Selected for 26
Outliving her husband by 40 years but weakened by a succession of strokes, Jean Armour died on March 26, 1834. She had been
a good mother to Burns's children, some not her own, and had been remarkably tolerant of his philandering. Although he came
dearly to love Jean, early in their life together Burns wrote some woundingly ungallant and faithless letters about the woman
with whom he only reluctantly settled down. No-one else seems to have had a bad word to say about the poet's loyal and long-suffering
wife. The seductive 'Rob Mossgeil' had made few bones about the proclivities of 'rakish rooks'. This Mauchline belle did not
'beware a tongue that's smoothly hung'. Today's poem suggests she knew what she was taking on,'for better and for worse'.