Ae Fond Kiss
Robert Burns

Ae fond kiss, and then we sever;
Ae fareweel, alas, for ever!
Deep in heart-wrung tears I'll pledge thee,
Warring sighs and groans I'll wage thee!

Who shall say that Fortune grieves him
While the star of hope she leaves him?
Me, nae cheerfu' twinkle lights me,
Dark despair around benights me.

I'll ne'er blame my partial fancy;
Naething could resist my Nancy;
But to see her was to love her,
Love but her, and love for ever.

Had we never loved sae kindly,
Had we never loved sae blindly,
Never met -- or never parted,
We had ne'er been broken-hearted.

Fare thee weel, thou first and fairest!
Fare thee weel, thou best and dearest!
Thine be ilka joy and treasure,
Peace, enjoyment, love, and pleasure!

Ae fond kiss, and then we sever!
Ae fareweel, alas, for ever!
Deep in heart-wrung tears I'll pledge thee,
Warring sighs and groans I'll wage thee!

Burns sent this poem in a letter to Agnes M'Lehose on December 27th, 1791, as an expression of their unrequited love. M'Lehose was known as Nancy, hence the "my Nancy" in the poem.

"Robert and Agnes corrosponded [sic] using the pseudonyms of Clarinda and Sylvander to avoid scandal and of the letters they exchanged, more than sixty survive.

Robert married Jean Armour after Agnes left for India to re-join her husband, but on her return, he wrote 'Ae Fond Kiss' in 1791 and sent it to her. Burns and Clarinda never met again although a few letters were exchanged."


Burns also wrote a poem titled "Sylvander to Clarinda", most likely also addressed to or in reference to his relationship with M'Lehose.

A film about a relationship between a Pakistani Muslim Glaswegian (DJ) and an Irish Catholic Glaswegian (Music Teacher). Written by some Scottish guy and directed by Ken Loach, released in 2004. How quickly can you roll your eyes?

You can see it all in your mind’s eye without watching it. Blue eyes look into brown. Sex on the living room floor. Curry and chips. Uh-oh, pigeon-holes and labels bar the way. Family and friends become Muslim Montagues and Christian Capulets. Love or the right thing? Or maybe love is the right thing? It transcends cultural differences which are just words right? But what about Qasim’s cousin from Pakistan who’s been expecting to marry him since she was 6 and is, come to think, not unfoxy? And what about his wacko family who are polishing the castrating knives? And is the Catholic School happy about one of their role-models shacking up with any Tom, Dick or Abdul?


- Look, my Dad doesn’t want to meet you.

- Your Dad’s a fundamentalist.

- Is he? Have you ever been called a Paki, Roisin? Have you ever been spat at in the street? Have you ever had kids throw rocks at you? Have you ever been stabbed on the way home from work, because of the colour of your skin?


Yes, a lot of it’s hackneyed and contrived. Yes, I could have been spared the scene of the lovebirds quoting their holy books to each other on a weekend getaway to Ibiza. Yes, it’s self-conscious faux-anthropology and cod-sociology. But ultimately there is something worthwhile behind the dross. It’s at times, provoking. The lead performances are creditable, Atta Yaqub plays the tortured and vacillating Qasim Khan; Eva Birthistle won a slew of awards for her distractingly beautiful, can’t-we-all-get-along Roisin Hanlon.

I expected to hate it and didn’t. That’s a thumb most-of-the-way up. You can discover your own reaction to the film after purchasing it from your friendly local supplier or committing brazen acts of copyright piracy.

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