A Short Analysis of Robert Burns’s ‘Halloween’

Written in 1785 and published the following year, ‘Halloween’ is not Robert Burns’s best-known poem, but it is one of his longest. Focusing on the traditions and activities associated with Halloween in eighteenth-century Scotland, ‘Halloween’ is best read aloud – but failing that, here’s the text of the full poem (all 252 lines of it!).

Yes! let the rich deride, the proud disdain,
The simple pleasure of the lowly train;
To me more dear, congenial to my heart,
One native charm, than all the gloss of art.
 – Goldsmith

Upon that night, when fairies light
On Cassilis Downans dance,
Or owre the lays, in splendid blaze,
On sprightly coursers prance;
Or for Colean the rout is ta’en,
Beneath the moon’s pale beams;
There, up the Cove, to stray an’ rove,
Amang the rocks and streams
To sport that night;

Read more