A Red, Red Rose

A Red, Red Rose

by Robert Burns

O my Luve is like a red, red rose
That’s newly sprung in June;
O my Luve is like the melody
That’s sweetly played in tune.

So fair art thou, my bonnie lass,
So deep in luve am I;
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
Till a’ the seas gang dry.

Till a’ the seas gang dry, my dear,
And the rocks melt wi’ the sun;
I will love thee still, my dear,
While the sands o’ life shall run.

And fare thee weel, my only luve!
And fare thee weel awhile!
And I will come again, my luve,
Though it were ten thousand mile.

Summary of the Poem A Red, Red Rose

  • Popularity of “A Red, Red Rose”: Robert Burns, a famous Scottish poet, and lyricist wrote this poem. It is one of the most popular love poems and was first published in 1794. The poem explores the phenomenon of love. It comprises the narrator’s attempt to express the depth of his love. Since its publication, it has gained a lot of popularity across the globe.
  • “A Red, Red Rose” As a Representative of Love: The poet, very artistically draws a picture of his profound love. He paints this picture with intense emotions. The speaker compares his beloved with “a red rose” and “sweet melody” to intensify his deep feelings for her. He addresses her, proclaiming that his love will stay still until the seas dry up and the rocks melt with the sun because his beloved is so adorable. For some reasons, he has to go far away from her, but he promises to return even if he has to travel thousands of miles to win her back. What enchants the reader is the metaphorical representation of love through natural phenomena the sea and the sun.
  • Major themes in “A Red, Red Rose”: Love and separation are the major themes given in the poem. The poet has layered them with using metaphors of natural objects. The poem is primarily concerned with the speaker’s love for his significant other. He adores her beauty and expresses his immeasurable love for her. His love is so deep-rooted that it will stay forever no matter what happens.

Analysis of Literary Devices in “A Red, Red Rose”

Literary devices are tools that enable the writers to present their ideas, emotions, and feelings and also help the readers understand those more profound meanings. Robert Burns has also used some literary elements in this poem to show the beauty of the beloved and the intensity of his love. The analysis of some of the literary devices used in this poem has been listed below.

  • Simile: Simile is a device used to compare an object or a person with something else to make the meanings clear to the readers. There are two similes used in this poem. The first is used in the first line, “O my Luve is like a red, red rose” Here, the poet compares his beloved with a red rose. The second is used in the third line, “O my Luve is like the melody”, and the poet compares his love with sweet melody.
  • Consonance: Consonance is the repetition of consonant sounds in the same line such as the sound of /l/ in “   And fare thee weel awhile!”.
  • Enjambment: Enjambment refers to the continuation of a sentence without the pause beyond the end of a line, couplet or stanza such as:

“O my Luve is like the melody
That’s sweetly played in tune.”

  • Symbolism: Symbolism means to use symbols to signify ideas and qualities, giving them symbolic meanings different from their literal meanings. Robert has used “rose” as a symbol of love.
  • Alliteration: Alliteration is the repetition of consonant sounds in the same line such as the sounds of /l/ and /r/ in “O my Luve is like a red, red rose”.
  • Imagery: Imagery is a distinct representation of something that can be experienced or understood through five senses. Robert has used visual imagery in the poem such as, “O my Luve is like a red, red rose”,” And the rocks melt wi’ the sun” and “While the sands o’ life shall run”.
  • Hyperbole: Hyperbole is a device used to exaggerate a statement for the sake of emphasis. The poet has used hyperbole in the last line of the second stanza, “Till a’ the seas gang dry.” He says that his love will flow even when the seas dry up. The second is used in the third stanza, “And the rocks melt wi’ the sun.”
  • Assonance: Assonance is the repetition of vowel sounds in the same line such as the sound of /i/ in “I will love thee still, my dear”.

The literary analysis shows that with the help of these literary devices the poet has sketched a very vivid and realistic picture of his profound love.

Analysis of Poetic Devices in “A Red, Red Rose”

Poetic and literary devices are the same, but a few are used only in poetry. Here is the analysis of some of the poetic devices used in this poem.

  • Stanza: A stanza is a poetic form of some line. There are four stanzas in this poem; each consists of four lines.
  • Quatrain: A quatrain is a four-lined stanza borrowed from Persian poetry. Here, each stanza is quatrain as the first one and the second one.
  • Rhyme Scheme: The poem follows the ABCB rhyme scheme and this pattern continues throughout the poem.
  • Iambic Trimeter: Iambic trimeter is a meter in which there are three iambs per line. For example, “That’s newly sprung in June.”
  • Iambic Tetrameter: Iambic tetrameter is a meter in which there are four iambic feet per line. For example, “As fair art thou my bonnie lass.”
  • Repetition: There is the repetition of the line, “I will love thee still, my dear” which has created musical quality in the poem.
  • Refrain: The lines that are repeated again at some distance in the poems are called refrain. The line, “And I will luve thee still, my dear” has become a refrain, as it has been repeated in second and the third stanzas.

Quotes to be Used

The lines stated below can be used to write Valentine day cards or a love note to express the beauty of the person you love

“My Luve is like a red, red rose
That’s newly sprung in June;
my Luve is like the melody
That’s sweetly played in tune.”