’Twas na the wildfire’s flame that played
Alang the kirkyaird land,
It was a band o’ bairns that gae’d
Wi’ lichts in till their hand.
O white they cam’, yon babie thrang,
A’ silent o’er the sod;
Ye couldna hear their feet amang
The graves, sae saft they trod.
And aye the can’les flickered pale
Below the darkened sky,
But the licht was like a broken trail
When the third wee bairn gae’d by.
For whaur the can’le-flame should be
Was naither blink nor shine—
The bairnie turned its face to me
An’ I kent that it was mine.
An’ O! my broken he’rt was sair,
I cried, “My ain! my doo’!
For a’ thae weans the licht burns fair,
But it winna’ burn for you!”
She smiled to me, my little Jean,
Said she, “The dule and pain,
O mither! frae your waefu’ een
They strike on me again:
“For ither babes the flame leaps bricht
And fair and braw appears,
But I canna keep my bonnie licht,
For it’s droukit wi’ your tears!”
There blew across my outstreeked hand
The white mist o’ her sark,
But I couldna reach yon babie band
For it faded i’ the dark.
My ain, my dear, your licht shall burn
Although my een grow blind,
Although they twa to saut should turn
Wi’ the tears that lie behind.
O Jeanie, on my bended knee
I’ll pray I may forget,
My grief is a’ that’s left to me,
But there’s something dearer yet!
O gin I lived i’ the gowden mune
Like the mannie that smiles at me,
I’d sit a’ nicht in my hoose abune
An the wee-bit stars they wad ken me sune,
For I’d sup my brose wi’ a gowden spune
And they wad come out to see!
For weel I ken that the mune’s his ain
And he is the maister there;
A’ nicht he’s lauchin’, for, fegs, there’s nane
To draw the blind on his windy-pane
And tak’ an’ bed him, to lie his lane
And pleasure himsel’ nae mair.
Says I to Grannie, “Keek up the glen
Abune by the rodden tree,
There’s a braw lad ‘yont i’ the mune, ye ken.”
Says she, “Awa’ wi’ ye, bairn, gang ben,
For noo it’s little I fash wi’ men
An’ it’s less that they fash wi’ me!”
When I’m as big as the tinkler-man
That sings i’ the loan a’ day,
I’ll bide wi’ him i’ the tinkler-van
Wi’ a wee-bit pot an’ a wee-bit pan;
But I’ll no tell Grannie my bonnie plan,
For I dinna ken what she’ll say.
And, nicht by nicht, we will a’ convene
And we’ll be a cantie three;
We’ll lauch an’ crack i’ the loanin’ green,
The kindest billies that ever was seen,
The tinkler-man wi’ his twinklin’ een
And the lad i’ the mune an’ me!