Robert Burns chose June for the setting of one of the loveliest

of floral compliments. In contrast to most of his poems, the recipient of A Red, Red Rose remains anonymous. Below is the complete poem-cum-song, which also reflects scientific advances of the time. It is accompanied by the first and last verses of another fine but lesser-known poem by the bard.



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:

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!


O were I on Parnassus hill;

Or had o’ Helicon my fill;

That I might catch poetic skill,

To sing how dear I love thee.

But Nith maun be my Muses well,

My Muse maun be thy bonie sell;

On Corsincon I’ll glowr and spell,

And write how dear I love thee.

By night, by day, a-field, at hame,

The thoughts o’ thee my breast inflame;

And ay I muse and sing thy name,

I only live to love thee.

Tho’ I were doom’d to wander on,

Beyond the sea, beyond the sun,

Till my last, weary sand was run;

Till then – and then I love thee.