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As he sang of his suit.



40



A SONG 41

I met Love again, —
His face was in pain ;

The lute it was silent ;
The string snapped in twain.

His eye it was dim,
His mouth it was grim,

All hollow his cheek,
And wasted each limb.

"What ails you?" I said.
Then Love shook his head,

— " It is more than a month
Since poor Love was fed."



A SONG

My love is coming from over the sea,

Over the sea ;
A thousand things I've got for to tell her,

Merrily, merrily;
A thousand things I've got for to give her.

Tenderly, tenderly.

My love is a-come from over the sea,

Over the sea ;
But the holy hush of the joy is mine,

Silently, silently,
I can only feel that my love is here.

Here by me, here by me.







A SONG 43

My love, my love from over the sea,

Over the sea ;
I've nothing to say and nothing to give

Unto thee, unto thee ;
Words are so empty and gifts so poor,

Here with thee, here with thee.



A LI'LL SUM

There was Jim Treglown, a brave chap was he
As ever shot pilchard nets out to sea.
He could tell 'ee clean off what ought to be,
Could Jimmie Treglown.

And 'twas Pedder Polsue from Plymouth way-
He was always ready to have his say.
" I am more than a match for Jim any day,"
Says Pedder Polsue.

They was down 'pon Mevagissey Quay,
A passle of chaps, when Pedder says he,
" Now, Jimmie, my son, here's a sum for thee,"
Says Pedder Polsue.

44







f~-i



A LI'LL SUM 45

" I'll give 'ee two minutes to do it, come —
'Tis a fine and easy little sum,
And 'tisn't a failin' o' yours to be dumb,"
Says Pedder Polsue.

" A chap took three herrin's out of a cask,
'Three ha'pence,' says he, 'is the charge I ask.'
How much for a shilling ? and that's the task,"
Says Pedder Polsue.

" 'Tis Devon 'gainst Cornwall, so now fair play.
Two minutes I'll give 'ee, so hurry away ;
Lev us gone for to see who'll win the day,"
Says Pedder Polsue.

Now Jimmie Treglown he scratched his head,
" Don't let en beat 'ee," the Cornishman said.
Poor Jimmie, the face of him turned quite red.
Did Jimmie Treglown.



46 A LI'LL SUM

"Two minutes is up and Jimmie don't knaw,"
Says Pedder Polsue. Says the Cornishman " Aw ! "
And Jimmie Treglown scratched his head, and " Law ! "
Says Jimmie Treglown.

And Pedder Polsue he laughed with glee,
" 'Tis a half-penny each, and don't you see
That's eighteen for a shilling, seemin' to me,"
Says Pedder Polsue.

Then Jimmie turned round, " Was it herrings you said ?
I know that o' herrings^ of course, but instead
Of herrings 'i\iz.^ pilchards I got in my head,"
Says Jimmie Treglown.



A DAY ON THE TAMAR

Good Mr Ford a fisher was
Who loved to catch the trout ;

With Mr Bridge, on Tamar's bank,
He came to pull them out.

The Dartmoor streams he knew full well,
And whipped the pools with vigour.

But though he'd taken many a score,
He longed to take a bigger.

Said Mr Ford : " Yes, Dartmoor's good,

I don't wish to defame her,
But there the fish are very shy

Whilst here the trout are Tamar."



47



48 A DAY ON THE TAMAR

Together thus they worked away ;

But did not get a rise,
Except indeed the blisterings

Of gnats and stinging flies.

At lazy noon they sought the shade
And sat at their repast.

Said Mr Ford to Mr Bridge
" We've got a bite at last ! "

Said Mr Bridge to Mr Ford
" We must try something new,

Come let us make the claret fly,
Set off" with smoky blue."

Said Mr Ford to Mr Bridge
" I haven't seen a fin,

I think I'll find another top
And see if I can spin."







<



A DAY ON THE TAMAR 49



Then for a brace of hours more
Those fishers flung the fly,

Till Mr F. caught Mr B.
And hooked him in the eye.

** Oh Hooker injudicious ! "

Cried writhing Mr B.
" If this is what you joking call,

The point I cannot see."

