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Famous Auld Poems by Famous Poets

These are examples of famous Auld poems written by some of the greatest and most-well-known modern and classical poets. PoetrySoup is a great educational poetry resource of famous auld poems. These examples illustrate what a famous auld poem looks like and its form, scheme, or style (where appropriate).

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by Burns, Robert,
 An’ wad hae don’t aff han’;
But lest he learn the callan tricks—
 An’ faith I muckle doubt him—
Like scrapin out auld Crummie’s nicks,
 An’ tellin lies about them;
 As lieve then, I’d have then
 Your clerkship he should sair,
 If sae be ye may be
 Not fitted otherwhere.

Altho’ I say’t, he’s gleg enough,
An’ ’bout a house that’s rude an’ rough,
 The boy might learn to swear;
But then, wi’ you, he’ll be sae taught,
An’ get sic fair example straught,
 I hae na ony f...Read More

by Burns, Robert hunger’d Highland boors;
Lord grant me nae duddie, desperate beggar,
Wi’ dirk, claymore, and rusty trigger,
May twin auld Scotland o’ a life
She likes—as butchers like a knife.

Faith you and Applecross were right
To keep the Highland hounds in sight:
I doubt na! they wad bid nae better,
Than let them ance out owre the water,
Then up among thae lakes and seas,
They’ll mak what rules and laws they please:
Some daring Hancocke, or a Franklin,
May set their Highland blui...Read More

by Burns, Robert
To chaps wha in barn or byre
 Wad better fill’d their station
 Than courts yon day.

And now ye’ve gien auld Britain peace,
 Her broken shins to plaister,
Your sair taxation does her fleece,
 Till she has scarce a tester:
For me, thank God, my life’s a lease,
 Nae bargain wearin’ faster,
Or, faith! I fear, that, wi’ the geese,
 I shortly boost to pasture
 I’ the craft some day.

I’m no mistrusting Willie Pitt,
 When taxes he enlarges,
(An’ Will’s a true g...Read More

by Burns, Robert
Wha can do nought but fyke an’ fumble,
 ’Twad been nae plea;
But he was gleg as ony wumble,
 That’s owre the sea!

Auld, cantie Kyle may weepers wear,
An’ stain them wi’ the saut, saut tear;
’Twill mak her poor auld heart, I fear,
 In flinders flee:
He was her Laureat mony a year,
 That’s owre the sea!

He saw Misfortune’s cauld nor-west
Lang mustering up a bitter blast;
A jillet brak his heart at last,
 Ill may she be!
So, took a berth afore the mast,
 An’ owre the sea...Read More

by Burns, Robert
...s 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 multi...Read More

by Burns, Robert
...ngs is heard;
Two dusky forms dart through the midnight air;
Swift as the gos 4 drives on the wheeling hare;
Ane on th’ Auld Brig his airy shape uprears,
The other flutters o’er the rising piers:
Our warlock Rhymer instantly dexcried
The Sprites that owre the Brigs of Ayr preside.
(That Bards are second-sighted is nae joke,
And ken the lingo of the sp’ritual folk;
Fays, Spunkies, Kelpies, a’, they can explain them,
And even the very deils they brawly ken them).
“Auld ...Read More

by Burns, Robert
...mild! D’rymple mild, tho’ your heart’s like a child,
 And your life like the new-driven snaw,
Yet that winna save you, auld Satan must have you,
 For preaching that three’s ane an’ twa,
D’rymple mild! 5 For preaching that three’s ane an’ twa.

Rumble John! rumble John, mount the steps with a groan,
 Cry the book is with heresy cramm’d;
Then out wi’ your ladle, deal brimstone like aidle,
 And roar ev’ry note of the D—’d.
Rumble John! 6 And roar ev’ry note of the D—’d...Read More

by Burns, Robert
Nursing her wrath to keep it warm.

 This truth fand honest TAM O’ SHANTER,
As he frae Ayr ae night did canter:
(Auld Ayr, wham ne’er a town surpasses,
For honest men and bonie lasses).

 O Tam! had’st thou but been sae wise,
As taen thy ain wife Kate’s advice!
She tauld thee weel thou was a skellum,
A blethering, blustering, drunken blellum;
That frae November till October,
Ae market-day thou was na sober;
That ilka melder wi’ the Miller,
Thou sat as lang as thou...Read More

by Burns, Robert
...’ 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 s...Read More

by Burns, Robert,
 There’s peace an’ rest nae langer;
For a’ the real judges rise,
 They canna sit for anger,
Smith 4 opens out his cauld harangues,
 On practice and on morals;
An’ aff the godly pour in thrangs,
 To gie the jars an’ barrels
 A lift that day.

What signifies his barren shine,
 Of moral powers an’ reason?
His English style, an’ gesture fine
 Are a’ clean out o’ season.
Like Socrates or Antonine,
 Or some auld pagan heathen,
The moral man he does define,
 But ne’er ...Read More

by Burns, Robert
...l’d a’ the lasses;
But her tap-pickle maist was lost,
 Whan kiutlin in the fause-house 7
 Wi’ him that night.

