2Robert Burns was the most democratic poet of the 18th century Robert Burns was the most democratic poet of the 18th century. His birthday is celebrated in Scotland as a national holiday.Burns’ poetry may be regarded as a treasury of all that is best in Scottish songs. Robert Burns is very popular in Russia. We admire the plain Scottish peasant who became one of the world’s greatest poets.
3Robert Burns was born on January,25,1759, in a small clay cottage at Alloway in Ayrshire, Scotland. His father, William Burns, was a poor farmer. Poor as he was, he tried to give his son the best education he could afford. Robert was sent to school at the age of six, but as his father could not pay for his two sons, Robert and his brother Gilbert attended school in turn.
4When not at school, the boys helped their father with his work in the fields. Robert was a plough boy working from morning till night.He strained his heart, he suffered from severe attacks of rheumatic fever. The school was closed some months after the boys had begun attending it, and William Burns together with his neighbours invited a clever young man, Murdoch by name, to teach their children languages and grammar.
5Robert was a capable boy, and with the help of his new teacher, learned French and Latin and became fond of reading. His favourite authors were William Shakespeare, Laurence Sterne and Robert Fergusson.
6Burns started writing poems at the age of seventeen Burns started writing poems at the age of seventeen. He composed verses to the melodies of old folk-songs, which he had admired from his early childhood.The ploughing was profitless. In 1784, worn out, exhausted and burdened with debts, Burns’ father died. After his death the family moved to Mossgiel where Robert and Gilbert managed to rent a farm. The young men worked hard, but the land gave poor crops and the affairs of the family went from bad to worse.
7Though Burns despised those who worshipped money, he became well aware of the fact that poverty could ruin his whole life: he had fallen in love with Jean Armour, but her father did not want Robert to marry her as he was poor.There was no way for a poor peasant in Scotland, so Burns decided to sail to Jamaica, in the hope of obtaining a job on some sugar plantation. To raise the passage money, Robert published some of his poems in 1786.
8The little volume “Poems Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect” went off rapidly and brought in about twenty guineas. When Burns was about to leave for Jamaica, he received an invitation from Edinburg scholars who praised his verses.The letter changed his life. He accepted the invitation, went to Edinburgh and was welcomed there as one of the “wonders of the world”. A new and enlarged edition of his poems was the result. He toured Scotland as “Caledonia’s Bard”.
9But Burns was never offered an opportunity to devote his energy to literature. After the new edition of his poems, Burns returned to his native village with money enough to buy a farm and marry Jean Armour, whose father was now glad to have the poet as his son-in-law. Though Burns’ poems were very popular, he always remained poor, most of the money was spent on the monument to Robert Fergusson, the rest was hardly enough to support his wife and children.
10In 1791 he went bankrupt and was obliged to sell the farm and take a position of the customs officer in the town of Dumfries.The job was extremely hard: the poet had to cover long distances on horseback in any weather. However, he continued his literary work. Hard work undermined Burns’ health. He died in poverty at the age of thirty-seven, haunted by the shadow of the debtors’ prison. Burns was mourned by all the honest people of the country.
11After his death, the widow and the children were left without a shilling. The common Scottish people whom he had loved and for whom he had written his poems and songs, raised enough money by subscription to provide his widow with sustenance for the rest of her life and give all his children an education.Since the death of Robert Burns, all visitors to Dumfries pay homage to the poet by visiting his burial-place.
12Robert Burns was a true son of the Scottish peasantry Robert Burns was a true son of the Scottish peasantry. His poems embody their thoughts and aspirations, their human dignity, their love of freedom and hatred of all oppressors. In his poem “Is there for Honest poverty” Burns says that it is nor wealth and titles, but the excellent qualities of man’s heart and mind that make him “king of men for all that”.
13“My Heart’s in the Highlands” The poet was deeply interested in the glorious past of his country, which he called “the birthplace of valour, the country of worth”. In many of his poems Robert Burns sings the beauty of his native land.
14My heart's in the Highlands, my heart is not here, My heart's in the Highlands, a-chasing the deer; Chasing the wild-deer, and following the roe, My heart's in the Highlands, wherever I go. 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. Farewell to the mountains, high-cover'd with snow, Farewell to the straths and green vallies below; Farewell to the forests and wild-hanging woods, Farewell to the torrents and loud-pouring floods.
15Burns was a remarkable lyric poet Burns was a remarkable lyric poet. His masterful touch upon the human heart-strings is the most characteristic feature of his talent.O, my Love's like a red, red rose, That's newly sprung in June. O, my Love's like a melody That's sweetly played in tune. As fair as thou, my bonnie lass, So deep in love am I; And I will love thee still, my dear, Till all the seas go dry. Till all the seas go dry, my dear, And the rocks melt with the sun: I will love thee still, my dear, While the sands of life shall run: And fare thee well, my only love! And fare thee well, a while! And I will come again, my love, Though it were ten thousand mile.
16In his lyrical poems Robert Burns glorifies true love and friendship, free from any motives of gain and hypocritical morality. In all his works he remains the bard of freedom.People sing the song “Auld Lang Syne” on the last day of the year.They sing it, holding one another’s hands.
17Should auld acquaintance be forgot, And never brought to mind Should auld acquaintance be forgot, And never brought to mind? Should auld acquaintance be forgot, CHORUS: For auld lang syne, my dear, For auld lang syne, We'll tak a cup of kindness yet, For auld lang syne! And surely ye'll be your pint-stowp, And surely I'll be mine, And we'll tak a cup o kindness yet, For auld lang syne! CHORUS: For auld lang syne, my dear, For auld lang syne, We'll tak a cup of kindness yet, For auld lang syne!We twa hae run about the braes, And pou'd the gowans fine, But we've wander'd monie a weary fit, Sin auld lang syne. We twa hae paidl'd in the burn Frae morning sun till dine, But seas between us braid hae roar'd Sin auld lang syne. And there's a hand my trusty fiere, And gie's a hand o thine, And we'll tak a right guid-willie waught, For auld lang syne CHORUS: For auld lang syne, my dear, For auld lang syne, We'll tak a cup of kindness yet, For auld lang syne!