« AnteriorContinuar »
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 ;
Went barking joyfully!
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.
And people must have loved him well!-
And tolled his funeral bell!
Thee, in thy little quiet bed -
'T was joy to hear her tread! It must be many, many years
Since then, and yet I can recall
That had kind words for all.
And in our pastimes took delight,
Whole days, from morn till night.
And in the cold, cold grave is hid;
Closed down the coffin lid.
I know not where they went; some said
And some that they were dead. I cannot think that it is so,
I never saw them pale and thin,
Singing its bowers within.
Or know at least that they were near;
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.
As ever sailed the sea;
Were thirty hands and three.
The ocean was my joy —
When I was but a boy.
Was good as he was bold;
Throughout the world be told !
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!
Said I, in feigned glee,
Would make a child of me.
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.
In terror and dismay;
And longed to get away.
And death was on the sea;-
And so part company."
And with that sluggish wind,
And seven remained behind.
By the vessel to remain;
And they answered not again.
A westward course they bore;
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;
As long as she's a ship!
For sorrow that is gone,
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,
Keep fainting hope alive!
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,
Whom we are come to see?
THE FOUND TREASURE.
And we pretend we speed along,
Like arrows in the wind ;
Who gallops just behind.
And 'tis a morn in May;
As we go by the way.
Upon the green hills wide,
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 ;
To get the horse along !
Filled all the narrow road;
And wildly stared and lowed;
Such dismal looks they cast !
How ever we got past !
And beggars lame and blind;
Who gallops just behind.
I'm sure you can't be tired ;
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 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
I am glad we have found you before you were wise,
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,
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;
It makes one's back ache so, stooping to weed all day, of sticks and reeds in the dark fir-tree,
Where lay his mate and his nestlings three ;
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
Flew round as he saw the shaking blow,
“ 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 ;
As he stood on the furrow brown and bare,
He saw the old crow hop hither and thither,
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!"