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Poem of the Week - Robert Burns

As I’m up in Bonny Scotland for the Edinburgh Fringe, it seems only appropriate that we should pay tribute to that great father of Scottish Literature, Mr Robert Burns. As club poet, this is a piece I had the privilege of performing at Ramsbottom Running Club’s annual ceilidh in January to open up the night and it’s a fine example of classical romantic poetry that captures the overwhelming passion of the writer. 

In the poem itself (as well as the beautiful comparison to a delicate red rose) he conjures great images of seas going dry and rocks melting in the sun - showing just how powerful those feelings of love can be when you try in earnest to articulate them. Dry seas, rocks melting - it’s the implausibility of it that makes it so very relevant, even today. 

Anyone who has been in love will tell you how you feel you can take on the world and often make wild claims and promises. In this poem our Robbie does just this and promises to go ten times further even than The Proclaimers with their measly thousand miles. Now that’s a someone who’s heart has been made to flutter. 


A RED, RED ROSE


O my Luve's like a red, red rose,

That's newly sprung in June:

O my Luve's like the melodie,

That's sweetly play'd in tune.


As fair art thou, my bonie lass,

So deep in luve am I;

And I will luve 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;

And I will luve thee still, my dear,

While the sands o' life shall run.


And fare-thee-weel, my only Luve!

And fare-thee-weel, a while!

And I will come again, my Luve,

Tho' 'twere ten thousand mile!


ROBERT BURNS




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