On Valentine’s Day, did you get red, red roses? Thank the sender, of course. But for the idea, credit Robert Burns (1759-1796), whom the world thinks of as Scotland’s greatest poet — and whom Scotland (and Scottish-Americans such as your faithful, Serious correspondent) think of as the world’s greatest poet. It was Burns who wrote
“O my luve is like a red, red rose,
That’s newly sprung in June.
O my luve is like the melodie,
That’s sweetly play’d in tune.”
— from “Johnson’s Musical Museum (1787-1796), “A Red, Red Rose.”
But that’s far from the only time Burns wrote about love in his poetry. Here’s one that brightens toasts at many a supper in honor of the poet’s birthday, Jan. 25:
“Auld Nature swears, the lovely dears
Her noblest work she classes, O:
Her prentice han’ she try’d on man,
An’ then she made the lasses, O.”
— from “Green Grow the Rashes, O” (1787)
So if those roses have begun to fade, turn to the poems of love — and some of the best you’ll find are by Robert Burns.
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