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A Mother's Lament


["The Mother's Lament," says the poet, in a copy of the verses now
before me, "was composed partly with a view to Mrs. Fergusson of
Craigdarroch, and partly to the worthy patroness of my early unknown
muse, Mrs. Stewart, of Afton."]

Fate gave the word, the arrow sped,
And pierc'd my darling's heart;
And with him all the joys are fled
Life can to me impart.
By cruel hands the sapling drops,
In dust dishonour'd laid:
So fell the pride of all my hopes,
My age's future shade.

The mother-linnet in the brake
Bewails her ravish'd young;
So I, for my lost darling's sake,
Lament the live day long.
Death, oft I've fear'd thy fatal blow,
Now, fond I bare my breast,
O, do thou kindly lay me low
With him I love, at rest!

Robert Burns