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Miss Susan, she stared with a smile and said, " Oh " —
And she busily bent at her work, and she thought —
"What a wonderful change the baby has wrought ! "
Josh watched her a minute — " I never did see
Such a change as that which has come over she."
Then Josh went to market — later, homeward he came.
The folks hardly knew him — not a bit like the same.



86 JEHOSAPHAT ROW

Clean-shaven — his wild, shaggy locks were well trimmed ;
In place of the rags a new suit of clothes ;
Quite a gentleman now from his head to his toes,
While he chuckled with laughter ; with good humour
brimmed.

But soon came the trouble. Miss Crocker must stay

To see to the baby by night and by day,

Or else she must carry the baby away.

But Josh wouldn't hear of it — " Bless en, the dear.

Lev en bide please Miss Crocker, along with me here."

And with such a tone of entreaty was spoken,

That anything else and his heart would have broken.

"It is awkward, you know, my dear Mr Row" —

Said Miss Crocker, " But, really, I fear I must go."

Then a brilliant idea came into his head —

"Well, I tell 'ee. Miss Crocker, lev us gone to be wed."

Miss Crocker looked down, and she hawed and she

hummed,
With thimble on finger the table she drummed.



JEHOSAPHAT ROW 87

Then the baby it woke with a faint little cry.
Miss Crocker took it, and said with a sigh —
" Well, 'tis only because of the baby, you know " —
" Of course, iss, of course," said Josaphat Row.



A GENTLEMAN— FOR A TIME

As I rode on my way

It chanced that one day
I came across Xeddy Penrose.

His real name, you know,

Was Abednego,
Which is not what you would suppose.

'Twas certainly Monday,

But might have been Sunday,
He was dressed in the finest of clothes.

The tall hat was tipped,
The walking-stick gripped,

88



A GENTLEMAN— FOR A TIME 89

His glossy black coat was on,

And a velvet vest

That he kept for best,
And only for mittin would don ;

His trousers were new

And gorgeous in hue,
And his boots quite brilliantly shone.

" Well, well, my friend Ned,

Are you going to be wed,
You're drest out so fine?" said I.

" 'Tis better than that,"

And Ned took off his hat
And tucked in his blue silk tie :

" I'm a gentleman now " — ■

And he made me a bow —
" A lucky fellow am I.

" My boy, don't 'ee see,
Out to 'Merikee,



90 A GENTLEMAN— FOR A TIME

Have made a fortune, they say,
And a letter he've writ
That work I'm to quit

And not do nothing but play ;
And I reckon I shall,
So no more of the Bal,*

I'll sit in the sun all day."

" That's good news indeed,
And if I'm in need

I will give you a call," I said.
" 'Tis good of the lad
To remember his dad ;

He's a capital fellow is Fred.
But I must away,
So I wish 'ee good day " —
" Good morning, sir," said Ned.

♦ * * * *

* The mine.



A GENTLEMAN— FOR A TIME 91

Three days had gone by

When I happened to spy
Ned coming along the lane ;

And yet — can it be

That it really is he ? —
And to make sure I looked again.

Yes^'twas Neddy Penrose

In his working clothes,
A-trudging along in the rain.



The pick it was there,

And the borer he bare,
The hard hat stuck on his head ;

And the marks of his toil.

And the stain of the soil
Had dyed him an ochreish red.

" Hello, Neddy," I cried,

"Have you laid it aside?
Where's the gentleman gone then ? " I said.



92 A GENTLEMAN— FOR A TIME

Ned stood for a while,

With a shrug and a smile,
And a doleful shake of his head.

" I would if I could,

But 'tis 'n no good,
I tried it two days," laughed Ned.

" But a gentleman — Aw !

I'd have 'ee to knaw
That a week — and I should be dead."



THE ''MOSES DUNN''

Iss, there she is, — so purty a craft

As ever there could be.
Smart as a lady, safe as a church.

