Frances Anne Kemble

(27 November 1809 - 15 January 1893 / London, England)

The Death-Song


Mother, mother! my heart is wild,
Hold me upon your bosom dear,
Do not frown on your own poor child,
Death is darkly drawing near.
Mother, mother! the bitter shame
Eats into my very soul;
And longing love, like a wrapping flame,
Burns me away without control.
Mother, mother! upon my brow
The clammy death-sweats coldly rise;
How dim and strange your features grow
Through the hot mist that veils my eyes.
Mother, mother! sing me the song
They sing on sunny August eves,
The rustling barley fields along,
Binding up the ripe, red sheaves.
Mother, mother! I do not hear
Your voice—but his—oh, guard me well!
His breathing makes me faint with fear,
His clasping arms are round me still.
Mother, mother! unbind my vest,
Upon my heart lies his first token:
Now lay me in my narrow nest,
Your withered blossom, crushed and broken.

Submitted: Monday, September 06, 2010

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