Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub

THE SAILOR'S WIFE.

A TALE OF THE SEA.

We all had gardens of our own

Four little gardens in a row,And there we set our twining peas ; And rows of cress; and real trees,

And real flowers to grow. My father I remember too,

And even now his face can see ;
And the grey horse he used to ride,
And the old dog that at his side

Went barking joyfully!
He used to fly my brothers' kites,

And build them up a man of snow, And sail their boats, and with them race ; And carry me from place to place,

Just as I liked to go.
I'm sure he was a pleasant man,

And people must have loved him well!-
O, I remember that sad day
When they bore him in a hearse away,

And tolled his funeral bell!
Thy mother comes each night to kiss

Thee, in thy little quiet bed -
So came my mother years ago ;
And I loved her - oh! I loved her so,

'T was joy to hear her tread! It must be many, many years

Since then, and yet I can recall
Her very tone - - her look — her dress,
Her pleasant smile and gentleness,

That had kind words for all.
She told us tales, she sang us songs,

And in our pastimes took delight,
And joined us in our summer glee,
And sat with us beneath the tree;
Nor wearied of our company,

Whole days, from morn till night.
Alas! I know that she is dead,

And in the cold, cold grave is hid;
I saw her in her coffin lie,
With the grim mourners standing by ;
And silent people solemnly

Closed down the coffin lid.
My brothers were not there - ah me!

I know not where they went; some said
With a rich man beyond the sea
That they were dwelling pleasantly -

And some that they were dead. I cannot think that it is so,

I never saw them pale and thin,
And the last time their voice I heard,
Merry were they as a summer-bird,

Singing its bowers within.
I wish that I could see their faces,

Or know at least that they were near;
Ah! gladly would I cross the sea,
So that with them I might but be,
For now my days pass wearily,

And all are strangers here.

HEAVEN keep the wives of seamen,

And bless their children small, For they have power to cheer us,

If sorrow should befall! I'll tell you how the thoughts of them

Once saved a ship in need, As if they'd been the seraphim

That had of us good heed.
A stout ship was the Halcyon,

As ever sailed the sea;
The crew that manned the Halcyon,

Were thirty hands and three.
I was the good ship's purser,

The ocean was my joy —
The waves had been my playmates

When I was but a boy.
The master of the Halcyon

Was good as he was bold;
Let the name of William Morrison

Throughout the world be told !
We heaved the Halcyon's anchor

On the twenty-first of May, And from our wives and children

With sorrow went away. My wife was bonny Betsy,

Both trim and true was she ; We called the good ship after her,

When next we went to sea : And how this glory chanced to her

I'll tell ye presently. With her I left two children,

More dear than mines of gold Another dark-haired Betsy,

And a boy scarce two years old. Said I, “My bonny Betsy,

These idle tears restrain; The happy day will soon come round,

When we shall meet again!
“So, fare-ye-well, my jewels!"

Said I, in feigned glee,
For I feared the pain of parting,

Would make a child of me.
We went on board the Halcyon,

On the twenty-first of May, And with a fresh and prosperous gale,

From England bore away. We were bound unto the islands

In the South Pacific sea ; And many a day, and many a week,

We sailed on prosperously. But then a dreadful malady

Broke out among the crew; The ocean-waves rolled heavily, And the hot wind scarcely blew !

So spoke good William Morrison,

His tears but half repressed ; And all rose up as if renewed,

And vowed to do our best.

It seemed the plague had left us,

And we were strong men all, When we thought on those who loved us,

Our wives and children small.

And soon upsprung a cooling gale,

A cool gale and a strong; And from those deadly latitudes

The good ship bore along.

We were but seven mariners,

And yet we were enow; And we cheered for bonny Betsy,

With every rope we drew.

"T was on a Monday morning,

When first the plague appeared, About the latter days of June,

When the Equinox we neared. The brave men gazed in sorrow,

The weak men in despair — As the reaper in the harvest-field,

Death drove his sickle there! They died within the hammock,

They dropped from off the shroud; And then they 'gan to murmur,

And misery spoke aloud. When at the helm the helmsman died,

All care of life seemed gone; We sate in stupid anguish,

And let the ship drive on.
We looked upon each other

In terror and dismay;
We feared each other's company,

And longed to get away.
But death was in the vessel,

And death was on the sea;-
Said they, “ we 'll launch the long-boat,

And so part company."
In all we were but thirteen men;

And with that sluggish wind,
Six of our number put to sea,

And seven remained behind.
In vain the captain urged them

By the vessel to remain;
But woe had made them reckless,

And they answered not again.
We saw throughout that weary day,

A westward course they bore;
But we lost them on the morrow,

And never saw them more.