Then Mr Ford threw down his rod,
And loudly cried " Alack ! "

"You see one really cannot help
What's done behind one's back."

Then groaning Mr B, replied,
" Oh, what a dreadful smart !

'Tis all my eye to say that this
Is such a gentle art " —

D



50 A DAY ON THE TAMAR

" Those ladies who like piercing eyes
This may suit . . . and all such ;

To my mind this drop-fly of yours
Had had a drop too much."

Cried Mr Ford to Mr Bridge
" If once of this you're rid

I vow I never will again
Try fishing on that Lyd."

Now not far off the river's brink
The doctor hurried by,

And pulling out his lancet sharp
He soon unhooked that eye.

Then spake the doctor solemnly,
" No mischief I descry,

This casting line, it might have left
A sad cast in his eye."



A DAY ON THE TAMAR 51

" Oh ! dear," cried Mr Ford distrest,

That hook is in me still,
Though Mr Bridge has lost his pain
I really feel quite ill."

But Mr Bridge, he laughed aloud,

" Don't blame your want of art ;
'Twas all that showy fly of yours ;

I felt it very smart."



IS FISHING CRUEL?

The other day by Tamar's banks

We two sat down and lunched :
There came a roguish youngster by

And watched us as we munched ;
His waders and his rod and creel

Proclaimed the fisher lad :
In friendliness we turned and asked

What sort of sport he'd had.

" How many fish ? " he answer made ;
" An easy thing to ask,



52




D Ij ,, ^/'



^\i





IS FISHING CRUEL? 53

But if you'd count the fish I've caught

It is a stiffish task."
The youth put on a solemn look,

" Pray, listen, sirs," he said ;
" I grieve to say I've caught six fish.

But six . . . without a head ! "

" I need not tell you, gentlemen.

Their fate I much bewail !
But what is quite as bad to tell,

I've nine without a tail."
" Without a head ! " my friend replied ;

" Without a tail ! " cried I.
" Pray let us see." The youngster said :

" You shall see by-and-bye.

" But kindly wait a little while : "

The youngster heaved a sigh,
" Alack, dear sirs, ten fish I've caught,



54 IS FISHING CRUEL?

But ten without an eye ! "
" I've not done yet," the youth went on,

" Most horrible to view,
Besides all these I've caught eight more.

But eight ... all cut in two ! "

Our heads, they drooped ! Our lunch, it fell

Untasted from our lips !
Such cruelties had rent our hearts.

Our hands sunk to our hips.
And this is sport ! Ah, who think so

Might take another view.
Without a head ! Without a tail !

If they were cut in two !

The youth, he laughed and showed his creel.

" Forgive my bit of fun,
A headless 6, a tailless 9,

And i-less 10 is none!




'^y/^//('




-^w4^ *^i=^



IS FISHING CRUEL? 55

And double none is still the same,

So don't bewail their fate,
Two nothings is the residue

When cut in two is 8."



THE MINER IN FOREIGN PARTS
CALIFORNIA

" Aw my dear life ! well, iss, of course,

'Tis very fine, you're right, —
A hundred miles and more of plains.

And then the mountains' height ;
The valley and the waterfall,

Beside the towering tree.
But bless 'ee, 'tisn't nothin', sir,

To that which I can see.

"A stretch of furze bush all ablaze.

Another stretch of fern ;

A patch of purple heather bloom,

And then you take a turn ;
56



IN FOREIGN PARTS— CALIFORNIA 57

You pass great piles of rubbish heaps,
You pass a bal * that's knacked ;

And then a whitewashed cottage peeps
From where the corn is stacked.

" I see the garden through the gate,

I hear the hum of bees.
The butterflies are everywhere,

The birds sing in the trees.
The flowers — that's the sort I love,

Sweet Williams pink and red,
The boy's-love grows beside the door ;

The jessamine's overhead ;

" The fuchsia blooms most all the year,

The happy roses creep
About the window of the place,

Where my dear maid do sleep ;
* A mine abandoned.



58 IN FOREIGN PARTS— CALIFORNIA

To think they greet her at the dawn,
To think that their sweet bloom

Should breathe about my awn, my awn,
And fill that little room !



