Robert Burns was born on 25 January 1759 in the village of Alloway, near Ayr.
His father was William Burnes, a gardener turned tenant farmer
from the north-east of Scotland,
and his mother was Agnes Brown, an Ayrshire woman of farming stock.
Burnsís early life was marked by constant back-breaking work on a
succession of small farms, but his father saw to it that he never
lacked another kind of culture.
He learned the three Rs, some French and much Scripture.
Added to that, he was a voracious reader and also absorbed
huge amounts of traditional stories and songs from his mother
and a kinswoman of hers, Betty Davidson.
Poetry sprang early into his heart, at the same time as love,
and his first composition was a song for the girl he partnered in the harvest.
Rarely having much time to sit and ponder poems,
it became his habit to compose as he worked.