Algernon Charles Swinburne

(5 April 1837 - 10 April 1909 / London)

The Bloody Sun - Poem by Algernon Charles Swinburne

“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 he’ll 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 ye’ll 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 she’ll do nae mair for my body’s 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 he’ll 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,
She’ll 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.”


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Poem Submitted: Monday, April 12, 2010



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