Robert Burns (part 1)

Robert Burns (1759-1796) is Scotland's national poet. He wrote both in standard English and in Scottish dialect. He created a lot of poems and songs, the best known of which is Auld Lang Syne, which is sung all over English-speaking world on New Year's Eve. The two poems that follow deal with love, a favourite theme for Burns, who was famed for his amorous adventures.

Для прослушивания аудиозаписи требуется MP3 player

  A. Listen to the poem and read it.

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 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:
And I will love 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' it were ten thousand mile!

luve: love
newly sprung: just blossomed
fair: beautiful
tune: a song or a piece of music; in tune – producing the right notes, without mistakes
art thou: you are
bonnie lass: pretty girl
thee: you
a': all
gang: go
wi': with
o': of
fare thee weel: goodbye, farewell
a while: for the moment
tho': though, even if

B. Answer the questions.

  1. What sort of person is the speaker?
  2. What is he about to do?
  3. Who is he addressing? What is the difference between stanza 1 and stanzas 2-4?
  4. What is he telling his love? Retell what he says in your own words.
  5. What examples of imagery that appeals to the senses do you find in the poem?
  6. What figures of speech does the first quatrain contain?
  7. Find examples of hyperbole in the poem.
  8. Find a metaphor in the third stanza. What object does it remind you of?
  9. Find examples of alliteration.
  10. What ideas does the poem contain?

Вы можете найти в интернете несколько вариантов исполнения песни "A Red, Red Rose". Приведённый ниже проиллюстрирован картинами и гравюрами шотландских художников 18-19 в.

  C. Read and translate the poem

My Bonie Bell

The smiling Spring comes in rejoicing,
And surly Winter grimly flies;
Now crystal clear are the falling waters,
And bonie blue are the sunny skies.
Fresh o’er the mountains breaks forth the morning,
The ev’ning gilds the ocean’s swell;
All creatures joy in the sun’s returning,
And I rejoice in my bonie Bell.

The flowery Spring leads sunny Summer,
The yellow Autumn presses near;
Then in his turn comes gloomy Winter,
Till smiling Spring again appear:
Thus seasons dancing, life advancing,
Old Time and Nature their changes tell;
But never ranging, still unchanging,
I adore my bonie Bell.

rejoicing: being happy, full of joy
surly: unfriendly
grimly: feeling displeased, worried
o'er: over
breaks forth: starts, begins
ev'ning: evening
swell: movement of waves
advancing: moving forward, continuing
ranging: looking for a variety

D. Answer the questions.

  1. Who is the speaker?
  2. What is described in the first stanza?
  3. What is described in the second stanza?
  4. What senses does the poet appeal to? Give examples of imagery.
  5. What is contrasted in the poem?
  6. What types of figurative language are used in the poem? Find all examples.
  7. What is the main idea of the poem?

  E. Compare the two poems. How are they similar / different?

  F. Learn one of the poems by heart.