Submit Your Poems
Get Your Premium Membership

CreationEarth Nature Photos

Best Famous Robert Burns Poems

Here is a collection of the all-time best famous Robert Burns poems. This is a select list of the best famous Robert Burns poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous Robert Burns poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of Robert Burns poems.

Search for the best famous Robert Burns poems, articles about Robert Burns poems, poetry blogs, or anything else Robert Burns poem related using the PoetrySoup search engine at the top of the page.

See also:

Famous poems below this ad
Written by 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 a melodie That's sweetly play'd in tune.
As fair as thou, my bonnie lass, So deep in luve am I; And I will love 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 love thess till, my dear, While the sands o' life shall run: And fare thee well, my only luve! And fare thee weel, a while! And I will come again, my luve, Tho' it ware ten thousand mile.

Written by Robert Burns |

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' murd'ring pattle!

I'm truly sorry man's dominion
Has broken Nature's social union,
An' justifies that ill opinion
          Which makes thee startle
At me, thy poor, earth-born companion,
          An' fellow mortal!

I doubt na, whiles, but thou may thieve;
What then? poor beastie, thou maun live!
A daimen icker in a thrave
          'S a sma' request;
I'll get a blessin wi' the lave,
          An' never miss't!

Thy wee bit housie, too, in ruin!
Its silly wa's the win's are strewin!
An' naething, now, to big a new ane,
          O' foggage green!
An' bleak December's win's ensuin,
          Baith snell an' keen!

Thou saw the fields laid bare an waste,
An' weary winter comin fast,
An' cozie here, beneath the blast,
          Thou thought to dwell,
Till crash! the cruel coulter past
          Out thro' thy cell.
That wee bit heap o' leaves an' stibble Has cost thee mony a weary nibble! Now thou's turned out, for a' thy trouble, But house or hald, To thole the winter's sleety dribble, An' cranreuch cauld! But Mousie, thou art no thy lane, In proving foresight may be vain: The best-laid schemes o' mice an' men Gang aft a-gley, An' lea'e us nought but grief an' pain For promised joy! Still thou art blest, compared wi' me! The present only toucheth thee: But och! I backward cast my e'e On prospects drear! An' forward, tho I canna see, I guess an' fear!

Written by Robert Burns |

403. The Soldier's Return: A Ballad

 WHEN wild war’s deadly blast was blawn,
 And gentle peace returning,
Wi’ mony a sweet babe fatherless,
 And mony a widow mourning;
I left the lines and tented field,
 Where lang I’d been a lodger,
My humble knapsack a’ my wealth,
 A poor and honest sodger.
A leal, light heart was in my breast, My hand unstain’d wi’ plunder; And for fair Scotia hame again, I cheery on did wander: I thought upon the banks o’ Coil, I thought upon my Nancy, I thought upon the witching smile That caught my youthful fancy.
At length I reach’d the bonie glen, Where early life I sported; I pass’d the mill and trysting thorn, Where Nancy aft I courted: Wha spied I but my ain dear maid, Down by her mother’s dwelling! And turn’d me round to hide the flood That in my een was swelling.
Wi’ alter’d voice, quoth I, “Sweet lass, Sweet as yon hawthorn’s blossom, O! happy, happy may he be, That’s dearest to thy bosom: My purse is light, I’ve far to gang, And fain would be thy lodger; I’ve serv’d my king and country lang— Take pity on a sodger.
” Sae wistfully she gaz’d on me, And lovelier was than ever; Quo’ she, “A sodger ance I lo’ed, Forget him shall I never: Our humble cot, and hamely fare, Ye freely shall partake it; That gallant badge-the dear cockade, Ye’re welcome for the sake o’t.
” She gaz’d—she redden’d like a rose— Syne pale like only lily; She sank within my arms, and cried, “Art thou my ain dear Willie?” “By him who made yon sun and sky! By whom true love’s regarded, I am the man; and thus may still True lovers be rewarded.
“The wars are o’er, and I’m come hame, And find thee still true-hearted; Tho’ poor in gear, we’re rich in love, And mair we’se ne’er be parted.
” Quo’ she, “My grandsire left me gowd, A mailen plenish’d fairly; And come, my faithfu’ sodger lad, Thou’rt welcome to it dearly!” For gold the merchant ploughs the main, The farmer ploughs the manor; But glory is the sodger’s prize, The sodger’s wealth is honor: The brave poor sodger ne’er despise, Nor count him as a stranger; Remember he’s his country’s stay, In day and hour of danger.

More great poems below...

