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Poem by Algernon Charles Swinburne


The Bloody Sun


O WHERE have ye been the morn sae late,
My merry son, come tell me hither?
O where have ye been the morn sae late?
And I wot I hae but anither.
By the water-gate, by the water-gate,
O dear mither.

And whatten kin o wark had ye there to make,
My merry son, come tell me hither?
And whatten kin o wark had ye there to make?
And I wot I hae but anither.
I watered my steeds with water frae the lake,
O dear mither.

Why is your coat sae fouled the day,
My merry son, come tell me hither?
Why is your coat sae fouled the day?
And I wot I hae but anither.
The steeds were stamping sair by the weary banks of clay,
O dear mither.

And where gat ye thae sleeves of red,
My merry son, come tell me hither?
And where gat ye thae sleeves of red?
And I wot I hae but anither.
I have slain my ae brither by the weary water-head,
O dear mither.

And where will ye gang to mak your mend,
My merry son, come tell me hither?
And where will ye gang to mak your mend?
And I wot I hae not anither.
The warldis way, to the warldis end,
O dear mither.

And what will ye leave your father dear,
My merry son, come tell me hither?
And what will ye leave your father dear?
And I wot I hae not anither.
The wood to fell and the logs to bear,
For hell never see my body mair,
O dear mither.

And what will ye leave your mither dear,
My merry son, come tell me hither?
And what will ye leave your mither dear?
And I wot I hae not anither.
The wool to card and the wool to wear,
For yell never see my body mair,
O dear mither.

And what will ye leave for your wife to take,
My merry son, come tell me hither?
And what will ye leave for your wife to take?
And I wot I hae not anither.
A goodly gown and a fair new make,
For shell do nae mair for my bodys sake,
O dear mither.

And what will ye leave your young son fair,
My merry son, come tell me hither?
And what will ye leave your young son fair?
And I wot ye hae not anither.
A twiggen school-rod for his body to bear,
Though it garred him greet hell get nae mair,
O dear mither.

And what will ye leave your little daughter sweet,
My merry son, come tell me hither?
And what will ye leave your little daughter sweet?
And I wot ye hae not anither.
Wild mulberries for her mouth to eat,
Shell get nae mair though it garred her greet,
O dear mither.

And when will ye come back frae roamin,
My merry son, come tell me hither?
And when will ye come back frae roamin?
And I wot I hae not anither.
When the sunrise out of the north is comen,
O dear mither.

When shall the sunrise on the north side be,
My merry son, come tell me hither?
When shall the sunrise on the north side be?
And I wot I hae not anither.
When chuckie-stanes shall swim in the sea,
O dear mither.

When shall stanes in the sea swim,
My merry son, come tell me hither?
When shall stanes in the sea swim?
And I wot I hae not anither.
When birdies feathers are as lead therein,
O dear mither.

When shall feathers be as lead,
My merry son, come tell me hither?
When shall feathers be as lead?
And I wot I hae not anither.
When God shall judge between the quick and dead,
O dear mither. 



Algernon Charles Swinburne


Algernon Charles Swinburne's other poems:
  1. Hendecasyllabics
  2. Ave Atque Vale
  3. Dickens
  4. On the Russian Persecution of the Jews
  5. Sonnet for a Picture


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