Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE WEE COLLIER LADDIE, by THOMAS STEWART



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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

THE WEE COLLIER LADDIE, by            
First Line: Sad the widow'd one gazed on her wee collier laddie
Last Line: An' soars in a sang, hailing morn's golden glow.
Alternate Author Name(s): Rustic Rhymer
Subject(s): Child Labor; Mines And Miners


SAD the widow'd one gazed on her wee collier laddie,
As, dowie an' drowsie, he crept frae his nest,
An' threw, wi' a grue (for 'twas dirty an' duddy),
The sweat-soakit sark o'er his fair, fragile breast.

An' she sigh'd as she saw hoo her hopes had deceiv'd her,
For, fair in the future, sae fair seem'd his fame,
Ere death o' her dearest on earth had bereav'd her,
An' blotted the bliss o' her humble wee hame.

"Ah, my bairn! maun the buds o' rare genius be wither'd
That lang heaz'd my hope, an' that still I can see?
Maun the fire that thy fond faither saw aye be smother'd
By soul-crushin' toil for my bairnies an' me?

"But I boo to the will o' my Heavenly Faither;
Ambition is often the offspring o' Pride;
He kens what is best for my bairn an' his mither --
The Lord is unerring, 'the Lord will provide.'"

Sae she wrapp'd his weel-clooted coatie around him,
To shield his bit bosom, for breezes were snell,
An' strove to speak cheerie, she wished nae to wound him
Wi' cares, cruel cares! that were crushin' hersel'.

An' there flow'd frae the fount o' his filial affection,
A stream, pure an' holy, untainted wi' guile;
An' his only ambition, his aim in each action,
Was to brichten the beam o', an' bask in her smile.

Sae he sang in the dawn, as he brav'd biting Boreas,
"Though cauld be thy breath, bonnie spring, wi' what glee
Will I hail smiling morn wi' the mavis in chorus,
When 'Primrosy Glen,' in her glory I see.

"Ambition may urge me to aim at the pleasures,
The glories that beam in the beauties o' Art,
When the gleam o' a gem, frae some rare bardie's treasures,
Thro' the mists o' the mine pours its rays on my heart."

But can pleasure, mair pure, bless the bard's glowing bosom?
Though fair be his fame, an' though boundless its flow,
Than the wee collier's bliss, than the joy that o'erflows him,
An' soars in a sang, hailing morn's golden glow.





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