This selection gives equal weight to the two aspects of Robert Burns's reputation, as a lyricist and as a much-loved Scottish poet. Placing works in probable order of composition, it includes lyrics to his most well known songs, such as the nostalgic "Auld Lang Syne," the romantic "A Red, Red Rose," and the patriotic "Scots What Hae." As a poet, Burns wrote with deceptive simplicity and imaginative sympathy, and demonstrated enormous range—from comic dramatic monologues such as Holy Willie's Prayer, which mocks hypocrisy, to narratives including the celebrated Tam O' Shanter, about the ghostly visions of a drunk.
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