Written by Robert Burns |

395. Sonnet on the Author's Birthday

 SING on, sweet thrush, upon the leafless bough,
 Sing on, sweet bird, I listen to thy strain,
 See aged Winter, ’mid his surly reign,
At thy blythe carol, clears his furrowed brow.
So in lone Poverty’s dominion drear, Sits meek Content with light, unanxious heart; Welcomes the rapid moments, bids them part, Nor asks if they bring ought to hope or fear.
I thank thee, Author of this opening day! Thou whose bright sun now gilds yon orient skies! Riches denied, thy boon was purer joys— What wealth could never give nor take away! Yet come, thou child of poverty and care, The mite high heav’n bestow’d, that mite with thee I’ll share.

Written by Robert Burns |

25. My Father was a Farmer: A Ballad

 MY father was a farmer upon the Carrick border, O,
And carefully he bred me in decency and order, O;
He bade me act a manly part, though I had ne’er a farthing, O;
For without an honest manly heart, no man was worth regarding, O.
Then out into the world my course I did determine, O; Tho’ to be rich was not my wish, yet to be great was charming, O; My talents they were not the worst, nor yet my education, O: Resolv’d was I at least to try to mend my situation, O.
In many a way, and vain essay, I courted Fortune’s favour, O; Some cause unseen still stept between, to frustrate each endeavour, O; Sometimes by foes I was o’erpower’d, sometimes by friends forsaken, O; And when my hope was at the top, I still was worst mistaken, O.
Then sore harass’d and tir’d at last, with Fortune’s vain delusion, O, I dropt my schemes, like idle dreams, and came to this conclusion, O; The past was bad, and the future hid, its good or ill untried, O; But the present hour was in my pow’r, and so I would enjoy it, O.
No help, nor hope, nor view had I, nor person to befriend me, O; So I must toil, and sweat, and moil, and labour to sustain me, O; To plough and sow, to reap and mow, my father bred me early, O; For one, he said, to labour bred, was a match for Fortune fairly, O.
Thus all obscure, unknown, and poor, thro’ life I’m doom’d to wander, O, Till down my weary bones I lay in everlasting slumber, O: No view nor care, but shun whate’er might breed me pain or sorrow, O; I live to-day as well’s I may, regardless of to-morrow, O.
But cheerful still, I am as well as a monarch in his palace, O, Tho’ Fortune’s frown still hunts me down, with all her wonted malice, O: I make indeed my daily bread, but ne’er can make it farther, O: But as daily bread is all I need, I do not much regard her, O.
When sometimes by my labour, I earn a little money, O, Some unforeseen misfortune comes gen’rally upon me, O; Mischance, mistake, or by neglect, or my goodnatur’d folly, O: But come what will, I’ve sworn it still, I’ll ne’er be melancholy, O.
All you who follow wealth and power with unremitting ardour, O, The more in this you look for bliss, you leave your view the farther, O: Had you the wealth Potosi boasts, or nations to adore you, O, A cheerful honest-hearted clown I will prefer before you, O.

Written by Robert Burns |

118. A Bard's Epitaph

 IS there a whim-inspirèd fool,
Owre fast for thought, owre hot for rule,
Owre blate to seek, owre proud to snool,
 Let him draw near;
And owre this grassy heap sing dool,
 And drap a tear.
Is there a bard of rustic song, Who, noteless, steals the crowds among, That weekly this area throng, O, pass not by! But, with a frater-feeling strong, Here, heave a sigh.
Is there a man, whose judgment clear Can others teach the course to steer, Yet runs, himself, life’s mad career, Wild as the wave, Here pause—and, thro’ the starting tear, Survey this grave.
The poor inhabitant below Was quick to learn the wise to know, And keenly felt the friendly glow, And softer flame; But thoughtless follies laid him low, And stain’d his name! Reader, attend! whether thy soul Soars fancy’s flights beyond the pole, Or darkling grubs this earthly hole, In low pursuit: Know, prudent, cautious, self-control Is wisdom’s root.

