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The Stair Manuscript, a collection of 8 early poems and songs by Robert Burns (Poem 1: The Vision, Page 2 of 9; 7&8 missing)

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The Stair Manuscript, a collection of 8 early poems and songs by Robert Burns (Poem 1: The Vision, page 2 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:
BMT366.01B
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 2 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:
Burns continues with the contrast between what might have been and his miserable situation - instead of having a cash-account, he is 'half-mad, half-fed, half-sarket'. He calls himself a fool, and jumps up to swear to abandon poetry. But the door opens wide, and a beautiful young woman wearing a wreath of holly enters, lit by the now blazing fire. He recognised her as a Scottish Muse - come to stop him making a vow he would not keep.