They looked on me with kindness,

As on we gaily moved ; For each man in my Betsy

Beheld the wife he loved.

Heaven bless the wives of seamen,

And be their children's stay, For they have power to cheer us,

When we are far away!

And so we made our voyage

Across the southern main, And brought that gallant vessel

Do England safe again.

They named her there the “ · Betsy,"

Before the second trip;
And I'll abide beside her,

As long as she's a ship!
Now let us cheer for joy in store,

For sorrow that is gone,
And for my bonny Betsy,

And Captain Morrison !

Our captain sate among us,

As he for long had done, And cheered with comfortable words,

When comfort else was none.

THE MORNING DRIVE.

A PLAY FOR VERY LITTLE CHILDREN.

Oh, dear mamma! I'm glad you've come!

Pray look, for we pretend, I'm riding in a pony chaise

To see an absent friend.

Said he, “ My brave companions,

Still let us nobly strive,
And for our wives and children,

Keep fainting hope alive!
“ There was one, the bonny Betsy,

With a child in either hand I saw her tears at parting,

As she stood on the strand. "We all have wives in England —

Come, yield not lo dismay; Let's give a cheer for Betsy,

And do the best we may! * Ye shall live to smile at sorrow!

Brave hearts, let's down with pain! Please God, we'll bring the Halcyon

To England once again!

Now, is it not a famous scheme,

As like as chaise can be ? And such a noble horse as this

We very seldom see.

For 't is a true Arabian,

As while as driven snow; "T was bounding o'er the desert sands Not many months ago !

Oh yes! I see them every one,

There's Anno and Jane and Kate; No, Charley, now you need not ring,

For they are at the gate.

And now, mamma, that we are here,

Will you pretend to be,
The ladies all so kind and good,

Whom we are come to see?

THE FOUND TREASURE.

And we pretend we speed along,

Like arrows in the wind ;
And Charley is my servant lad,

Who gallops just behind.
And so, mamma, we're driving out -

And 'tis a morn in May;
And we can scent the hawthorn rers,

As we go by the way.
And we can see the bird-cherry

Upon the green hills wide,
And cowslips pale and orchises,

And many flowers beside. And little lambs are all at play ;

And birds are singing clear; Now is it not a charming thing,

To be thus driving here? And oh, mamma! we've seen such things !

Charley would have it so — Although a little servant lad

Should not dictate, you know. And first we met a drove of pigs,

Great Irish pigs and strong ;
And oh! I so much trouble had,

To get the horse along !
And then a great, wild Highland herd

Filled all the narrow road;
They looked like mountain buffaloes,

And wildly stared and lowed;
And 'neath their shaggy brows, on us

Such dismal looks they cast !
Mamma, 'twas really wonderful

How ever we got past !
And coaches we have met, and carts,

And beggars lame and blind;
And all to please this serving-boy,

Who gallops just behind.
Come up, my little horse, come up,

I'm sure you can't be tired ;
You never must be weary, sir,

When you 're so much admired! There, now we're at the turnpike gate,

And now we 're driven through ; Over the hill, my little horse,

And then the town's in view. There, now we're in the town itself;

“Smith," " Hopkins," "Cook and Jones;" One scarce can read these great gilt names,

For jumbling o'er the stones ! And now we pass " The Old Green Man,"

And now we pass “ The Sun;" And next across the market-plaçe,

And then the journey 's done. Ah! now I see the very house

And there's the drawing-room ; Charley, alight, and give my card, And ask if they 're at home.

OH, Harry, come hither, and lay down your book,
And see what a treasure I've found ! only look!
'Tis as handsome a kitten as ever you saw,
Equipped like a cat, with tail, whisker, and claw.
See, here it is ready for pastime and freak,
Though it looks at this moment so sober and meek:
Yes, Harry, examine it over and over,
"T is really the kitten no one could discover!
Oh Kit, we have sought you above and below;
We have gone where a mouser never could go ;
We have hunted in garrets with diligent care,
In chambers and closets-but you were not there ;
We have been in dark corners with lanterns to see,
We've peeped in the hayloft if there you might be ;
And the parlour and kitchen we've searched through

and through,
And listened in vain for your musical mew!

And who would have thought that a sensible puss, As your mother is deemed, would have harassed us

thus ! Then to bury you here, in this odd, little den! But you never, my Kit, shall be buried again ; You shall go to the parlour, and sit on the hearth, And there we will laugh at your frolicsome mirth; You shall caper about on the warm kitchen floor, And in the hot sunshine shall bask at the door.

