Abroad/Crossing The Channel

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Abroad
Thomas Crane and Ellen Houghton
Crossing The Channel
CROSSING THE CHANNEL.

The sea is calm, and clear the sky—only a few clouds scudding by: The Passengers look bright, and say, "Are we not lucky in the day!" The Mate stands in the wheelhouse there, and turns the wheel with watchful care:Steering to-day is work enough; what must it be when weather's rough? Look at him in his sheltered place—he hasn't got a merry face— 'Tis not such fun for him, you know, he goes so often to and fro. Nellie and Father, looking back, glance at the vessel's lengthening track— "How far," says Nellie, "we have come! good-bye, good-bye, dear English home!" Dennis and Rose and Mabel, walking upon the deck, are gaily talking— Says Mabel, "No one must forget to call my new doll 'Antoinette'; Travelling in France, 'twould be a shame for her to have an English name." Says Dennis, "Call her what you will, so you be English 'Mabel' still." Says Rose, to Dennis drawing nigher, "I think the wind is getting higher;" "If a gale blows, do you suppose, we shall be wrecked?" asks little Rose.

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While chatting with Dennis, Rose lost all her fear;
And the swift Albert Victor came safe to the pier
At Boulogne, where they landed, and there was the train
In waiting to take up the travellers again.
But to travel so quickly was not their intent:
On a little refreshment our party was bent.
Here they are at the Buffet—for dinner they wait—
And the tall garçon, André, attends them in state.

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At a separate table sits Monsieur Legros,
And behind him his poodle, Fidèle, you must know,
Who can dance, he's so clever, and stand and on his head,
Or upon his nose balance a morsel of bread.
Mabel takes up some sugar to coax him, whilst Nell
Calls him to her—Fidèle understands very well—
"Why! he must have learnt English, he knows what we say,"
Mabel cries, "See!—he begs in the cleverest way."

Then to the Hotel on the quay they all went;
To remain till the morrow they all were content:
After so much fatigue Father thought it was best,
For the children were weary and needed the rest.
Pictured here is the room in that very Hotel,
Where so cosily rested Rose, Mabel, and Nell.


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Mabel dreamed of the morrow—of buying French toys:
Rose remembered the steam-pipe, and dreamed of its noise.
Nellie's dreams were of home, but she woke from her trance
Full of joy, just to think they were really in France.
Very early next morning, you see them all three
Looking out from their window that faces the sea.