Poem of the day

The Sick Child’s Dream
by Robert Nicoll (1814-1837)

O! mither, mither, my head was sair,
   And my een wi’ tears were weet;
But the pain has gane for evermair,
   Sae, mither, dinna greet:
And I ha’e had sic a bonnie dream,
   Since last asleep I fell,
O’ a’ that is holy an’ guid to name,
   That I’ve wauken’d my dream to tell.

I thought on the morn o’ a simmer day
   That awa’ through the clouds I flew,
While my silken hair did wavin’ play
   ’Mang breezes steep’d in dew;
And the happy things o’ life and light
   Were around my gowden way,
As they stood in their parent Heaven’s sight
   In the hames o’ nightless day.

An’ sangs o’ love that nae tongue may tell,
   Frae their hearts cam’ flowin’ free,
Till the starns stood still, while alang did swell
   The plaintive melodie;
And ane o’ them sang wi’ my mither’s voice,
   Till through my heart did gae
That chanted hymn o’ my bairnhood’s choice
   Sae dowie, saft, an’ wae.

Thae happy things o’ the glorious sky
   Did lead me far away,
Where the stream o’ life rins never dry,
   Where naething kens decay;
And they laid me down in a mossy bed,
   Wi’ curtains o’ spring leaves green,
And the name o’ God they praying said,
   And a light came o’er my een.

And I saw the earth that I had left,
   And I saw my mither there;
And I saw her grieve that she was bereft
   O’ the bairn she thought sae fair;
And I saw her pine till her spirit fled—
   Like a bird to its young one’s nest—
To that land of love; and my head was laid
   Again on my mither’s breast.

And, mither, ye took me by the hand,
   As ye were wont to do;
And your loof, sae saft and white, I fand
   Laid on my caller brow;
And my lips you kiss’d, and my curling hair
   You round your fingers wreath’d;
And I kent that a happy mither’s prayer
   Was o’er me silent breath’d—

And we wander’d through that happy land,
   That was gladly glorious a’;
The dwellers there were an angel-band,
   And their voices o’ love did fa’
On our ravish’d ears like the deein’ tones
   O’ an anthem far away,
In a starn-lit hour, when the woodland moans
   That its green is turn’d to grey.

And, mither, amang the sorrowless there,
   We met my brithers three,
And your bonnie May, my sister fair,
   And a happy bairn was she;
And she led me awa’ ’mang living flowers,
   As on earth she aft has done;
And thegither we sat in the holy bowers
   Where the blessed rest aboon;—

And she tauld me I was in paradise,
   Where God in love doth dwell—
Where the weary rest, and the mourner’s voice
   Forgets its warld-wail;
And she tauld me they kent na dule nor care:
   And bade me be glad to dee,
That yon sinless land and the dwellers there
   Might be hame and kin to me.

Then sweetly a voice came on my ears,
   And it sounded sae holily,
That my heart grew saft, and blabs o’ tears
   Sprung up in my sleepin’ e’e;
And my inmost soul was sairly moved
   Wi’ its mair than mortal joy;—
’Twas the voice o’ Him who bairnies loved
   That wauken’d your dreamin’ boy!

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