You shall have a round cork at the end of a string
Tied up to the table, you grey, little thing!
You shall twirl round and round, like a brisk wind.

mill sail,
You poor little simpleton, after your tail;
And jump in affright from a shade on the wall;
And spring, like a tiger, on nothing at all –
While my father will lay his old book on his knee,
And my mother look up from her knitting to see.

I am glad we have found you before you were wise,
And had learned all a kitten's arch ways to despise ;
Before you grew sober, demure, and all that,
And adhered to grave rules, like a well-behaved

cat!
Come Kitty, we'll take you, this same afternoon,
And show you about, like a man from the moon.
There, down in your basket, we'll cover you so,
And ask but a pin for a peep at the show!

you hear?

Come, tell me in a minute, I haven't patience to wait ; THOUGHTS OF HEAVEN.

And till you begin, sir, there's a thimble-pie for you

on the top of your pate. THOUGHTS of Heaven! they come when low HARRY.-Oh Kitty! you 've knocked me so, I'll tell The summer eve's breeze doth faintly blow;

my mother, that I will! When the mighty sea shines clear, unstirred

If you do so, miss, nobody will like you, so you 'd By the wavering tide or the dipping bird.

better be still. They come in the rush of the surging storm, KITTY.-Well, then, tell me something! Why should When the waves rear up their giant form,

I be still and nobody talking? When the breakers dash o'er dark rocks, white,

HARRY.-Oh! I'm tired with this running about, and And the terrible lightnings rend the night;

this riding, and this walking ; When the mighty ship hath vainly striven ;

I wish there was no such thing as running or walkWith the seaman's cry, come thoughts of Heaven!

ing at all;

And I wish every horse were in the fields, or else They come where man doth not intrude ;

tied up in its stall ! In the trackless forest's solitude ;

What's your work, Kitty ? sitting still in the house In the stillness of the grey rock's height,

at ease; Whence the lonely eagle takes his flight;

You've nothing to do but sit down, and get op again, On peaks where lie the unwasting snows;

just as you please ; In the sun-bright islands' rich repose ;

And yet you talk of your work, as if 't was the bard. In the heathery glen; by the dark, clear lake,

est that e'er was done, Where the wild swan broods in the reedy brake ;

Why compare it with mine, child, and I'm sure it's Where nature reigns in her deepest rest,

nothing but fun! Pure thoughts of heaven come unreprest.

Kitty.-Child! I'm no more child than you; I'm

but younger by a year, They come as we gaze on the midnight sky,

I desire you speak respectfully to me, now, sir,-do When the star-gemmed vault is dark and high, And the soul on the wings of thought sublime,

HARRY.—Yes,

yes,

I hear! But I really am so tired, Soars from the world and the bounds of time,

as I was just now saying; Till the mental eye becomes unsealed,

I wish you 'd get your work done, and let's begin And the mystery of being in light revealed!

playing ! They rise in the old cathedral dim,

You can't believe, I'm sure, all the work I've done When slowly bursts forth the holy hymn,

this day, And the organ's tones swell full and high,

I've weeded two carrot-beds, and the onions and Till the roof peals back the melody.

carried all the weeds away ;

And I've been down to Thomas Jackson's to tell him Thoughts of Heaven! from his joy beguiled,

to get the horse shod ; They come to the bright-eyed, playful child ;

And in coming back there was a great, big, rusty nail, To the man of age in his dull decay,

upon which I trod, Bringing hopes that his youth took not away;

And it lamed me so, I don't believe I shall walk for To the woe-smit soul, in its dark distress,

a week, As flowers spring up in the wilderness ;

At least as I ought to do, for my ancle has quite a Like the light of day in its blessed fall,

creak! Such holy thoughts are given to all!

Kitty.-Oh dear, let me look at it! Why, I'm sure

it is quite shocking See, there's a hole as large as my thimble in the

ancle of your stocking! A DAY OF HARD WORK.

Harry.-Oh no, 't is the other foot-that I tore with

a bramble; A CONVERSATION BETWEEN HARRY AND KITTY. And that reminds me, Jack Smith and I had such a

terrible scramble ! Kutty.–Well, now you've been running about so, we were catching the pony that I might ride down you sit still ?

to the mill, I want to have some talk with you, and I certainly To bid him bring the flour home, for I declare he has will:

it still ; I've got all this unpicking to do, for while I talk I And we shan't have a bit of white bread in the house, must work ;

nor å pudding, nor a pie, You boys can run about idling-I sit stitching like a If he don't bring it home-every one says he's shame Turk.

fully idle, and so do I. Come, now tell me, can't you, something about the Well, but I haven't told you after all, what a deal of farm-yard ?

work I've done ; Ilow many eggs has the turkey laid--and is that And I'm sure if you knew what weeding was, you muddy place dry and hard !

would not call it fun;

pray can't

It makes one's back ache so, stooping to weed all day, of sticks and reeds in the dark fir-tree,
I shall be famously glad when it's done!

