William Thom

(1799-1848 / Scotland)

Biography of William Thom

William Thom (1799-1848) was a minor Scottish vernacular poet, author of The Mitherless Bairn and other works. He was a native of Aberdeen, where he worked as a hand-loom weaver, enduring considerable hardship and poverty.

He was born in Sinclair's Close, Justice Port, Aberdeen in 1799 or 1800, and died in Dundee, Scotland on February 29, 1848.

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The Mitherless Bairn

WHEN a’ ither bairnies are hush’d to their hame,
By aunty, or cousin, or frecky grand-dame,
Wha stands last an’ lanely, an’ sairly for-fairn?
’T is the puir dowie laddie—the mitherless bairn!

The mitherless bairnie creeps to his lane bed;
Nane covers his cauld back, or haps his bare head;
His wee hackit heelies are hard as the airn,
An’ lithless the lair o’ the mitherless bairn.

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