" I see her standing at the gate

When milking time is done ;
And all the sea and sky is red

With setting of the sun ;
The golden glory of it all

Is shining in her hair.
The flowers at her bosom

Are not more sweet or fair.



" Aw, my dear life, I tell 'ee what,
When I do think of she

Your gold is but a little thing —
The only gold for me



IN FOREIGN PARTS— CALIFORNIA 59

Is just enough to make a ring,

To tell the world she's mine ;
And diamonds — I'd rather see

Her blessed eyes ashine.

" The glory of your scenery

Sinks all into the shade
Beside the thought of her I love,

My awn sweet little maid.
How poor a thing it seems to me

To be a millionaire,
Beside a kiss from those dear lips,

My little maid so fair ! "



THE MINER IN FOREIGN PARTS

AUSTRALIA

" Zacky, my boy, come here and sit down,

Lev us touch a pipe for a bit ;
The heat is enough to kill a chap

Down there in the stifflin' pit ;
Come under the shade of the big gum-tree —

'Tis a purty place for to sit.

" Had any news from home, have 'ee, then ?

A paper you used to receive."
And Zacky was still for a brave long time,

Then he gave a sigh and a heave :

" I ha'n't heard now for ever so long,

But 'tis my fault, I believe.
60



IN FOREIGN PARTS— AUSTRALIA 6i

" You see, I been goin' from place to place,

And 'twas hard to find time to write,
And when you've been working all day long,

You're 'most too tired at night."
And Zacky was still again for a while —

" Here, comrade, give me a light.

" And so they didn't know where to send,

It must be three months or so ;
But let me see — why, 'tis more than that.

Well, how quick the time do go !
'Tis nearer six months since I wrote home ;

The post's so far off, you know.

" But I wrote to mother yesterday " —

And Zacky wiped off a tear,
" And I sent her a present, a lumpin' sum

That will keep her half a year ;
I know it will make her old heart sing —

God bless her, I wish she was here.



62 IN FOREIGN PARTS— AUSTRALIA

" 'Twas a dream I had — 'twill do 'ee good
For to hear what I've got to say —

For all I do feel a bit ashamed,
I'm feehn' better to-day ;

And you know, comrade, how easy it is
To forget when folks is away.

" Well, you mind the little place at home, —

There's just a bit of a lane
Going down from the road, the left-hand side,-

I could see it all so plain.
And mother, she stood in the cottage door,

And her face was full of pain,

" The garden was all in sun and shade,

'Twas such a beautiful day ;
The lark sung up in the blue, blue sky ;

I could smell the scent of the hay ;
And the postman was comin' down the lane,

A-hurryin' on his way.




" She brought it into the light.



IN FOREIGN PARTS— AUSTRALIA 63

" And mother, she lifted up her face,

And waited till he come near ;
But he went on. ' There's nothing for you.

I'm sorry, Mrs Tregeare,'
For he saw the grief that filled her eyes —

God bless 'ee, mother dear.

"And then she went into the little room,

And she stood by the fireplace —
Her hair 's turned grey, and the lines gone deep

Since last I saw her face.
And then she lifted her hand and took

A photograph out of a case.

'* 'Twas a thing that I sent her years ago,

And she brought it into the light ;
She looked at it with a bitten lip,

And I saw that her face was white,
And she sighed as she kissed it tenderly,

' / wonder if he^s all right ! '



64 IN FOREIGN PARTS— AUSTRALIA

" So I wrote to mother yesterday,"
And Zacky wiped off a tear,

" And sent her a present, a lumpin' sum,
That will keep her half a year,

And I'm going to write her again next mail-
God bless 'ee, mother dear ! "



THE MINER IN FOREIGN PARTS

KLONDYKE

Fling a log on the hearth, will 'ee, Jackie, my dear,
'Tis terrible cold. Thank 'ee ; come over here.
Comrade, what was it the doctor said ?
I fancy I heard it, " So good as dead ! "

Comrade, come nearer and give me your hand —

'Tis lonely to die in this far-off land.

'Twill be lonely for you when I am not here ;

We have stood by each other for many a year.

