Tam Glen

By Robert Burns 1759–1796 Robert Burns
My heart is a-breaking, dear Tittie,
         Some counsel unto me come len';
To anger them a' is a pity,
         But what will I do wi' Tam Glen?

I'm thinking, wi' sic a braw fellow,
         In poortith I might mak a fen':
What care I in riches to wallow,
         If I mauna marry Tam Glen?

There's Lowrie, the laird o' Dumeller,
         "Guid-day to you,"—brute! he comes ben:
He brags and he blaws o' his siller,
         But when will he dance like Tam Glen?

My minnie does constantly deave me,
         And bids me beware o' young men;
They flatter, she says, to deceive me;
         But wha can think sae o' Tam Glen?

My daddie says, gin I'll forsake him,
         He'll gie me guid hunder marks ten:
But, if it's ordain'd I maun take him,
         O wha will I get but Tam Glen?

Yestreen at the valentines' dealing,
         My heart to my mou gied a sten:
For thrice I drew ane without failing,
         And thrice it was written, "Tam Glen"!

The last Halloween I was waukin
         My droukit sark-sleeve, as ye ken:
His likeness cam up the house staukin,
         And the very gray breeks o' Tam Glen!

Come counsel, dear Tittie, don't tarry;
         I'll gie ye my bonie black hen,
Gif ye will advise me to marry
         The lad I lo'e dearly, Tam Glen.

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Poet Robert Burns 1759–1796

POET’S REGION Scotland

SCHOOL / PERIOD Romantic

Subjects Family & Ancestors, Love, Relationships, Romantic Love, First Love, Infatuation & Crushes, Realistic & Complicated

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza, Ballad

 Robert  Burns

Biography

Born on 25 January 1759 in Alloway, Scotland, to William and Agnes Brown Burnes, Robert Burns followed his father's example by becoming a tenant farmer. Unlike William Burnes, however, Burns was able to escape the vicissitudes and vagaries of the soil in two ways: toward the end of his life he became an excise collector in Dumfries, where he died in 1796; and throughout his life he was a practicing poet. As a poet he recorded . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Family & Ancestors, Love, Relationships, Romantic Love, First Love, Infatuation & Crushes, Realistic & Complicated

POET’S REGION Scotland

SCHOOL / PERIOD Romantic

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza, Ballad

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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