Show Navigation

The Stair Manuscript, a collection of 8 early poems and songs by Robert Burns (Poem 1: The Vision, Page 1 of 9; 7&8 missing)

Back

View Large Image

The Stair Manuscript, a collection of 8 early poems and songs by Robert Burns (Poem 1: The Vision, page 1 of 9; 7& 8 missing)

Introduction:
On a weary winter's evening, Burns looks back on a life wasted, including by his 'blethers ...... in rhyme', but just as he is about to abandon poetry forever, a Scottish Muse comes to him, providing visions of Scotland and its heroes, inspiring him to carry on.
Image Rights Holder:
National Trust for Scotland
Ref:
BMT366.01A
Project:
618:The Burns Manuscripts at Alloway
What:
The Stair Manuscript, a collection of 8 early poems and songs by Robert Burns (Poem 1: The Vision, Page 1 of 9; 7&8 missing)
Subject:
Burns worked hard and long throughout his life, producing his huge output of poems and songs between farming and later excise duties. 'The Vision' clearly evokes this contrast between the hardship of his life and the breadth of his inspiration.
Who:
Robert Burns (1759-1796) (author)
Mrs Catherine Gordon Stewart of Stair (d. 1818) (admirer of Burns)
When:
September 1786 (when written)
Where:
The Robert Burns Birthplace Museum, South Ayrshire
Background:
Burns worked hard and long throughout his life, producing his huge output of poems and songs between farming and later excise duties. 'The Vision' clearly evokes this contrast between the hardship of his life and the breadth of his inspiration.
Description:
The first part or 'Duan' of the poem starts after the close of a hard days' threshing for Burns. Contemplating the winter outside and his situation, he sits pensive and lonely by the smoking fire, looking back on time wasted with only worthless rhymes to show for it. He regrets the good advice he didn't take, that might have led him to prosperity.