Written by Robert Burns |

42. A Poet's Welcome to his Love-Begotten Daughter

 THOU’S 1 welcome, wean; mishanter fa’ me,
If thoughts o’ thee, or yet thy mamie,
Shall ever daunton me or awe me,
 My bonie lady,
Or if I blush when thou shalt ca’ me
 Tyta or daddie.
Tho’ now they ca’ me fornicator, An’ tease my name in kintry clatter, The mair they talk, I’m kent the better, E’en let them clash; An auld wife’s tongue’s a feckless matter To gie ane fash.
Welcome! my bonie, sweet, wee dochter, Tho’ ye come here a wee unsought for, And tho’ your comin’ I hae fought for, Baith kirk and queir; Yet, by my faith, ye’re no unwrought for, That I shall swear! Wee image o’ my bonie Betty, As fatherly I kiss and daut thee, As dear, and near my heart I set thee Wi’ as gude will As a’ the priests had seen me get thee That’s out o’ h—ll.
Sweet fruit o’ mony a merry dint, My funny toil is now a’ tint, Sin’ thou came to the warl’ asklent, Which fools may scoff at; In my last plack thy part’s be in’t The better ha’f o’t.
Tho’ I should be the waur bestead, Thou’s be as braw and bienly clad, And thy young years as nicely bred Wi’ education, As ony brat o’ wedlock’s bed, In a’ thy station.
Lord grant that thou may aye inherit Thy mither’s person, grace, an’ merit, An’ thy poor, worthless daddy’s spirit, Without his failins, ’Twill please me mair to see thee heir it, Than stockit mailens.
For if thou be what I wad hae thee, And tak the counsel I shall gie thee, I’ll never rue my trouble wi’ thee, The cost nor shame o’t, But be a loving father to thee, And brag the name o’t.
Note 1.
Burns never published this poem.

Written by Robert Burns |

438. Impromptu on Mrs. Riddell's Birthday

 OLD Winter, with his frosty beard,
Thus once to Jove his prayer preferred:
“What have I done of all the year,
To bear this hated doom severe?
My cheerless suns no pleasure know;
Night’s horrid car drags, dreary slow;
My dismal months no joys are crowning,
But spleeny English hanging, drowning.
“Now Jove, for once be mighty civil.
To counterbalance all this evil; Give me, and I’ve no more to say, Give me Maria’s natal day! That brilliant gift shall so enrich me, Spring, Summer, Autumn, cannot match me.
” “’Tis done!” says Jove; so ends my story, And Winter once rejoiced in glory.

Written by Robert Burns |

28. Poor Mailie's Elegy

 LAMENT in rhyme, lament in prose,
Wi’ saut tears trickling down your nose;
Our bardie’s fate is at a close,
 Past a’ remead!
The last, sad cape-stane o’ his woes;
 Poor Mailie’s dead!

 It’s no the loss o’ warl’s gear,
That could sae bitter draw the tear,
Or mak our bardie, dowie, wear
 The mourning weed:
He’s lost a friend an’ neebor dear
 In Mailie dead.
Thro’ a’ the town she trotted by him; A lang half-mile she could descry him; Wi’ kindly bleat, when she did spy him, She ran wi’ speed: A friend mair faithfu’ ne’er cam nigh him, Than Mailie dead.
I wat she was a sheep o’ sense, An’ could behave hersel’ wi’ mense: I’ll say’t, she never brak a fence, Thro’ thievish greed.
Our bardie, lanely, keeps the spence Sin’ Mailie’s dead.
Or, if he wanders up the howe, Her living image in her yowe Comes bleating till him, owre the knowe, For bits o’ bread; An’ down the briny pearls rowe For Mailie dead.
She was nae get o’ moorland tips, Wi’ tauted ket, an’ hairy hips; For her forbears were brought in ships, Frae ’yont the Tweed.
A bonier fleesh ne’er cross’d the clips Than Mailie’s dead.
Wae worth the man wha first did shape That vile, wanchancie thing—a raip! It maks guid fellows girn an’ gape, Wi’ chokin dread; An’ Robin’s bonnet wave wi’ crape For Mailie dead.
O, a’ ye bards on bonie Doon! An’ wha on Ayr your chanters tune! Come, join the melancholious croon O’ Robin’s reed! His heart will never get aboon— His Mailie’s dead!

