One of Scotland's most famous historical figures is Robert Burns who is of course well known for being both a fantastic poet and lyricist! Often known as "Rabbie Burns", the "Bard of Ayrshire", and the "Ploughman Poet", Burns was known for writing in Scottish slang but has also created many poems and songs in English as well. In 2009 it was revealed that Robert Burns was the greatest Scot after winning a poll on STV!

But which of Burns's poems are the best? Join us as we list our top five favorite Robert Burns poems in celebration of this year's Burns Night Supper!

5. "A Sonnet upon Sonnets"

Fourteen, a sonneteer thy praises sings;

What magic myst’ries in that number lie!

Your hen hath fourteen eggs beneath her wings

That fourteen chickens to the roost may fly.

Fourteen full pounds the jockey’s stone must be;

His age fourteen – a horse’s prime is past.

Fourteen long hours too oft the Bard must fast;

Fourteen bright bumpers – bliss he ne’er must see!

Before fourteen, a dozen yields the strife;

Before fourteen – e’en thirteen’s strength is vain.

Fourteen good years – a woman gives us life;

Fourteen good men – we lose that life again.

What lucubrations can be more upon it?

Fourteen good measur’d verses make a sonnet.

In the number 5 spot, we have "A Sonnet upon Sonnet" which describes Burns's first attempt at using the Sonnet form. It has become somewhat iconic over the years for its attempt at breaking the 4th wall with how Burns focuses on the theme of "14" throughout the sonnet to reflect on the 14 lines of writing standardized by this form of a poem.

4. "To a Mouse"

Wee, sleekit, cowrin, tim’rous beastie,

O, what a panic’s in thy breastie!

Thou need na start awa sae hasty,

Wi’ bickering brattle!

I wad be laith to rin an’ chase thee,

Wi’ murdering pattle!

I’m truly sorry Man’s dominion

Has broken Nature’s social union,

An’ justifies that ill opinion

Which makes thee startle

At me, thy poor, earth-born companion

An’ fellow-mortal!

One of our staff’s favorite Burns poems, "To a Mouse" tells the story of a farmer plowing up a mouse's nest, by accident and then apologizing. The poem has a great message that we are not so different from even the smallest of creatures and that we both sometimes fail to build wisely for the future.

3. Up in the Morning Early

Cauld blaws the wind frae east to west,

The drift is driving sairly;

Sae loud and shrill’s I hear the blast,

I’m sure it’s winter fairly.

 Up in the morning’s no for me,

Up in the morning early;

When a’ the hills are cover’d wi’ snaw,

I’m sure its winter fairly.

 The birds sit chittering in the thorn,

A’ day they fare but sparely;

And lang’s the night frae e’en to morn,

I’m sure it’s winter fairly.

Up in the morning’s no for me,

Up in the morning early;

When a’ the hills are cover’d wi’ snaw,

I’m sure its winter fairly.

What makes "Up in the Morning Early" so great is how relatable and simple it is. Burns dislikes waking up early especially during the cold winter morning, something we can all agree with!

2. Tam O' Shanter

This truth fand honest Tam o’ Shanter,

As he frae Ayr ae night did canter,

(Auld Ayr, wham ne’er a town surpasses,

For honest men and bonny lasses.)

O Tam! hadst thou but been sae wise,

As ta’en thy ain wife Kate’s advice!

She taul thee weel thou was a skellum,

A blethering, blustering, drunken blellum;

That frae November till October,

Ae market-day thou was nae sober;

"Tam O' Shanter" is based on an old Scottish legend about a Scottish farmer who stays up late drinking and ends up having to flee from a group of witches. Burns uses the form of poetry to vividly bring this story to life and Tam O' Shanter is now a recognizable name all over the world!

1. Auld Lang Syne

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,

And never brought to mind?

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,

And auld lang syne.

 For auld lang syne, my jo,

For auld lang syne,

We'll tak a cup o' kindness yet,

For auld lang syne.

Our choice for the number 1 spot of course has to be the famous Auld Lang Syne due to its recognition throughout Scotland and the meaning it has to so many Scots! This poem will be remembered for at least another 500 years!