Stand any amount of sea.
Her name ? Well, iss, I've thought about that —

Somebody said The Unique,
I don't know, I'm sure, what language 'tis,

Latin, I s'pose, or Greek.

Old Michael do know some French, and so

I ask the meaning of he, —
He said I didn't pemounce it right

And called it U-ni-que.

93



94 THE ''MOSES DUNN''

Said he'd a-seed 'em in foreign parts,
Beasts with a great long horn,

And the nighest he could make of it.
Was a female unicorn.



So I gived that up. But I found the name

In chapel last Sunday night.
The sermon was all about Mordecai, —

If I mind his name aright ;
What was the king to do to the man

That he wanted for to honour ?
Then all of a sudden it come to me,

The name that I'd put upon her.



The very thing, I says to myself,
I'll take his name for the craft ;

That king of old put his man 'pon a horse,
And then I sort o' laughed ;



THE ''MOSES DUNN'' 95

If I put my man 'pon a horse's back,

He'd only come tumbling down ;
And he wouldn't be able to walk about

Dressed up in a great long gown.



He'd feel at home on the stern of a craft,

So I'll call her his name, says I,
The Moses Dunn, and I'll have a chance

Of telling the folks for why.
Is he livin' ? Iss. Thank God he is that.

I reckon such folks as he
May be fine and plentiful in heaven —

They're terrible scarce with we.



Us had been fishing away up North —

After the herrin', you know,
'Twas wisht poor speed, heavy hearts on deck

And an empty hold below ;



96 THE ''MOSES DUNN"

'Twas when we was coming home again
That Moses happened one day

To put out his nets to have a try —
'Twas up there Sunderland way.



A drunken skipper come tearing by,

He saw that the nets was there ;
He never so much as turned her head,

But laughed and began to swear ;
Out with his knife and leaned over the side,

And hacked and hewed with a slash,
And every swish of the knife I knew

Was leaving a terrible gash.



Pounds worth of damage the fellow did,

Cursin' at every stroke ;
And Moses sat there in his little boat

And never so much as spoke.



THE " MOSES D UNN " 97

I would have gone for the fellow myself

If Moses had said the word ;
But the chap went on with his devilry,

And Moses, he never stirred.



At last he was clear of the nets and gone ;

I tell 'ee I could have cried
For to see they nets all spoiled like that —

Then Moses come alongside ;
He coiled the nets in the stern of the boat,

So quiet as he could be.
Without so much as an angry word —

I never saw none like he.



'Twas two days after, by Sunderland pier-

'Twas blowin' a hurricane ;
You could scarcely see across the place

For the beat of the spray and rain ;

G



98 THE ''MOSES DUNN"

But Moses he got a wonderful eye, —
The minute that he come near

He saw a craft that had lost her hold
Would be dashed against the pier.



He turned to a fisherman at his side —

" That boat will be lost," says he.
Says the chap, " Can 'ee mind who cut your nets ?

Well, that craft belongs to he ;
'Twill serve him right, a fellow like that,

So free with his tongue and knife ;
And beside, if you're going to save that boat.

You'll have for to risk your life."



Then Moses sprang in a little boat,

Pulled over the tumbling sea,
Right out to the craft, and jumped aboard-

'Twas something I tell 'ee to see



Tn^ ''MOSES DUNN" 99

The way he brought her round in the wind —

The fellows gave him a cheer
When he laid her up in a sheltered place,

And come again to the pier.



The skipper was in the public house

When in come one of his men —
" Your craft, I tell 'ee, is lost 'pon the pier.

You'll never see her again."
And when he saw the craft lying there,

So safe as a craft could be,
The fellow turned round with a terrible oath,

" Who saved my boat ? " says he.



(< '



Twas Moses Dunn," says a man close by,
" That you served so cruel bad.
There isn't another living soul

But what would just have been glad



I oo THE" MOSES D UNN "

To see 'ee punished for doing en

Such a terrible bit of spite.
If your boat had been lost with all her gear,

'Twould have served 'ee perfectly right."