Written by Robert Burns |

130. Nature's Law: A Poem

 LET other heroes boast their scars,
 The marks of sturt and strife:
And other poets sing of wars,
 The plagues of human life:
Shame fa’ the fun, wi’ sword and gun
 To slap mankind like lumber!
I sing his name, and nobler fame,
 Wha multiplies our number.
Great Nature spoke, with air benign, “Go on, ye human race; This lower world I you resign; Be fruitful and increase.
The liquid fire of strong desire I’ve pour’d it in each bosom; Here, on this had, does Mankind stand, And there is Beauty’s blossom.
” The Hero of these artless strains, A lowly bard was he, Who sung his rhymes in Coila’s plains, With meikle mirth an’glee; Kind Nature’s care had given his share Large, of the flaming current; And, all devout, he never sought To stem the sacred torrent.
He felt the powerful, high behest Thrill, vital, thro’ and thro’; And sought a correspondent breast, To give obedience due: Propitious Powers screen’d the young flow’rs, From mildews of abortion; And low! the bard—a great reward— Has got a double portion! Auld cantie Coil may count the day, As annual it returns, The third of Libra’s equal sway, That gave another Burns, With future rhymes, an’ other times, To emulate his sire: To sing auld Coil in nobler style With more poetic fire.
Ye Powers of peace, and peaceful song, Look down with gracious eyes; And bless auld Coila, large and long, With multiplying joys; Lang may she stand to prop the land, The flow’r of ancient nations; And Burnses spring, her fame to sing, To endless generations!

Written by Robert Burns |

273. Song—Tam Glen

 MY heart is a-breaking, dear Tittie,
 Some counsel unto me come len’,
To anger them a’ is a pity,
 But what will I do wi’ Tam Glen?

I’m thinking, wi’ sic a braw fellow,
 In poortith I might mak a fen;
What care I in riches to wallow,
 If I maunna marry Tam Glen!

There’s Lowrie the Laird o’ Dumeller—
 “Gude day to you, brute!” he comes ben:
He brags and he blaws o’ his siller,
 But when will he dance like Tam Glen!

My minnie does constantly deave me,
 And bids me beware o’ young men;
They flatter, she says, to deceive me,
 But wha can think sae o’ Tam Glen!

My daddie says, gin I’ll forsake him,
 He’d gie me gude hunder marks ten;
But, if it’s ordain’d I maun take him,
 O wha will I get but Tam Glen!

Yestreen at the Valentine’s dealing,
 My heart to my mou’ gied a sten’;
For thrice I drew ane without failing,
 And thrice it was written “Tam Glen”!

The last Halloween I was waukin
 My droukit sark-sleeve, as ye ken,
His likeness came up the house staukin,
 And the very grey breeks o’ Tam Glen!

Come, counsel, dear Tittie, don’t tarry;
 I’ll gie ye my bonie black hen,
Gif ye will advise me to marry
 The lad I lo’e dearly, Tam Glen.

Written by Robert Burns |

115. The Farewell to the Brethren of St. James's Lodge Tarbolton

 ADIEU! a heart-warm fond adieu;
 Dear brothers of the mystic tie!
Ye favourèd, enlighten’d few,
 Companions of my social joy;
Tho’ I to foreign lands must hie,
 Pursuing Fortune’s slidd’ry ba’;
With melting heart, and brimful eye,
 I’ll mind you still, tho’ far awa.
Oft have I met your social band, And spent the cheerful, festive night; Oft, honour’d with supreme command, Presided o’er the sons of light: And by that hieroglyphic bright, Which none but Craftsmen ever saw Strong Mem’ry on my heart shall write Those happy scenes, when far awa.
May Freedom, Harmony, and Love, Unite you in the grand Design, Beneath th’ Omniscient Eye above, The glorious Architect Divine, That you may keep th’ unerring line, Still rising by the plummet’s law, Till Order bright completely shine, Shall be my pray’r when far awa.
And you, farewell! whose merits claim Justly that highest badge to wear: Heav’n bless your honour’d noble name, To Masonry and Scotia dear! A last request permit me here,— When yearly ye assemble a’, One round, I ask it with a tear, To him, the Bard that’s far awa.