You've been always the same to me — more than a brother;

And, Jack, I been thinkin' that, somehow or other,

E °5



66 IN FOREIGN PARTS— KLONDYKE

I'll tell Them above that I want to go back
Now and then to do a good turn for old Jack.
I'll tell Them about 'ee ; I warrant they'll set
Theirselves for to help to pay off my debt.

But now you must go, there's things for to do

What, going to stay by me ! Well, that is like you.



Been asleep, have I, Jack ? I s'pose 'twas a dream ;

I was back home again ; and it really did seem

As if I was only a child of three,

And kneeled at my prayers by mother's knee.

I saw her sweet face, felt her hand on my head,

As I kneeled by the fire all ready for bed,

With clasped hands and closed eyes, so plainly I heard

Her voice through it all — I can mind every word.

And I felt in my soul as if once again

Undressed for the night as I used to be then :

And mother she came and put out the light,

And sang of the angels who watch through the night.



IN FOREIGN PARTS— KLONDYKE 67

Comrade, will 'ee open the chest over there,
There's a picture of mother. Will 'ee put it just where
I can see her dear face — a little this way.
When I look at her, comrade, I feel I can pray.

Will 'ee bring mother's Bible, 'tis there by the chair ;
The leaves is got loose, and you'll have to take care.
Will 'ee please for to turn to her favourite bit —
The fourteenth of St John, you know where 'tis writ :
" / am going to get ready a mansion for you,
WJure I am, said Jesus, there you shall be too.'''
When mother was dying, I sat by her bed —
She used always to ask for that to be read ;
There was light in her eyes and a joy in her tone,
As if they sweet words was wholly her own ;
And though when I read them my voice was achoke.
To her it was like as if Jesus had spoke.
Turn up the lamp, Jack, you can't hardly see.
And then will 'ee please for to read it to me ?



68 IN FOREIGN PARTS— KLONDYKE

What was it you asked me ? What had I said ?

Well, comrade, I'll tell 'ee. Come here by the bed.

'Tis strange the new thoughts that have come over

me
Whilst lying here quiet. I've come for to see
The things that puzzled me grown all so clear,
The clouds are all scattered, the stars do appear.

They revivals at home used to give me a fright,
As if saving your soul was a terrible fight,
A-sweatin' and groanin' for nights and for days,
A hell of despair, then a heaven of praise.
Well, p'raps they was right ; but seeming to me
'Tis the hand of the child that do carry the key.
I am sure as I stood and knocked at the door
One said from within, '■'■Be a child once more."

God used for to speak in dreams of the night —
Well, I tell 'ee, 'twas all so clear as the light.



IN FOREIGN PARTS— KLONDYKE 69

I saw myself lying a child, just new born ;

A poor little helpless thing, forlorn ;

Above me the empty stretch of sky ;

About me the moors where none went by ;

So lonely, so helpless, so little, so weak,

All want, knowin' nothing, unable to speak.

Then came in an instant — I don't know from where —

My mother — she took me with tenderest care.

Oh, the warmth of her bosom ! The sweet and snug rest !

And she laughed in her joy as I lay at her breast.

So little, and yet because little so dear ;

My need was my claim, and held her more near ;

No heaven was sweeter than hers day and night,

A service where service was lost in delight.

Then, Jackie, my comrade, I stirred and I woke.

And I can't but believe 'twas the Saviour who spoke :

" The love that greeted thy coming then

Is the love that waits to greet thee again"



70 IN FOREIGN PARTS— KLONDYKE

Fling a log on the hearth, Jack, 'tis terrible cold.
Dear comrade, will 'ee give me your hand for to hold.
Good-bye and God bless 'ee — you always was true.
Look, Jack, can 'ee see her 1 Why, ?noi/ier, 'tis you !



FATHER EARTH

Old Father Earth was a grim old thing

No trace of beauty had he ;
Across his face ran the furrows deep,

As brown and bare as could be.

Now it chanced one day that a tiny seed

Went driven along that way ;
A tiny seed in a great big world,

On a shivering Winter's day.

This old Father Earth, beneath his crust,

A pitiful heart had he ;
He whispered : " Little one, come, I pray.

Find rest and refuge with me."



