Robert Burns (1759 – 1796) called himself "an Aeolian harp strung to every wind of heaven." His first volume of poems, entitled Poems, Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect, was published in 1786. An immediate success, it established Burns's poetic reputation, which has grown over two centuries to the point where he is not only the Scottish national poet but the object of a cult unique in British poetry.
The present volume contains 43 of his finest poems and songs, reprinted unabridged from an authoritative tenth-century edition. Included are "The Twa Dogs," a deft satire of the Scottish upper classes; "To a Mouse," one of the poet's best known, most charming works; "Address to the Unco Guid," an attack on Puritan hypocrisy; "Holy Willie's Prayer," one of the great verse-satires of all times; as well as such favorites as "The Cotter's Saturday Night," "To a Mountain Daisy," "The Holy Fair," "Address to the Deil," "The Death and Dying Words of Poor Mailie," and many more.
In addition to his poetic undertakings, Burns almost single-handedly preserved and revived the traditional Scottish song, and this volume includes a rich selection of these works: "A Red, Red Rose," "Auld Lang Syne," "Comin' thro' the Rye," "My Heart's in the Highlands," "My Love, She's But a Lassie Yet," and a host of others.