Муниципальное бюджетное общеобразовательное учреждение города Керчи Республики Крым "Специализированная школа № 1 имени Володи Дубинина"











In the second half of the XVIII century the lot of the small farmer in England and in Scotland was hard. The industrial revo­lution had brought ruin to many farmers. They left their cottages and went to town to seek work, or else emigrated to America and the colonies.

Some of the farmers would not leave the land on which they were born, but went on ploughing their fields in a stubborn hopeless struggle against the rising forces of capitalism. One of these was the father of Robert Burns. “I was bred to the plough,”1 Robert once said with a certain pride. At thirteen he was out in the fields all day helping his father, at fifteen he did most of the work on the farm. And as Burns followed the plough, he whistled and sang. He made up2 his own words to the old folk tunes of Scotland that he knew so well. In his songs he spoke of what he saw, of the woods, and the fields, and the valleys, of the deer, and the skylark, and the small field mouse, of the farmer’s poor cottage-home and the farmer lad’s love for his lass. Whatever he spoke of, Scotland breathed in his song, for Scot­land was what he loved above all. “My heart’s in the Highlands,” he wrote in one of his best short poems.

Yet however hard Burns tried to keep his farm going,3 ruin always threatened him. In 1786 he managed to publish a collec­tion of his poems. Some lovers of poetry read his songs, admired them and invited Burns to Edinburgh. For a short time the society of Edinburgh drawing-rooms played with his poems as if they had been new toys, but they soon grew tired of them and forgot all about the author. They were unable to appreciate the poetry of Burns. Its popular character was foreign to their tastes.

Burns managed to get a small office which gave him just enough to live on, and spent the rest of his life rather mise­rably.

Burns had always stood for liberty and attacked social in­equality. His sympathy lay with the poor, he hated and despised the rich. He made fun of the church and the English courts of law. In his "Jolly Beggars," the poorest of the poor, an old soldier, a beggar, a tinker, a street fiddler and such like sing songs аt a small inn, declaring that liberty is better than riches, and expressing their contempt for the wealthy and strong, for —

Liberty’s a glorious feast!

Courts for cowards were erected,

Churches built to please the priests.

When the revolution broke out in France, Burns welcomed it in his verse. He wrote that the French had planted the “Tree of Liberty” in their country, and that he hoped it would soon grow in England too.

Burns died in 1796, before his poetry received full apprecia­tion. A few years later several of the greatest English authors began to think very highly of him. Walter Scott, a Scotchman too, thought him one of the finest poets. Byron said of him: “The rank of Burns is the very first of his art.”

Marx and Engels valued the poetry of Robert Burns highly. Our Soviet youth finds pleasure in reading his poems and songs in the original and in the translations of S. Marshak.


TASKS to the LESSONS 1-2

Task 1. Read and translate the text.
Task 2. Pick out new words in your vocabulary.
Task 3 Compose 5 sentences with as many new words as possible.
Task 4. Make a summary of the author’s life in chronological orderEXPLANATОRY NOTES

  1. bred to the plough воспитан для плуга, т. е. приучен с детства к плугу, к крестьянскому труду.

8 he made up он сочинял.

8 to keep his farm going чтобы поддержать хозяйство на своей ферме.





As I was wandering one morning in spring,

1 heard a merry ploughman so sweetly sing;

And as he was singing the words he did say,

There’s no life like the ploughman’s in the

month of sweet May.

The skylark in the morning she’ll rise from her nest,

And mount in the air with the dew on her breast;

             And with the merry ploughman she’ll whistle and sing;

             And at night she’ll return to her nest back again.


How can my poor heart be glad

When absent from my sailor lad?

How can I the thought forgo,

He’s on the seas to meet the foe?

Let me wander, let me rove,

Still my heart is with my love:

Nightly dreams and thoughts by day,

Are with him that’s far away.

On the seas and far away;

  On stormy seas and far away;

Nightly dreams, and thoughts by day,

Are with him that’s far away.


TASKS to the LESSONS 3-4


Task 1. Read and translate the poems.
Task 2. Pick out new words in your vocabulary.

Task 3. What are the main ideas of the poems?

Task 4. Give the literary translations of one poem.





Is there for honest poverty

That hangs his head, and all that?2

The coward slave, we pass him by,

     We dare be poor for all that,

For all that3 and all that,

Our toil’s obscure, and all that!

You see that proud man, called a lord,

Who struts and stares;4 and all that;

Though hundreds worship all his words

      He’s but a fool for all that:

For all that, and all that,

      His riband, star, and all that;

The man of independent mind

He looks and laughs at all that!

Then let us pray that come it may —

As come it will for all that —

That sense and worth over all the earth

      May have the power, and all that;

For all that, and all that

                       It’s coming yet for all that,

That man to man the world over

      Shall brothers be for all that!

TASKS to the LESSONS 5-6


Task 1. Read and translate the poem.
Task 2. Pick out new words in your vocabulary.
Task 3. What is the main idea of the poem?
Task 4. Make the literary analysis of the text according to the plan or the presentation using Microsoft Power Point Presentation or Movie Maker.Примечание: Бернс писал по-английски, но к английской литературной речи примешивал слова шотландского диалекта. Мы даём эти слова в пере­воде на английский литературный язык.



  1. on the seas and far away на морях и в далёких краях.
  2. and all that разг. и тому подобное.
  3. for all that разг. несмотря ни на что. В этой песне эти два (прим. 2, 3)

чисто разговорные выражения тонко использованы в качестве своего рода припева. Они придают песне характер искренней простоты, непосред­ственности и вместе с тем некоторой небрежности и удальства.

  1. struts and stares ходит важно и смотрит нагло.