71



72 FATHER EARTH

The little seed turned, and trembling said :

" I'm so very small you see,
Whilst you stretch away for many a rood ;

I'm afraid you won't care for me ! "

" Not care for thee, little one ? — Ha, ha ! "
And the old brown Earth laughed he ;

" If I am so big, the more room there is
In my heart of hearts for thee."

" What will you give to me, Father Earth,

Pray what will you give to me ? "
Then the brown Earth folded the seed to himself,

And made answer tenderly :

" All that I have I will give to thee,

All that I can be is thine :
For thee the very seasons are set

And the very heavens do shine."



FATHER EARTH 73

" What will you do with me, Father Earth,

Pray what will you do with me ? "
" I will make thee root and flower and fruit,

And thou shalt be fair to see."

Then to rest the little seed sank down

In the love that held it tight ;
He covered it up, and he tucked it in,

And bade it a sweet good-night.

So the time slipped by, and Father Earth

Held his treasure faithfully,
Till the seed sent down a tiny root,

And thrust up its head to see.

And day after day the sun it shone,

And gently fell the shower.
Until at last in its stateliness

There stood the perfect flower.



74 FATHER EARTH

But still the fair face is downward bent,

And it whispers tenderly,
" Though my head is in heaven, dear old Earth,

I'm not going away from thee."

And the old brown Earth, he laughed again :
" Ah, what hast thou done for me !

I was but a clod all brown and bare.
And now I am part of thee.

" A thousandfold hast thou paid me back

The little 'twas mine to give;
Uplifted, transformed, and crowned in thee,

Thou hast shown me how to live."



THE FISHERMAN'S SONG

I'm sittin' in my li'll boat ;

The lines is to the stern ;
And all my thoughts are full of 'ee

Whichever way I turn.

If you was this here li'll boat

And I was but the sea,
Aw, my dear life, I tell 'ee, though,

It should be fine for thee.

My curling waves around the keel
Should dance with happy light ;

I'd bear 'ee past the sunken rocks
And bring 'ee home all right.



75



76 THE FISHERMAN'S SONG

If you was this here li'll boat

And I was but the sky,
Aw, dear, what sunshine you should have-

The day should never die.

I'd bring 'ee such a gentle breeze

And fill the pretty sail ;
Whichever way you want to go

The wind should never fail.

If you was this here li'll boat

And I was but the sea,
Aw, dear, what lovely fish and things

I'd bring to gladden 'ee.

What crabs and lobsters you should have

What lovely conger eels.
And now and then a salmon bass,

And then some salmon peels.



THE FISHERMAN'S SONG 77

I'd send 'ee up a halibut ;

The biggest of the prawn ;
And 'pon your birthday you should have

A pet whale for your awn.

I'd make the mackerel jump aboard,

The pilchard and the hake,
The cod and great big flying fish

Should come up for your sake.

And scores of pretty mermaidens,

A-combin' of their hair,
Should bring 'ee gifts of pearl and shells

To deck 'ee all so fair,

I'm sittin' in my li'U boat ;

The gulls is in the sky ;
Aw, dear, if I was one of they,

I knaw which way I'd fly.



JEHOSAPHAT ROW

So nigh to a hedge-hog as man could be,

Was Jehosaphat Row.

The world couldn't show

Another like he.

Eyes like a haddock, sticking out of his head ;

So thin as a hake ;

A face like a gurnard, so long and so red ;

A mouth like a cod, and teeth like a rake.

If you vexed en so much as the least little bit

He'd ill-wish 'ee with just a cast of his eye,

And your pig, or your cow, or something would die.

A proper old toad for the venom he'd spit.



78



JEHOSAPHAT ROW 79

The children at play

Would all run away

In a terrible fright

If Josh Row came in sight.

He was all that was bad.

And the money he had ! —

Or so they all said,

Hid away in a stocking, or stitched up in his clothes.

And the rags tliat he wore, holes at elbows and

toes.
To church or to chapel he never would go.
A proper old heathen was Josaphat Row.

