Selected for 21
Robert Burns died on this day in 1796, aged 37. Damaged by a lifetime of hard physical labour his heart had at last given
out. He did not expire with a contented smile or a resigned sigh but met his end full of fear for his family’s future and
doubts about salvation. Robert Burns had been, first and last, a songwriter. Today's selection is the first song he ever wrote;
a not especially distinguished lyric by a poet with greatness in him. How many masterpieces were lost to the world on account
of that cruelly early death? What a lot we have to mourn, and celebrate, on this and every 21st of July.