MS: 'Passion's Cry'

Creator:
Robert Burns, Author 
Object Number:
3.6378

Summary

Burns began to compose Passion's Cry in 1788, while in the midst of his affair with Agnes McLehose. The poem is written in English Augustan couplets. He reworked the poem several times, not completing it until 1793. This is an early draft of the poem and includes many lines which have been omitted from the finished version. In the poem, Burns writes of a treasured yet painful love for the unattainable female ideal - in his case, his dear Clarinda.

Robert met one of the greatest loves of his life, Mrs Agnes McLehose, during his extended trip to Edinburgh. Although they were both involved with other people, the two began an epistolatory affair which has been immortalized through their surviving correspondence. Addressing each other as ‘Sylvander’ and ‘Clarinda’ to protect their identities in case of exposure, Robert and Agnes continued to write to each other for years, even after Robert married Jean Armour and moved to Ellisland near Dumfries.

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