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The Mitherless Bairn
William Thom (1789-1848)

Click here to listen to this in Real Audio read by Peter D Wright

When a' ither bairnies are hush'd to their hame,
By aunty, or cousin, or frecky grand-dame,
Wha stands last an' lanely, an' sairly forfairn ?
'Tis the puir dowie laddie - the mitherless bairn !
The mitherless bairnie creeps to his lane bed,
Nane covers his cauld back, or haps his bare head ;
His wee hackit heelies are hard as the airn,
An' lithless the lair o' the mitherless bairn !
Aneath his cauld brow, siccan dreams hover there,
O' hands that wont kindly to kaim his dark hair !
But mornin' brings clutches, a' reckless an' stern,
That lo'e na the locks o' the mitherless bairn.
The sister wha sang o'er his saftly rock'd bed,
Now rests in the mools where their mammie is laid ;
While the father toils sair his wee bannock to earn,
An' kens na the wrangs o' his mitherless bairn.
Her spirit that pass'd in yon hour of his birth,
Still watches his lone lorn wand'rings on earth,
Recording in heaven the blessings they earn,
Wha couthilie deal wi' the mitherless bairn !
Oh ! speak him na harshly - he trembles the while,
He bends to your bidding, and blesses your smile -
In their dark hour o' anguish, the heartless shall learn,
That God deals the blow for the mitherless bairn !

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