Written by Robert Burns |

466. Ode for General Washington's Birthday

 NO Spartan tube, no Attic shell,
 No lyre Æolian I awake;
’Tis liberty’s bold note I swell,
 Thy harp, Columbia, let me take!
See gathering thousands, while I sing,
A broken chain exulting bring,
 And dash it in a tyrant’s face,
And dare him to his very beard,
And tell him he no more is feared—
 No more the despot of Columbia’s race!
A tyrant’s proudest insults brav’d,
They shout—a People freed! They hail an Empire saved.
Where is man’s god-like form? Where is that brow erect and bold— That eye that can unmov’d behold The wildest rage, the loudest storm That e’er created fury dared to raise? Avaunt! thou caitiff, servile, base, That tremblest at a despot’s nod, Yet, crouching under the iron rod, Canst laud the hand that struck th’ insulting blow! Art thou of man’s Imperial line? Dost boast that countenance divine? Each skulking feature answers, No! But come, ye sons of Liberty, Columbia’s offspring, brave as free, In danger’s hour still flaming in the van, Ye know, and dare maintain, the Royalty of Man! Alfred! on thy starry throne, Surrounded by the tuneful choir, The bards that erst have struck the patriot lyre, And rous’d the freeborn Briton’s soul of fire, No more thy England own! Dare injured nations form the great design, To make detested tyrants bleed? Thy England execrates the glorious deed! Beneath her hostile banners waving, Every pang of honour braving, England in thunder calls, “The tyrant’s cause is mine!” That hour accurst how did the fiends rejoice And hell, thro’ all her confines, raise the exulting voice, That hour which saw the generous English name Linkt with such damned deeds of everlasting shame! Thee, Caledonia! thy wild heaths among, Fam’d for the martial deed, the heaven-taught song, To thee I turn with swimming eyes; Where is that soul of Freedom fled? Immingled with the mighty dead, Beneath that hallow’d turf where Wallace lies Hear it not, WALLACE! in thy bed of death.
Ye babbling winds! in silence sweep, Disturb not ye the hero’s sleep, Nor give the coward secret breath! Is this the ancient Caledonian form, Firm as the rock, resistless as the storm? Show me that eye which shot immortal hate, Blasting the despot’s proudest bearing; Show me that arm which, nerv’d with thundering fate, Crush’d Usurpation’s boldest daring!— Dark-quench’d as yonder sinking star, No more that glance lightens afar; That palsied arm no more whirls on the waste of war.

Written by Robert Burns |

100. Inscribed on a Work of Hannah More's

 THOU flatt’ring mark of friendship kind,
Still may thy pages call to mind
 The dear, the beauteous donor;
Tho’ sweetly female ev’ry part,
Yet such a head, and more the heart
 Does both the sexes honour:
She show’d her taste refin’d and just,
 When she selected thee;
Yet deviating, own I must,
 For sae approving me:
 But kind still I’ll mind still
 The giver in the gift;
 I’ll bless her, an’ wiss her
 A Friend aboon the lift.

Written by Robert Burns |

171. Burlesque Lament fo Wm. Creech's Absence

 AULD chuckie Reekie’s 1 sair distrest,
Down droops her ance weel burnish’d crest,
Nae joy her bonie buskit nest
 Can yield ava,
Her darling bird that she lo’es best—
 Willie’s awa!

O Willie was a witty wight,
And had o’ things an unco’ sleight,
Auld Reekie aye he keepit tight,
 And trig an’ braw:
But now they’ll busk her like a fright,—
 Willie’s awa!

The stiffest o’ them a’ he bow’d,
The bauldest o’ them a’ he cow’d;
They durst nae mair than he allow’d,
 That was a law:
We’ve lost a birkie weel worth gowd;
 Willie’s awa!

Now gawkies, tawpies, gowks and fools,
Frae colleges and boarding schools,
May sprout like simmer puddock-stools
 In glen or shaw;
He wha could brush them down to mools—
 Willie’s awa!

The brethren o’ the Commerce-chaumer
May mourn their loss wi’ doolfu’ clamour;
He was a dictionar and grammar
 Among them a’;
I fear they’ll now mak mony a stammer;
 Willie’s awa!

Nae mair we see his levee door
Philosophers and poets pour,
And toothy critics by the score,
 In bloody raw!
The adjutant o’ a’ the core—
 Willie’s awa!

Now worthy Gregory’s Latin face,
Tytler’s and Greenfield’s modest grace;
Mackenzie, Stewart, such a brace
 As Rome ne’er saw;
They a’ maun meet some ither place,
 Willie’s awa!

Poor Burns ev’n Scotch Drink canna quicken,
He cheeps like some bewilder’d chicken
Scar’d frae it’s minnie and the cleckin,
 By hoodie-craw;
Grieg’s gien his heart an unco kickin,
 Willie’s awa!

Now ev’ry sour-mou’d girnin blellum,
And Calvin’s folk, are fit to fell him;
Ilk self-conceited critic skellum
 His quill may draw;
He wha could brawlie ward their bellum—
 Willie’s awa!

Up wimpling stately Tweed I’ve sped,
And Eden scenes on crystal Jed,
And Ettrick banks, now roaring red,
 While tempests blaw;
But every joy and pleasure’s fled,
 Willie’s awa!

May I be Slander’s common speech;
A text for Infamy to preach;
And lastly, streekit out to bleach
 In winter snaw;
When I forget thee, Willie Creech,
 Tho’ far awa!

May never wicked Fortune touzle him!
May never wicked men bamboozle him!
Until a pow as auld’s Methusalem
 He canty claw!
Then to the blessed new Jerusalem,
 Fleet wing awa!

 Note 1.