022

It's Burns

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Aidan 21 January 2022

Hdh

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Rob Brooker 24 August 2021

Can't find Burnss Comin Thro the Rye

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Wonderful poems..... but so much better when spoken in a soft Scottish voice

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