Poems for the Sea/The Sailor's Sick Child

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Poems of the Sea, 1850 - The Sailor's Sick Child.png


Come, Mother, sit beside my bed,
    And of my father tell,
On the deep ocean far away,
    Where angry waters swell.
I wish that he were with me now,
    While sick and faint I lie,
'T were good to hear his loving voice,
    And bless him ere I die.

Mother, it troubles me to see
   Those stranger-ladies come,
And urge you so to leave my side,
   And work for them, at home;
Methinks they coldly gaze on me,
   And shake their heads and say,
How feeble and how pale I grow,
   And waste, and waste away.

And oh, it grieves my heart to think,
   From morn to evening shade,
That you so oft for them must toil,
   And have from me no aid;
And then, with tender words, you say,
   You wish it were not so,
But I should have no food or fire,
   Unless you sometimes go.

When slow the sunset fades away,
   And twilight mists appear,
The sound of your returning step
   Is music to my ear;

How happy are those children dear,
   Who, on their couch of pain,
Behold a mother always near,
   But still, I'll not complain.

There's nought on earth I love so much
   As your kind face to see,
And now, indeed, the time is short
   We can together be;
Still draw me closer to your side,
   And to your bosom fold,
For then my cough I do not heed,
   Nor feel the winter's cold.

Yet when the storm is loud and wild,
   I cover up my head,
And pray Almighty God to save
   My father from the dead;
So, in his lonely midnight watch
   Upon the tossing sea,
Perhaps beneath the solemn stars
   He will remember me.

I know I cannot see him more,
   I feel it must be so,
But he can find my little grave,
   Where early spring flowers blow;
And you will comfort all his cares,
   When I in heaven shall be;
But mother, dearest! when I die,
   Oh! be alone with me.