Robert Burns (1759-1796) was a Scottish poet, notable for his use of the Scots dialect at a time when it was not considered suitably "elevated" for literature.
Burns's first volume, Poems, Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect, appeared in 1786. In addition to his poetry Bums wrote or adapted many songs, including "Auld Lang Syne".
Born at Alloway near Ayr, he became joint tenant with his brother of his late father's farm at Mossgiet in 1784, but it was unsuccessful. Following the success of his first volume of poems in 1786 he farmed at Ellisland, near Dumfries.
He became district excise officer, on the failure of his farm in 1791. His fame rests equally on his poems (such as 'Holy Willie's Prayer', 'Tarn O'Shanter', 'The Jolly Beggars', and 'To a Mouse') and his songs - sometimes wholly original, sometimes adaptations - of which he contributed some 300 to Johnson's Scots Musical Museum 1787-1803 and Thomson's Scottish Airs with Poetry 1793-1811.