Tam o' Shanter

Ranked #16 on the list Best Robert Burns of All Time

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About Tam o' Shanter

"Tam o' Shanter" is a poem written by the Scottish poet Robert Burns in 1790. First published in 1791, it is one of Burns's longer poems, and employs a mixture of Scots and English. It tells the story of a man who stayed too long at a public house and witnessed a disturbing vision on his way home. The name is often misspelled "Tam O'Shanter", by mistaking "o'", a contraction of "of", for the Irish patronymic prefix "O'". The poem begins: When chapman billies leave the street, And drouthy neibors, neibors, meet; As market days are wearing late, And folk begin to tak the gate, While we sit bousing at the nappy, An' getting fou and unco happy, We think na on the lang Scots miles, The mosses, waters, slaps and stiles, That lie between us and our hame, Where sits our sulky, sullen dame, Gathering her brows like gathering storm, Nursing her wrath to keep it warm. After Burns has located us geographically: (Auld Ayr, wham ne'er a town surpasses, For honest men and bonnie lasses). (a quote that gave Ayr United F.C. their nickname "the honest men"), Tam sits and drinks with his friends, and the reader is regaled with a dark prophecy of Tam's wife Kate: She prophesied that late or soon, Thou

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