Robert Burns is the national poet of Scotland. In his poems Burns sang the beauty and the glory of his native land.
Burns was born in Alloway, near Ayr, on 25 of January 1759. His father, a small farmer, was a hard-working man. When Robert was 6, he was sent to a school at Alloway Miln. Robert and his brother Gilbert were given a good knowledge of English. They progressed rapidly in reading and writing.
For some years Burns worked on the family field, plugging and reaping. The combination of hard physical labour and poor food in his youth that brought about the first symptoms of the heart disease which troubled him for much of his life and from which he died.
Burns wrote his first poem at the age of 14 for a girl who worked with him in the fields. After father’s death he immigrated to Jamaica. His most creative years were probably 1785 and 1786. During this period Burns wrote his most brilliant poems. Burns published his poems in August 1786. The success was great.
Soon, in April 1787, a second edition of his poems appeared in Edinburgh; 3000 copies were printed – a very large number for those times!
Now Burns had the opportunity to see more of his native land which he so dearly loved. He visited some historic places, which made a great impression on him.
During the last 5 years of his life Burns wrote some of his best poems and songs. After a short illness he died on 21 July 1796.