A Mother's Lament

by Robert Burns

For the death of her son.

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,
Oh, do thou kindly lay me low
With him I love, at rest!

Notes to the poem:

The poet says: 'The Mother's Lament' 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.


The Poetical Works Of Robert Burns
Copyright 1910
Ward, Lock, and Co., Ltd
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