Critical analysis of O my Luve’s like a red, red rose by Robert Burns

1. An Introductory Note:

Burns’s life had no easy flow and was disrupted now and then by ups and downs. His poetical creation, too, had an abrupt flow. The present poem O my Loves like a Red, Red Rose was one of some two hundred songs, written by Burns after his marriage with Jean Armour, one of his beloved women, in 1788. Those songs were first published in the successive volumes of James Johnson’s Scots Musical Museum. This is one of the most celebrated songs in the volumes. Of course, this is a love song, with an intense fervor of love.

2. Title

The title given to the poem-0 my Luve s like a Red, Red Rose-has no specific bearing

It simply forms the opening line of the song.

This line, however, implies a comparison-a comparison of his ladylove to a red, red rose. To the poet’s romantic vision, his ladylove resembles a red rose that has just bloomed in the month of June. The simile here is simple and well-chosen. The entire poem is, however, eloquent praise of the beauty of the lady love. In this respect, this line has an important bearing on the poem and seems to strike its central or main note.

3. Analysis:

I. The poet-lover speaks of his beloved girl. To him, she resembles a red rose that has just blossomed in the month of June. This is also to him as melodious as a happy tune. (Stanza 1)

II. He expresses his deep love for her. To him, she is lovely enough to be loved deeply by him. He assures her of the continuance of his love for her till the sea is totally dried up. (Stanza 2)

II. The poet-lover asserts further that he will continue to love her till seas all go dry and the rocks dissolve in sun rays. He will, in fact, not cease to love her till his life comes to an end. (Stanza 3)

IV. And he assures her finally that he will bid farewell to her only for a short while and come back to her even if he happens to be ten thousand miles away from her. (Stanza 4)

4. Substance:

The poet-lover is all lost in his love for his ladylove. He is all charmed by her beauty and sweetness. She is to him all love, fresh and melodious. He claims for her his love inexhaustible and imperishable. This is to last as long as mighty natural elements do and will remain till his death. Of course. he may occasionally part from her only to return in no time, no matter whatever may be his distance from her. The intensity of his love is profound and earnest.


Stanza – 1
The poet’s love is like a red red rose that has newly sprung, in June His love is also like the melody that is played sweetly in tune.
The poet is so deep in love with her who is all fair to him as a bonny lass. He will love her still as his dear till the whole seas go dry.
Stanza – 3
He will love her, his dear lass, till all the seas, go dry and the rocks melt With the sun. He will love her still, his clear beloved girl, while the sands of life shall run out.
Stanza 4
He fares her well, his only love, and fares her well for a while. And he will come again to his love even though he is away ten thousand miles. The poet’s love is comprehensive and all-pervasive.



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