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День рождения Роберта Бернса (25 января) – национальный праздник в
I. Read the text:
Robert Burns was a Scottish poet and lyricist. He is widely regarded as the national poet of
Robert Burns was born on 25 January 1759 in the village of Alloway, two miles south of Ayr.
His parents were tenant farmers but they ensured their son received a relatively good education
and he began to read avidly. The works of Alexander Pope, Henry Mackenzie and Laurence
Sterne fired Burns's poetic impulse, his inspiration. “Handsome Nell” was his first song.
Hard physical labour on the family farm took its toll on the young Burns, who increasingly
turned his attentions towards the passions of poetry and nature which would characterize the rest
of his life. Burns emigrated to the West Indies but the sensational success of his first published
collection of verse kept him in Scotland again. At just 27, Burns had already become famous
across the country with poems such as “To a Louse”, “To a Mouse" and "The Cotter's Saturday
Newly hailed as the Ploughman Poet because his poems complemented the growing literary taste
for romanticism and pastoral pleasures, Burns arrived in Edinburgh, where he was welcomed by
a circle of wealthy and important friends. On 31 July 1786 was published the volume of works
by Robert Burns, “Poems, Chiefly in the Scottish dialect”. Known as the Kilmarnock volume, it
sold for 3 shillings and contained much of his best writing, including "The Twa Dogs", "Address
to the Deil", "Halloween", "The Cotter's Saturday Night", "To a Mouse", "Epitaph for James
Smith", and "To a Mountain Daisy". The success of the work was immediate, and soon he was
known across the country.
In just 18 short months, Burns had spent most of the wealth from his published poetry, so in
1789 he began work as an Excise Officer in Dumfries. His increasingly radical political views
influenced many of the phenomenal number of poems, songs and letters he continued to pen,
including such famous works as “For a' that and a' that”.
The hard work this new job entailed, combined with the toil of his earlier life began to take their
toll on Burns's health. He died on 21 July 1796 aged just 37 and was buried with full civil and
military honours on the very day his son Maxwell was born. A memorial edition of his poems
was published to raise money for his wife and children.
He is regarded as a pioneer of the Romantic movement, and after his death he became a great
source of inspiration to the founders of both liberalism and socialism, and a cultural icon in
Scotland and among the Scottish Diaspora around the world. Celebration of his life and work
became almost a national charismatic cult during the 19th and 20th centuries, and his influence
has long been strong on Scottish literature. In 2009, he was chosen as the greatest Scot by the
Scottish public in a vote run by Scottish television channel STV. As well as making original
compositions, Burns also collected folk songs from across Scotland, often revising or adapting
II. Answer the following questions:
When and where was Robert Burns born?
What kind of education did he get?
What was the name of his first song?
Why did Robert Burns return from his emigration from West Indies?
Which poems made Burns famous across Scotland?
Why was Robert Burns hailed as the Ploughman Poet?
When was the volume of works “Poems, Chiefly in the Scottish dialect” published?
Why did Burns begin to work as an Excise Officer in Dumfries in 1798?
What reason began to take their toll on Burns's health?
What awards is the poet regarded?
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