While “Tam O’ Shanter” is one of the world’s most often recited piece of poetry, “The Cotter’s Saturday Night” is viewed by many as possibly the finest piece Burns ever wrote.
So significant did Burns believe the work to be that he dedicated it to Ayrshire lawyer Robert Aiken, his closest friend and supporter.
The tale follows the weary Cotter heading home on a Saturday night, anticipating his hard-won day of rest. Burns takes us through the evening from family reunion to young love; from the simple but wholesome fare to the worship of their maker; from the inequality of society to the passion of nationality. A veritable cacophony of emotions ending in the triumph of spirit – so often against all the odds.
This chess piece is a gentle cameo of the Cotter reading to his children from the family Bible.
“From scenes like these old Scotia’s grandeur springs; That makes her loved at home, rever’d abroad:
Princes and Lords are but the breath of kings – An honest man’s the noblest work of God.”