Robert Tannahill was a Scottish poet. Known as the 'Weaver Poet', his music and poetry is contemporaneous with that of Robert Burns.
He was born at Castle Street in Paisley on 3 June 1774, the fourth son in a family of seven. Soon after his birth the family moved to a newly built cottage in nearby Queen Street, which became both family home and weaving shop. Robert had a delicate constitution and a limp, due to a slight deformity in his right leg. On leaving school at age twelve, he was apprenticed to his father as a handloom weaver. It was during this apprenticeship that Tannahill began to show a real talent for poetry.
His mother was Janet Pollock from Boghall Farm near Beith and his father was James Tannahill from Kilmarnock. After a short period of working in Bolton, Lancashire, England around 1800, Tannahill returned to Paisley to support the family in time of illness. In the years which followed, his interest in poetry and music blossomed and his writings began to appear in such publications as The Scots Magazine. In 1810, following the rejection of some of his work by the Edinburgh publisher Archibald Constable, he died by his own hand, drowned in a culverted stream under the Paisley Canal.
Now the summer's in prime
Wi' the flowers richly blooming,
And the wild mountain thyme
A' the moorlands perfuming.
To own dear native scenes
Let us journey together,
Where glad innocence reigns
'Mang the braes o' Balquhither.