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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

5 September belongs to Robert Burns

Happy birthday Robert Burns!

Robert Burns (1759-1796) was a Scottish poet, notable for his use of the Scots dialect at a time when it was not considered suitably "elevated" for literature.

Burns's first volume, Poems, Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect, appeared in 1786. In addition to his poetry Bums wrote or adapted many songs, including "Auld Lang Syne".

Born on September 5, 1759,  at Alloway near Ayr, in 1784  he and his brother became joint tenants of his late father's farm at Mossgiet, but they were not great managers. Following the success of his first volume of poems in 1786 Robert turned to farming at Ellisland, near Dumfries.  Five years later, however, this venture also collapsed, and so he became a district excise officer, chasing duties and taxes.

He is particularly famous for his poems "Holy Willie's Prayer," "Tarn O'Shanter," "The Jolly Beggars," and "To a Mouse."  He is also known for his songs, some of which were original, while others were adaptations of old folk songs.

To a Mouse

Wee, sleekit, cow'rin, tim'rous beastie,
O, what a panic's in thy breastie!
Thou need na start awa sae hasty
Wi bickering brattle!
I wad be laith to rin an' chase thee,
Wi' murdering pattle.

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