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On the Birth of a Posthumous Child

[From letters addressed by Burns to Mrs. Dunlop, it would appear that
this "Sweet Flow'ret, pledge o' meikle love," was the only son of her
daughter, Mrs. Henri, who had married a French gentleman. The mother
soon followed the father to the grave: she died in the south of
France, whither she had gone in search of health.]

Sweet flow'ret, pledge o' meikle love,
And ward o' mony a pray'r,
What heart o' stane wad thou na move,
Sae helpless, sweet, and fair!

November hirples o'er the lea,
Chill on thy lovely form;
And gane, alas! the shelt'ring tree,
Should shield thee frae the storm.

May He who gives the rain to pour,
And wings the blast to blaw,
Protect thee frae the driving show'r,
The bitter frost and snaw!

May He, the friend of woe and want,
Who heals life's various stounds,
Protect and guard the mother-plant,
And heal her cruel wounds!

But late she flourish'd, rooted fast,
Fair on the summer-morn:
Now feebly bends she in the blast,
Unshelter'd and forlorn.

Blest be thy bloom, thou lovely gem,
Unscath'd by ruffian hand!
And from thee many a parent stem
Arise to deck our land!

Robert Burns