Verse One: The rose

O my Love's like a red, red rose

Verse one opens with the simplistic simile comparing his love of a woman to a rose: a traditional symbol of love. The repetition of the colour red emphasises the speaker's attempts to convince us of the solemnity in his message.

newly sprung in June

His love of this woman is passionate and in full bloom, but we note that this romance might be in its infancy, given the word choice of newly. This might account for the enthusiastic and hyperbolic terms by which the persona describes his love.

O my Love's like the melodie, / That's sweetly play'd in tune.

In a second simile, comparison is drawn between his love and a lyrical song, a song which is both melodic and perfectly in tune. The connotative associations of sweetly suggest that this relationship is in some way charming to the persona. Being in love clearly pleases him.

Burns uses anaphora in the repeated line opening O my love. This suggests that the persona is overpowered by intense emotion.

At the end of this verse we are left with the impression that the persona is earnest in his proclamations of love. The possessive pronoun my is repeated seven times in the course of the poem. This hints that this is a speaker proudly showcasing his relationship. At the same time, the word ‘my’ suggests that such passionate intensity in love is a feeling unique only to him.