-Burns and Mauchline-
The poet arrived at ‘Mossgiel Farm’ in February 1784 and left the village in November 1788 for Ellisland. He arrived as ‘Rab the Rhymer’ and left as ‘Caledonia’s Bard’. Until 1783 he had composed 3,000 lines of verse. By May 1786 this had risen to 12,000 lines of his most famous poems and published in his ‘Kilmarnock Edition’.
What had caused this dramatic outpouring? Mauchline had.
Every aspect of life here inspired him. The farm produced ‘The Cottar’s Saturday Night’, ‘The Twa Dogs’ and of course, ‘To a Mouse’ amongst others. The strait laced kirk produced, ‘The Holy Fair’, ‘Holy Willie’s Prayer’ and, ‘To a Louse’. The lassies inspired, ‘The Belles o’Mauchline’, ‘The Bonnie Lass o’Ballochmyle’ and ‘Of A’the Airts’.
Between them Jean Armour and Highland Mary, produced two of the world’s most famous love stories, while the notorious Poosie Nansies gave rise to ‘The Jolly Beggars’. ‘Address to the Haggis’ must not be forgotten, even if only the last verse saw the light in Mauchline.
The professional folk Burns met in Mauchline all contributed to his national and international fame. It was Gavin Hamilton who persuaded him to put his verses into print which resulted in ‘The Kilmarnock Edition’. The local doctor, introduced him to Dugald Stewart, Professor of Maths at Edinburgh University who was on friendly terms with Sir John Whiteford. On his arrival in Edinburgh these two men opened to him academic and Masonic society, in both of which he was celebrated. And John Richmond his Mauchline pal, provided him with a bed.
And so, that Mauchline made Burns, is no idle boast.
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for the 15,000 visitors attending, who will enjoy all that the day will offer.
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