" He saved my boat, and I cut his nets ! "

Then he come to Moses Dunn —
The face of the skipper was black as night,

But Moses' shone like the sun.
" Here, what do 'ee mean I should like to know ?

They tell me you saved my craft."
Says Moses, " Iss, o' course I did,"

And he looked at the man and laughed.

" But here," says the man, " I can't make you out,

Do you know who I am ? " says he,
" Do you know that I cut your nets to bits ? "

Says Moses, " What's that to me?



THE ''MOSES DUNN'' loi

He looked at Moses from head to foot,

" Well, I can't tell what to say —
I cut your nets and you saved my boat,

And I got no money to pay.



" What do 'ee call yourself, Moses Dunn ? —

I tell 'ee I never knew
That there was living upon the earth

A man that could do like you."
"Call myself? Well— a Christian I s'pose."

" I don't think much of they,"
Says the chap, " but I'd be a Christian myself

If I could be one your way.



" Here, Moses Dunn," and his voice it choked,
" Will 'ee please to shake hands with me ?

You've saved my boat, but I'll tell 'ee what
You've a-broke my heart," says he.



I02 THE ''MOSES DUNN"

And now a kinder and better man
I don't think the world could show

Than the drunken fellow that cut the nets
That day two years ago.

So that's the story, and now you see

Why 'tis that I want to honour
The fellow that did so brave a thing,

And the name I'll put upon her.
The Moses Dunn : so I'll paint it large,

That's the very name, says I,
And when I can I'll take the chance

Of telling the folks for why.



A CHRISSYMAS DAY



Do 'ee know a place they call Michaelstow,

Well 'twas there — a bravish long time ago,

A Chrissymas day,

So I've heard say.

The Church congregation, tho' not much to boast

On other occasions, that day was a host.

Mostly women it was, and I'll tell 'ee for why,

To every widow that chanced to come by,

'Pon a Chrissymas day,

There was gived away



103



I04 A CHRISSYMAS DAY

A new petticoat,

Never cost 'em a groat.

And every maid,

Young woman, or staid,

And every wife,

So sure as you're life.

Was a widow that day.

With a crape flyaway.

And bound for to go

To Michaelstow,

All on a Chrissymas day.



'Twas a wonderful show,
Through the rain or the snow,
How far was no matter.
From down to Kilslatter,
And up to Trewartha,
And down to Polbartha,



A CHRISSYMAS DAY 105

From Reskadinnick

And out to Menhinnick.

There was widow Tremaine,

And neighbour Polblane ;

And old Mother Craze

And Nancy Polblaze

Was out of their bed ;

And bhnd Betty was led,

And passles of folks that you made sure was dead,

'Twas so long since you'd see'd 'em, was going down the

street,
So sprightly as rabbits, so spry 'pon their feet.
From Kehelland, Rosscroggan, Goondurrow and Troon,
From Trejethan, Cojiggus, and down to Polrune,
There was sure to be one
Before service was done,
For 'twas up and go
To Michaelstow,
All on a Chrissymas day.



io6 A CHRISSYMAS DAY

3

Now 'twas old Granny Grey,

So I've heard 'em say,

Though reg'lar to Chapel

Was strict Church to-day.

" 'Tis all one," says she,

"You knaw seemin' to me,

A petticoat will warm 'ee exactly the same.

If 'tis church or 'tis chapel, no matter the name.

And if they've a-got

To get rid of the lot.

We ought to be willing to give 'em a lift.

And show a good sperit by taking the gift.

So I feel I must go

To Michaelstow,

All on a Chrissymas day."

4
But if Granny went she was bound for to find
Somebody or other who would come in to mind



A CHRISSYMAS DAY 107

The cooking of dinner — 'Twas sheep's head and ainge —

If that had been all, easy 'nough to arrange,

But there was three puddings, and says Granny Grey,

"Who'll keep the crock stirring while I am away?

