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Best Famous Robert Burns Poems

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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.

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!

by Robert Burns |

124. Motto prefixed to the Author’s first Publication

 THE SIMPLE Bard, unbroke by rules of art,
He pours the wild effusions of the heart;
And if inspir’d ’tis Nature’s pow’rs inspire;
Her’s all the melting thrill, and her’s the kindling fire.

by Edwin Arlington Robinson |

Old King Cole

 In Tilbury Town did Old King Cole 
A wise old age anticipate, 
Desiring, with his pipe and bowl, 
No Khan’s extravagant estate. 
No crown annoyed his honest head,
No fiddlers three were called or needed; 
For two disastrous heirs instead 
Made music more than ever three did. 

Bereft of her with whom his life 
Was harmony without a flaw,
He took no other for a wife, 
Nor sighed for any that he saw; 
And if he doubted his two sons, 
And heirs, Alexis and Evander, 
He might have been as doubtful once
Of Robert Burns and Alexander. 

Alexis, in his early youth, 
Began to steal—from old and young. 
Likewise Evander, and the truth 
Was like a bad taste on his tongue.
Born thieves and liars, their affair 
Seemed only to be tarred with evil— 
The most insufferable pair 
Of scamps that ever cheered the devil. 

The world went on, their fame went on,
And they went on—from bad to worse; 
Till, goaded hot with nothing done, 
And each accoutred with a curse, 
The friends of Old King Cole, by twos, 
And fours, and sevens, and elevens,
Pronounced unalterable views 
Of doings that were not of heaven’s. 

And having learned again whereby 
Their baleful zeal had come about, 
King Cole met many a wrathful eye
So kindly that its wrath went out— 
Or partly out. Say what they would, 
He seemed the more to court their candor; 
But never told what kind of good 
Was in Alexis and Evander.

And Old King Cole, with many a puff 
That haloed his urbanity, 
Would smoke till he had smoked enough, 
And listen most attentively. 
He beamed as with an inward light
That had the Lord’s assurance in it; 
And once a man was there all night, 
Expecting something every minute. 

But whether from too little thought, 
Or too much fealty to the bowl,
A dim reward was all he got 
For sitting up with Old King Cole. 
“Though mine,” the father mused aloud, 
“Are not the sons I would have chosen, 
Shall I, less evilly endowed,
By their infirmity be frozen? 

“They’ll have a bad end, I’ll agree, 
But I was never born to groan; 
For I can see what I can see, 
And I’m accordingly alone.
With open heart and open door, 
I love my friends, I like my neighbors; 
But if I try to tell you more, 
Your doubts will overmatch my labors. 

“This pipe would never make me calm,
This bowl my grief would never drown. 
For grief like mine there is no balm 
In Gilead, or in Tilbury Town. 
And if I see what I can see, 
I know not any way to blind it;
Nor more if any way may be 
For you to grope or fly to find it. 

“There may be room for ruin yet, 
And ashes for a wasted love; 
Or, like One whom you may forget,
I may have meat you know not of. 
And if I’d rather live than weep 
Meanwhile, do you find that surprising? 
Why, bless my soul, the man’s asleep! 
That’s good. The sun will soon be rising.”

by Robert Burns |

135. Epigram on Rough Roads

 I’M now arrived—thanks to the gods!—
 Thro’ pathways rough and muddy,
A certain sign that makin roads
 Is no this people’s study:
Altho’ Im not wi’ Scripture cram’d,
 I’m sure the Bible says
That heedless sinners shall be damn’d,
 Unless they mend their ways.

by Robert Burns |

Coming Through The Rye

 Coming thro' the rye, poor body,
Coming thro' the rye,
She draiglet a' her petticoatie
Coming thro' the rye.

O, Jenny's a' wat, poor body;
Jenny's seldom dry;
She draiglet a' her petticoatie
Coming thro' the rye.

Gin a body meet a body
Coming thro' the rye,
Gin a body kiss a body— 
Need a body cry?

Gin a body meet a body
Coming thro' the glen,
Gin a body kiss a body— 
Need the warld ken?

by Robert Burns |

253. Rhyming Reply to a Note from Captain Riddell

 DEAR SIR, at ony time or tide,
I’d rather sit wi’ you than ride,
 Though ’twere wi’ royal Geordie:
And trowth, your kindness, soon and late,
Aft gars me to mysel’ look blate—
 The Lord in Heav’n reward ye!R. BURNS.ELLISLAND.

by Robert Burns |

179. To Miss Ferrier enclosing Elegy on Sir J. H. Blair

 NAE heathen name shall I prefix,
 Frae Pindus or Parnassus;
Auld Reekie dings them a’ to sticks,
 For rhyme-inspiring lasses.

Jove’s tunefu’ dochters three times three
 Made Homer deep their debtor;
But, gien the body half an e’e,
 Nine Ferriers wad done better!

Last day my mind was in a bog,
 Down George’s Street I stoited;
A creeping cauld prosaic fog
 My very sense doited.

Do what I dought to set her free,
 My saul lay in the mire;
Ye turned a neuk—I saw your e’e—
 She took the wing like fire!

The mournfu’ sang I here enclose,
 In gratitude I send you,
And pray, in rhyme as weel as prose,
 A’ gude things may attend you!

by Robert Burns |

175. Epigram to Miss Jean Scott

 O HAD each Scot of ancient times
 Been, Jeanie Scott, as thou art;
The bravest heart on English ground
 Had yielded like a coward.

by Robert Burns |

Ye Banks And Braes OBonnie Doon

 Ye banks and braes o' bonnie Doon,
How can ye bloom sae fair!
How can ye chant, ye little birds,
And I sae fu' o' care!

Thou'll break my heart, thou bonnie bird
That sings upon the bough;
Thou minds me o' the happy days
When my fause Luve was true.

Thou'll break my heart, thou bonnie bird
That sings beside thy mate;
For sae I sat, and sae I sang,
And wist na o' my fate.

Aft hae I roved by bonnie Doon
To see the woodbine twine,
And ilka bird sang o' its love;
And sae did I o' mine.

Wi' lightsome heart I pu'd a rose
Frae aff its thorny tree;
And my fause luver staw the rose,
But left the thorn wi' me.