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Poem by Robert Burns titled 'Sweet Afton - a Song'

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Poem by Robert Burns: 'Sweet Afton - a Song' (1)

Introduction:
The second page of a poem of two pages which Burns first inclosed in a letter to Mrs Dunlop dated 5th February 1789 whose first line is 'Flow gently sweet Afton, among thy green braes'. The six verse lyrics were to be one of Burns's contributions to Johnson's Musical Museum.
Image Rights Holder:
National Trust for Scotland
Ref:
BMT331.10B
Project:
618:The Burns Manuscripts at Alloway
What:
Poem by Robert Burns titled 'Sweet Afton - a Song'
Subject:
Burns describes the Afton as being a small river, 'that falls into the Nith near New Cummnock, which has some charming, wild, romantic scenery on its banks.' He also comments to Mrs Dunlop 'I have a particular pleasure in those little pieces of poetry ... where the names and landskip-features of rivers, lakes, or woodlands, that one knows, are introduced' (letter no 310).
Who:
Mrs General Stewart of Afton (lady for whom Burns copied a dozen of his then unpublished poems in 1791)
Robert Burns (author)
When:
1791 (when rewritten in the Afton Lodge MS)
Where:
The Robert Burns Birthplace Museum, South Ayrshire
Background:
Burns describes the Afton as being a small river, 'that falls into the Nith near New Cummnock, which has some charming, wild, romantic scenery on its banks.' He also comments to Mrs Dunlop 'I have a particular pleasure in those little pieces of poetry ... where the names and landskip-features of rivers, lakes, or woodlands, that one knows, are introduced' (letter no 310).
Description:
In verse 5 on page 47 Burns describes a favourite image of his of paddling in the burn and finishes in verse 6 almost a refrain of the first verse. This poem must measure as one of his most-loved and beautiful works.