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And thy loved consort on the dangerous tide
And day by day some current's thwarting force
THE MITHERLESS BAIRN.
[An Inverary correspondent writes: "Thom gave me the following narrative as to the origin of The Mitherless Bairn'; I quote his own words. When I was livin' in Aberdeen, I was limping roun' the house to my garret, when I heard the greetin' o' a wean. A lassie was thumpin' a bairn, when out cam a big dame, bellowin' "Ye hussie, will ye lick a mitherless bairn!" I hobled up the stair and wrote the sang afore sleepin'.'"]
WHEN a' ither bairnies are hushed to their hame
The mitherless bairn gangs to his lane bed; Nane covers his cauld back, or haps his bare head;
His wee hackit heelies are hard as the airn, An' litheless the lair o' the mitherless bairn.
Aneath his cauld brow siccan dreams hover there, O' hands that wont kindly to kame his dark hair; But mornin' brings clutches, a' reckless an' stern, That lo'e nae the locks o' the mitherless bairn !
Yon sister that sang o'er his saftly rocked bed Now rests in the mools where her mammie is laid;