Page:Letters to Mothers (1839).djvu/62

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He disappeared from her cottage. What she dreaded, had come upon her. In his anger, he had gone to sea. And now, every night, when the tempest howled, and the wind was high, she lay sleepless, thinking of him. She saw him, in her imagination, climbing the slippery shrouds, or doing the bidding of rough, unfeeling men. Again, she fancied that he was sick and suffering, with none to watch over him, or have patience with his waywardness, and her head which silver hairs began to sprinkle, gushed forth, as if it were a fountain of waters.

But hope of his return, began to cheer her. When the new moon looked with its slender crescent in at her window, she said "I think my boy will be here, ere that moon is old." And when it waned and went away, she sighed and said "my boy will remember me."

Years fled, and there was no letter, no recognition. Sometimes she gathered tidings from a comrade, that he was on some far sea, or in some foreign land. But no message for his mother. When he touched at some port in his native country, it was not to seek her cottage, but to [53] spend his wages in revelry, and re-embark on a new voyage.

Weary years, and no letter. Yet she had abridged her comforts, that he might be taught to write, and she used to exhibit his penmanship