O mother, open the window wide
And let the daylight in;
The hills grow darker to my sight
And thoughts begin to swim.
And mother dear, take my young son,
(Since I was born of thee)
And care for all his little ways
And nurse him on thy knee.
And mother, wash my pale pale hands
And then bind up my feet;
My body may no longer rest
Out of its winding sheet.
And mother dear, take a sapling twig
And green grass newly mown,
And lay them on my empty bed
That my sorrow be not known.
And mother, find three berries red
And pluck them from the stalk,
And burn them at the first cockcrow
That my spirit may not walk.
And mother dear, break a willow wand,
And if the sap be even,
Then save it for sweet Robert’s sake
And he’ll know my soul’s in heaven.
And mother, when the big tears fall,
(And fall, God knows, they may)
Tell him I died of my great love
And my dying heart was gay.
And mother dear, when the sun has set
And the pale kirk grass waves,
Then carry me through the dim twilight
And hide me among the graves.