Of course, without stirring, the puddin's will stick."

So the stirring was left to her grandson, boy Dick,

" Now, be a good boy, don't 'ee go for to play,

But keep the crock stirring while Granny's away.

And now I must go

To Michaelstow,

For this is Chrissymas day."



Now over the hearth there hung the black crock,
And poor little Dick stood tip-toe on a block,
And with the big rolling-pin kept it astir.
And meant to keep at it till Granny was there.
Half-an-hour had passed by the solemn old clock
And Dicky went on astirring the crock.



io8 A CHRISSYMAS DAY

Till his arms they were aching,

His back was a-breaking.

" I must stop for a minute," says poor little Dick,

" I'll stir 'em again before they can stick."

And then from deep down in the valley below

Came the peal of the bells from Michaelstow,

All on a Chrissymas day.



Now Dick had no sooner stepped down on the floor
When up came Bill Quintrell who lived in next door.
" ' Ere come and play marbles, you're allowed to to-day, '
Says Billy. But Dick he says, " No, I can't stay."
" Aw, come for one game, twent take 'ee a minute."
" One game then," says Dick, making sure he would win it.
The first game Dick lost, " Well, come then, one more,"
Says Dick, and the games went on till 'twas four.
And then came a wrangle and almost a fight.
And they stopped a bit longer to make it all right.



A CHRISSYMAS DAY log

While the noisy old jackdaws was goin' to and fro
About the grey tower of Michaelstow,
All on a Chrissymas day.



Then all of a sudden came back to Dick's mind

The thought of the dinner that he'd left behind.

And in at the door

And over the floor

And up on the block

He looked into the crock —

Aw ! what was this ghastly old thing that he found !

That horrible head was going slowly around !

The stare of those sockets was awful to view !

The thing was alive ! oh, what could he do !

Two puddings was gone !

And the thing hurried on,

While that pudding it fled

From the horrible head !



I TO A CHRISSYMAS DAY

Poor Dick couldn't stay,
He must hurry away,
And down he must go
To Michaelstow,
All on a Chrissymas day.

8

Now the parson was old, and his teeth they was gone,

And his eyes they was dim, and he couldn't get on

In a hurry you see ;

For what it might be

That he wrote he couldn't always make out,

And nobody else knew what 'twas about—

And the thoughts of they sinners

Was home with their dinners ;

And with petticoats waitin'

'Twas no good his pratin' ;

And many was snoring.

While the wind it was roaring,



A CHRISSYMAS DAY iii

And a shower of rain

Beat on each window-pane,

And here and there clung the patches of snow

On the grey church tower of Michaelstow,

All on a Chrissymas day.



Then all of a sudden came a burst and a bang

The great iron handle it shook with a clang.

The people woke up at the sound of the din

And frightened turned round : then Dicky came in.

He was all of a-tremble from head to feet,

His hands stretched out and his face like a sheet ;

And poor little Dick, he looked round in dismay,

Till up in a corner he saw Granny Gray.

Then came a great cry,

" Aw Granny ! Aw my /

That head he have eat two puddens already,

And there's he's going round so cruel and steady^



112 A CHRISSYMAS DAY

And his gJiastly old eyes 'pon the other is set^

If you don^t make haste home that one will be eat! "



And that's all I know

Of Michaelstow,

All on a Chrissymas day.



THE LAMENT

Aw Mother o' Moses, what do 'ee think ?

The Daughter of Pharaoh is here :
" I do want my awn little boy," says she —
" My little one so dear."

Aw Mother o' Moses, make haste, make haste,

They'll dress en up so gay,
And learn en all sorts o' wonderful things,

And make en a King one day.

Aw Mother o' Moses, where are 'ee to ?

Here's such a grand coach and four.
And the Daughter of Pharaoh her awn self

Is knockin' to the door.

