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‘A Red Red Rose’ is a poem written by prominent poet Robert Burns. This is a poem that declares the love of the persona for their beloved.
About the Poet:
Robert Burns (1759-1796) was an eminent Scottish poet. He was titled the ‘National Poet of Scotand’. Famous works of his include, “To A Mouse”, “Address to the Devil”, and “A Red Red Rose”.
O my Luve is like a red, red rose That’s newly sprung in June; O my Luve is like the melody That’s sweetly played in tune.
The poem begins with the persona describing their beloved using elaborate images. Calling them ‘Luve’, the persona compares them to a fresh rose from June and a sweet melody.
So fair art thou, my bonnie lass, So deep in luve am I; And I will luve thee still, my dear, Till a’ the seas gang dry.
Here, the persona admires their beloved’s beauty. They state that their beloved is a fair woman, proclaiming that their “luve” for them is deep. He proceeds to state that his love for her is so great that it will continue on even after seas dry up.
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.
This stanza starts with a repetition of the end of the previous stanza. The exaggerated claims of love continue. The persona states that his love is such that it will extend even when rocks melt under the heat of the sun and when life keeps going on with time.
And fare thee weel, my only luve! And fare thee weel awhile! And I will come again, my luve, Though it were ten thousand mile.
In this final stanza, the persona bids their beloved farewell. He calls her his “only luve” and promises that he will return, even if the distance that separates them is ten thousand miles. From the context, it can be gleaned that the persona is most probably going to the seas and parting with his wife or lover.
This is a beautiful poem that expresses love. With vivid imagery, it captures the love-filled heart of the poet’s persona and their anguished promises on account of their departure.