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Came his cronies, some to gaze
Rapt in wonder; some

Free with counsel; some with praise;

Some with envy dumb.

May he," many a gossip cried,

"Be from peril kept";

Father hid his face and sighed,

Mother turned and wept.

Joseph Skipsey

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"Ho, Sailor of the sea!

How's my boy-my boy?" "What's your boy's name, good wife, And in what good ship sail'd he?" "My boy John

He that went to sea

What care I for the ship, sailor?

My boy 's my boy to me.

"You come back from sea,

And not know my John?

I might as well have ask'd some landsman

Yonder down in the town.

There's not an ass in all the parish

But he knows my John.

"How's my boy-my boy?

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I'll swear you are no sailor,

Blue jacket or no,

Brass buttons or no, sailor,

Anchor or crown or no!

Sure his ship was the Jolly Briton"
"Speak low, woman, speak low!"
"And why should I speak low, sailor,
About my own boy John?

If I was loud as I am proud
I'd sing him over the town!
Why should I speak low, sailor?"
"That good ship went down."

"How's my boy-my boy?
What care I for the ship, sailor?
I was never aboard her.


Be she afloat or be she aground,
Sinking or swimming, I'll be bound,
Her owners can afford her!

I say how's my John?"

Every man on board went down,
Every man aboard her."

"How's my boy

my boy?


What care I for the men,

I'm not their mother

How's my boy-my boy?

Tell me of him and no other!

How's my boy

- my boy?"

Sidney Dobell


O WHEN the half-light weaves
Wild shadows on the floor,
How ghostly come the withered leaves
Stealing about my door!

I sit and hold my breath,

Lone in the lonely house;

Naught breaks the silence still as death,

Only a creeping mouse.

The patter of leaves, it may be,

But liker patter of feet,
The small feet of my own baby

That never felt the heat.

The small feet of my son,
Cold as the graveyard sod;
My little, dumb, unchristened one
That may not win to God.

"Come in, dear babe," I cry,
Opening the door so wide.
The leaves go stealing softly by;
How dark it is outside!

And though I kneel and pray
Long on the threshold-stone
The little feet press on their way,
And I am ever alone.

Katharine Tynan Hinkson



STILL farther would I fly, my child,
To make thee safer yet,
From the unsparing white man,

With his dread hand murder-wet!
I'll bear thee on as I have borne
With stealthy steps wind-fleet,
But the dark night shrouds the forest,
And thorns are in my feet.

O moan not! I would give this braid -
Thy father's gift to me-

But for a single palmful
Of water now for thee.


Ah! spring not to his name
To glad us may he come—
He is smoldering into ashes

Beneath the blasted gum:

no more

All charred and blasted by the fire
The white man kindled there,
And fed with our slaughtered kindred
Till heaven-high went its glare!

And but for thee, I would their fire

Had eaten me as fast!

Hark! Hark! I hear his death-cry
Yet lengthening up the blast!

But no-when his bound hands had signed
The way that we should fly,

On the roaring pyre flung bleeding—
I saw thy father die!

No more shall his loud tomahawk
Be plied to win our cheer,
Or the shining fish pools darken
Beneath his shadowing spear:
The fading tracks of his fleet foot
Shall guide not as before,
And the mountain-spirits mimic
His hunting call no more!

O moan not! I would give this braid

Thy father's gift to me

For but a single palmful

Of water now for thee.

Charles Harpur


O THAT those lips had language! Life has passed

With me but roughly since I heard thee


Those lips are thine, -thy own sweet smile

I see,

The same that oft in childhood solaced


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