Now next door or so
To Josaphat Row

Lived Miss Susan Crocker, a sour old maid.
So sharp with her tongue even Josh was afraid.
Where she'd a-come from nobody knew.
There was all sorts of tales that might have been
true,



8o JEHOSAPHAT ROW

That she once was a lady, and quite well to do.

Never troubled so much as to do up a shoe,

Had a carriage and pair,

And servants a score

For to open the door,

And a maid just for nothing but do up her hair.

She was poor enough now, and yet here and there

Were odd bits of finery that made the folks stare.

She went on her way

With never so much as a passing good-day,

And if she did speak

'Twas a snort and a shriek,

And a snap,

Like the teeth of a trap.

Well, one winter's night — 'twas a terrible gale,
Pitch dark and a-pelting with wind and with hail,
And the cold was so cruel
That much as he grudged it Josh needed more fuel.



JEHOSAPHAT ROW 8i

— Though the furze and peat and the bundle of

sticks
He got it for nothing, always up to his tricks —
Well, he opened the door
To go out for some more,

While the beat of the rain swept in on the floor ;
And then as the howl of the storm went by
Jehosaphat started, for there was a cry.
He listened, and plainly he heard it again.
He lit up his lantern and hurried away.
And close by the door — it gave him a turn
All sheltered within a bundle of fern
A poor baby lay,
Wrapped up in a rag,
So cold as a winnard, so wet as a shag.
Josh looked and fairly perspired with fright ;
He scratched his head as he did in a plight ;
He took up the baby, set it down by the fire,
Flung on a whole furze bush, and piled it up higher.



82 JEHOSAPHAT ROW

Then he hurried away,
And in to Miss Crocker,
— Could not even stay
To lift up the knocker.
" There's a baby^' he cried. Miss Susan arose
With a curl of her lip, and a tilt of her nose,
And was going to crush Josh with a snappish reply,
When she stopped, for there was a look in his eye
All pity and pleading. " Please it wants to be fed.
Do 'ee make haste and come, or I'm 'fraid 'twill be

dead."
Then she picked up her shawl, not a moment's delay,
And into old Josh's she hurried away.
Sat down by the fire, the child on her lap,
Took the shawl from her shoulders and made it a wrap.
Josh stood by the chair
With a wondering stare.

'' I do thank 'ee for coming, Miss Susan, I knew
You could tell in a minute what we ought for to do. "



JEHOSAPHAT ROW 83

Miss Susan replied in accents of silk,

" I think, Mr Row, you must go for some milk."

And, Josh, he was up and off like a shot,

Didn't know it was freezing, indeed, was quite hot ;

All breathless with haste he flew over the ground,

And tenderly told of the baby he'd found.

All the place was astir,

Each was eager to share

In the little one's care.

Till Josaphat's kitchen swarmed like a hive.

Feeding-bottles were waiting, there were at least five,

And cradles, the neighbours had really brought three,

And clothes, such a lot,

Whatever they'd got —

Old coats and new skirts,

Men's trousers and shirts,

"God bless you," said Josh, as he mopped at his

brow.
Miss Crocker, she smiled, " We shall really do now."



84 JEHOSAPHAT ROW

While the great fire crackled and scorched with its

glow,
And Josh's old place seemed a heaven below.



When the neighbours had gone,

Miss Susan stayed on,

While Josaphat Row

Tiptoed to and fro,

Afraid of his life Miss Susan would go.

Then she turned with such grace,

Such light in her eyes, and such love in her face,

" I'm sure you must be quite tired," she said,

" I'll stay by the baby — you get off to bed."



Next day when the baby was washed and was fed,

And lay fast asleep in its warm little bed.

Miss Susan was gone for an hour or more,

And came back quite laden, there was such a store



JEHOSAPHAT ROW 85

Of fine laces and bits of most dainty apparel ;
Then, rocking the cradle and singing a carol,
She sat snipping, and stitching, and trimming, and

tying,
As if for dear life her needle was flying.
Till up on Josh's old table there rose
A pile of the finest of infantile clothes.

Then Josh came up blushing, " Aw, Miss Susan,

please,
If there's anything wanted, do 'ee mind takin' these ? "
There was five golden sovereigns all of a row,


2

Online LibraryMark Guy PearseWest country songs → online text (page 2 of 3)