The auld guid-wife’s weel-hoordit nits 8
 Are round an’ round dividend,
An’ mony lads an’ lasses’ fates
 Are there that night decided:
Some kindle couthie side by side,
 And burn thegither trimly;
Some start awa wi’ saucy pride,
 An’ jump out owre the chimlie
 Fu’ high that night.

Jean slips in twa, wi’ tentie e’e;
 Wha ’twas, she wadna tell;
But this is J...Read More

by Burns, Robert
...RecitativoWHEN lyart leaves bestrow the yird,
Or wavering like the bauckie-bird,
 Bedim cauld Boreas’ blast;
When hailstanes drive wi’ bitter skyte,
And infant frosts begin to bite,
 In hoary cranreuch drest;
Ae night at e’en a merry core
 O’ randie, gangrel bodies,
In Poosie-Nansie’s held the splore,
 To drink their orra duddies;
 Wi’ quaffing an’ laughing,
 They ranted an’ they sang,
 Wi’ jumping an’ thumping,
 The vera girdle rang,

First, n...Read More

by Burns, Robert
...artial, eye their hopeful years;
Anticipation forward points the view;
 The mother, wi’ her needle and her shears,
Gars auld claes look amaist as weel’s the new;
The father mixes a’ wi’ admonition due.

Their master’s and their mistress’ command,
 The younkers a’ are warned to obey;
And mind their labours wi’ an eydent hand,
 And ne’er, tho’ out o’ sight, to jauk or play;
 “And O! be sure to fear the Lord alway,
And mind your duty, duly, morn and night;
 Lest in temptati...Read More

by Burns, Robert
...’TWAS 1 in that place o’ Scotland’s isle,
That bears the name o’ auld King Coil,
Upon a bonie day in June,
When wearin’ thro’ the afternoon,
Twa dogs, that were na thrang at hame,
Forgather’d ance upon a time.
 The first I’ll name, they ca’d him Caesar,
Was keepit for His Honor’s pleasure:
His hair, his size, his mouth, his lugs,
Shew’d he was nane o’ Scotland’s dogs;
But whalpit some place far abroad,
Whare sailors g...Read More

by Burns, Robert
 Which made Canaan a ******;
Or Phineas 6 drove the murdering blade,
 Wi’ whore-abhorring rigour;
Or Zipporah, 7 the scauldin jad,
 Was like a bluidy tiger
 I’ th’ inn that day.

There, try his mettle on the creed,
 An’ bind him down wi’ caution,
That stipend is a carnal weed
 He taks by for the fashion;
And gie him o’er the flock, to feed,
 And punish each transgression;
Especial, rams that cross the breed,
 Gie them sufficient threshin;
 Spare them nae day.

Now,...Read More

by Burns, Robert

There, lanely by the ingle-cheek,
I sat and ey’d the spewing reek,
That fill’d, wi’ hoast-provoking smeek,
 The auld clay biggin;
An’ heard the restless rattons squeak
 About the riggin.

All in this mottie, misty clime,
I backward mus’d on wasted time,
How I had spent my youthfu’ prime,
 An’ done nae thing,
But stringing blethers up in rhyme,
 For fools to sing.

Had I to guid advice but harkit,
I might, by this, hae led a market,
Or strutted in a bank and ...Read More

by Burns, Robert
Nursing her wrath to keep it warm.

This truth fand honest Tam o'Shanter,
As he frae Ayr ae night did canter,
(Auld Ayr, wham ne'er a town surpasses,
For honest men and bonie lasses).

O Tam! hadst thou but been sae wise,
As ta'en thy ain wife Kate's advice!
She tauld thee weel thou was a skellum,
A blethering, blustering, drunken blellum,
That frae November till October,
Ae market-day thou was nae sober;
That ilka melder, wi' the miller,
Thou sat as lang as thou...Read More

by Service, Robert William

Read the inscription: For Valour - presented to Millie MacGee.
Ah! how in mem'ry it takes me back to the "auld lang syne,"
When Millie and I were sweethearts, and fair as a flower was she -
Yet little I dreamt that her bosom held the heart of heroine.

Listen! I'll tell you about it... An orphan was Millie MacGee,
Living with Billie her brother, under the Yukon sky,
Sam, her pa, was cremated in the winter of nineteen-three,
As duly and truly rela...Read More

by Service, Robert William
..."Hae ye heard whit ma auld mither's postit tae me?
It fair maks me hamesick," says Private McPhee.
"And whit did she send ye?" says Private McPhun,
As he cockit his rifle and bleezed at a Hun.
"A haggis! A Haggis!" says Private McPhee;
"The brawest big haggis I ever did see.
And think! it's the morn when fond memory turns
Tae haggis and whuskey--the Birthday o' Burns....Read More

by Whittier, John Greenleaf
Round the silver domes of Lucknow.
Moslem mosque and Pagan shrine,
Breathed the air to Britons dearest,
The air of Auld Lang Syne.
O'er the cruel roll of war-drums
Rose that sweet and homelike strain;
And the tartan clove the turban,
As the Goomtee cleaves the plain.

Dear to the corn-land reaper
And plaided mountaineer, -
To the cottage and the castle
The piper's song is dear.
Sweet sounds the Gaelic pibroch
O'er mountain, glen, and glade;
But the sweetest o...Read More

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