Where lay his mate and his nestlings three ;
KITTY.—But are you quite ready for play?

And whenever he saw the man come by, I've but a liule bit to do I shall have done in half Dead horse ! dead horse!" he was sure to cry, a quarter of an hour;

“Croak, croak!" if he went or came, And as you 've nothing to do, just run and see if that The cry of the crow was just the same, lavender's in flower

Jack looked up as grim as could be, There's a good Harry, do; I'll do seven times as And says. "what's my trade to the like of thee!" much for you ;

“Dead horse! dead horse! croak, croak! croak, You know I sewed, yesterday, that old clasp in your croak!" shoe.

As plain as words to his ear it spoke. HARRY.-I'd go, if I thought you 'd have done by Old Jack stooped down and picked up a stone, the time I come back;

A stout, thick stick, and dry cow's-bone, KITTY.—To be sure I shall !—I wish you would not And one and the other all three did throw, waste so much time with your clack !

So angry was he, at the carrion crow; HARRY.-Well, just let me pull up my shoe, and put But none of the three reached him or his nest, by this peacock's feather.

Where his three young crows lay warm at rest; KITTY.–Nay, you may as well stay now; I've just And “ Croak, croak! dead horse! croak, croak!" done, and we'll both go together;

In his solemn way again he spoke ; For I want to show you something like a magpie's Old Jack was angry as he could be, nest up in a tree,

And says he, “ On the morrow, I'll fell thy tree,Only I don't think it is a magpie's nest, and I can't I'll teach thee, old fellow, to rail at me !"

think what it can be ; And it is just by the lavender bush, and 't will save As soon as 't was light, if there you had been, us going there twice:

Old Jack at his work you might have seen ; There, now I've done my work! and I shall be I would you 'd been there to see old Jack, ready in a trice!

And to hear the strokes as they came “ thwack! HARRY.–Well, then let us begone; we shall have thwack!" two whole hours for play;

And then you'd have seen how the croaking bird
I didn't think we should have had so much time, and Flew round as the axe's strokes he heard,
I' been working all day!

Flew round as he saw the shaking blow,
That came to his nest from the root below,
One after the other, stroke upon stroke ;
* Thwack! thwack!" said the axe, said the crow,

“ Croak! croak!" THE OLD MAN AND THE CARRION

Old Jack looked up with a leer in his eye,

And "I'll hew it down!" says he,“ by and bye! CROW.

I'll teach thee to rail, my old fellow, at me!" There was a man and his name was Jack,

So he spit on his hands, and says, “ have at the tree !" Crabbed and lean, and his looks were black

“ Thwack!" says the axe, as the bark it clove ; His temper was sour, his thoughts were bad;

" Thwack!" as into the wood it drove; His heart was hard when he was a lad.

Croak!" says the crow in a great dismay, And now he followed a dismal trade,

“Croak!" as he slowly flew away. Old horses he bought and killed and flayed,

Flap, flap went his wings over hedge and ditch, Their flesh he sold for the dogs to eat ;

Till he came to a field of burning twitch ;
You would not have liked this man to meet. The boy with a lighted lantern there,
He lived in a low mud-house on a moor,

As he stood on the furrow brown and bare,
Without any garden before the door.

He saw the old crow hop hither and thither,
There was one liutle hovel behind, that stood, Then fly with a burning sod somewhither.
Where he used to do his work of blood;
I never could bear to see the place,

Away flew the crow to the house on the moor, It was stained and darkened with many a trace;

A poor, old horse was tied to the door ; A trace of what I will not tell

The burning sod on the roof he dropped, And then there was such an unchristian smell !

Then upon the chimney stone he hopped,

And down he peeped that he might see, Now this old man did come and go,

How many there were in familyThrough the wood that grew in the dell below; There was a mother and children three. It was scant a mile from his own door-stone,

“ Croak! croak!" the old crow did say, Darksome and dense, and overgrown;"

As from the roof he flew away, And down in the drearest nook of the wood, As he flew away to a tree, to watch A tall and splintered fir-tree stood;

The burning sod and the dry grey thatch, Half-way up, where the boughs outspread,

He stayed not long till he saw it smoke, A carrion crow his nest had made,

Then he flapped his wings, and cried, “ Croak, croak!"

66

[ocr errors]
« ForrigeFortsæt »