H "3



114 THE LAMENT

Aw Mother o' Moses, make haste, make haste,
Can 'ee hear what they do say ?

" Bring en forth the beautiful Httle one,
So beautiful as day."



The Mother o' Moses sat by the ark —
She never once stirred nor spoke,

The cradle was empty, the child was gone —
And they said her heart was a-broke.



THE STAR OF BETHLEHEM

Of old the simple wise men saw a star :
One star amidst the host of shining worlds,
From which there came a subtle influence,
Mysterious, weird, compelling confidence ;
Unspoken was its message, yet inwrought.
And all within them heard and heeded it,
As though it were the very voice of God.
And so from out the wilderness they went,
Ever unto the heavenly vision true ;
Their faithful steps unfaltering day or night,
Undaunted by the perils of the way ;
By threat, by loneliness, by mystery unawed ;
Their guide and company the silent star.



"S



ii6 THE STAR OF BETHLEHEM

At length the journey done, they reached a cave,
A lowly home, with softest light aglow,
An atmosphere of holy love and charm
And perfect peace, and in its furthest depth
The Mother holding at her breast the Babe.
Then sank the star : not as the stars are wont,
Not in the light it died, but lost in love,
Such love, all comprehensive, wonderful.



A HOMELY COUNSEL ON CARE

A WINDING hill, on either side the hedge

Crowned by the windshorn trees and bright with flowers ;

A turn, and then the blue expanse of sea

On either hand, and broken line of coast ;

A step, and there the haven lies below,

Shut in by rocks, where wild waves surge and foam,

A burst of thunder then a shower of spray.

A rough stone pier with groups of fishermen,

And in its shelter sway the anchored boats.

And nearer, children play about the beach.

The blue smoke of the clustered cottages



ii8 A HOMELY COUNSEL ON CARE

As a thin veil o'erspreads ; while far and near
Fly the white gulls, or dip with mewing cry.



Within a garden by her cottage door
Sits an old mother, knitting busily —
Hair snowy white beneath a snow-white cap ;
Eyes blue as the blue skies that arch the place ;
A face all full of peace and sunny hopes.
A cheery song she sings, a moment stayed
To count the stitches and to set them right,
Then click the needles music to her song.
From her I learned this counsel upon care.



Don't you trouble trouble
Till trouble troubles you.

Don't you look for trouble ;
Let trouble look for you.




Within a garden, l)y her cottage door,
Sits an old mother knitting busily."



A HOMELY COUNSEL ON CARE 119

Don't you borrow sorrow ;

You'll surely have your share.
He who dreams of sorrow

Will find that sorrow's there.

Don't you hurry worry

By worrying lest it come.
To flurry is to worry,

T'will miss 'ee if you're mum.

If care you've got to carry

Wait till 'tis at the door,
For he who runs to meet it

Takes up the load before.

If minding will not mend it,

Then better not to mind ;
The best thing is to end it —

Just leave it all behind.



I20 A HOMELY COUNSEL ON CARE

Who feareth hath forsaken
The Heavenly Father's side ;

What He hath undertaken
He surely will provide.

The very birds reprove thee
With all their happy song :

The very flowers teach thee
That fretting is a wrong.

" Cheer up," the sparrow chirpeth,
" Thy Father feedeth me ;

Think how much more He careth,
Oh lonely child for thee."

" Fear not," the flowers whisper,
" Since thus He hath arrayed

The buttercup and daisy —
How can'st thou be afraid."



A HOMELY COUNSEL ON CARE 121

Then don't you trouble trouble

Till trouble troubles you :
You'll only double trouble,

And trouble others too.



A FISHERMAN'S SONG

What do 'ee say, my little maid,

What do 'ee say ?
Sing 'ee something — a bit of a song ?
'Tis what I be doing all day long,

Li'll maid, li'll maid.

I do look up into the sky,

A stretch of grey.
With a break of blue just here and there-
God compass 'ee with all that's fair,

Li'll maid, li'll maid.

I do look out upon the earth,
A stretch of green ;



A FISHERMAN'S SONG 123

Fields and flowers, hedgerows and trees,
Send her a message 'pon every breeze,
Li'U maid, li'll maid.

I do watch the gulls goin' by,

Flying ashore ;
Tell her how much I do love her, the dear,
Tell her how much I do wish she was here,

Li'll maid, li'll maid.

Up sail now, the tide is a-turned ;

The wind's gone west —
My love do go with the seas to 'ee.
My love do fly 'pon the breeze to 'ee,

Li'll maid, li'll maid.



THE HOPELESS DAWN

TwAS a Friday in August, the last of the month,

With a sunset so pretty as ever could be.
And a breeze just enough for to fill out the sails —
Can ^ee hear the raven a-croak i?i the tree ?

My man and my son had a craft of their own —
The Beauty they called her, so proud of the name,

She was called after mother, so both of them said —
The wind t's gone west and the sky is a flajne !

My son he was wed, and he brought home his bride ;

For father and me loved the maid as our own :

So sweet as her looks and so clever as good —

There^s the cry of the gulls and the sea is a moan /
124



THE HOPELESS DAWN 125

I had dreamed for three nights of a terrible storm,
And thought I stood out in the teeth of the gale,

And I woke with my watching in vain for the craft —
Can ^ee hear the waves break with a sob and a wail ?

We went to the door for to look at the stars,
As she and me did before going up to bed ;

They was all of a tremble as if in a fright —

Thafs a rocket they've fired 'pon Black Rock head!

Then all of a sudden came the burst of the storm ;

Like thunder there broke the roar of the swell ;
And the wind seemed to shake the house and the ground —

Can ^ee hear it, my dear — the toll of the belli

I sat down on the chair, and she lay on the floor,
And she sobbed as she laid her head on my knee ;

We waited and prayed — but 'twas waiting in vain —
There's the boom of a gun from a ship out at sea!



126 THE HOPELESS DAWN

The fire was dead and the candle burnt out



Day broke with a sea and a sky that was grey ;
But for us two the sun has not risen since then —
A wreck on the point, did the fisherman say ?



A REQUIEM

Come home, thou weary one, come home —
To guide thee through the gathering night,
From out the window shines the light,

Come home, thou weary one, come home.

Come in, thrice welcome one, come in —
For thee the door is left ajar,
For thee is neither bolt nor bar,

Come in, thrice welcome one, come in.

Lie down, thou weary one, lie down —
Thy work is done and thou art blest,
Thy work hath won thee worthy rest.

Lie down, thou weary one, lie down.



137



128 A REQUIEM

Sleep on, beloved one, sleep on —
The love that holdeth waneth not,
The love that watcheth changeth not.

Sleep on, beloved one, sleep on.



YET ABIDETH LOVE

Winter has chased away
Blue skies and songs of May.
She, too, is old now,
White-haired, with wrinkled brow ;
But those eyes, dear eyes,

Are aglow with their light,
As when the day dies

Shine stars of the night.

Never alone,

A hand holds her own



"9



I30 YET ABIDETH LOVE

Strong hand whose clasp
Thrills with its grasp ;
And her heart is aflame
As love whispers her name.

Contented she waits

Till the great Temple gates

Are flung wide,
Then forth from the night

Steps the bride,
Forth into the light.

And then shall one say,

" Who giveth this woman away
And Death shall upstand,

And set the hand of the bride in the bridegroom's
hand.

For love is of God : so shall love be
As God's own Self, immortally.



THE NEW YEAR

Fear, facing the new year,

Saith— " What shall it bring ? "
And is dumb,
Dreading the hidden ways.

Faith, looking upward, saith,
" Good is in everything;
Let it come.
God ordereth the days."

This is our new year's bliss —
He is mine, and I am His,
All the ways, all the days

Lead us home.
Let us pray, let us praise.



13'



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