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- The Home Book of Verse, Volume 2 - 160/175 -


When first the bride and bridegroom wed, They love their single selves the best; A sword is in the marriage bed, Their separate slumbers are not rest. They quarrel, and make up again, They give and suffer worlds of pain. Both right and wrong, They struggle long, Till some good day, when they are old, Some dark day, when the bells are tolled, Death having taken their best of life, They lose themselves, and find each other; They know that they are husband, wife, For, weeping, they are Father, Mother!

Richard Henry Stoddard [1825-1903]


Linger not long. Home is not home without thee: Its dearest tokens do but make me mourn. O, let its memory, like a chain about thee, Gently compel and hasten thy return!

Linger not long. Though crowds should woo thy staying, Bethink thee, can the mirth of thy friends, though dear, Compensate for the grief thy long delaying Costs the fond heart that sighs to have thee here?

Linger not long. How shall I watch thy coming, As evening shadows stretch o'er moor and dell; When the wild bee hath ceased her busy humming, And silence hangs on all things like a spell!

How shall I watch for thee, when fears grow stronger, As night grows dark and darker on the hill! How shall I weep, when I can watch no longer! Ah! art thou absent, art thou absent still?

Yet I shall grieve not, though the eye that seeth me Gazeth through tears that make its splendor dull; For oh! I sometimes fear when thou art with me, My cup of happiness is all too full.

Haste, haste thee home unto thy mountain dwelling, Haste, as a bird unto its peaceful nest! Haste, as a skiff, through tempests wide and swelling, Flies to its haven of securest rest!



O well I love the Spring, When the sweet, sweet hawthorn blows; And well I love the Summer, And the coming of the rose; But dearer are the changing leaf, And the year upon the wane, For O, they bring the blessed time That brings him home again.

November may be dreary, December's days may be As full of gloom to others As once they were to me; But O, to hear the tempest Beat loud against the pane! For the roaring wind and the blessed time That brings him home again.

William Cox Bennett [1820-1895]


And are ye sure the news is true? And are ye sure he's weel? Is this a time to talk o' wark? Ye jauds, fling by your wheel! Is this a time to spin a thread, When Colin's at the door? Rax down my cloak - I'll to the quay, And see him come ashore. For there's nae luck aboot the house, There's nae luck ava', There's little pleasure in the house, When our gudeman's awa'.

And gi'e to me my bigonet, My bishop's satin gown; For I maun tell the baillie's wife That Colin's in the town. My Turkey slippers maun gae on, My stockins pearly blue; It's a' to pleasure our gudeman, For he's baith leal and true.

Rise, lass, and mak' a clean fireside, Put on the muckle pot; Gi'e little Kate her button gown, And Jock his Sunday coat. And mak' their shoon as black as slaes, Their hose as white as snaw; It's a' to please my own gudeman, He likes to see them braw.

There's twa hens upon the bauk, Hae fed this month and mair; Mak' haste and thraw their necks about That Colin weel may fare! And spread the table neat and clean, Gar ilka thing look braw; For wha can tell how Colin fared, When he was far awa'?

Sae true his heart, sae smooth his speech, His breath like caller air; His very foot has music in't As he comes up the stair. And will I see his face again, And will I hear him speak? I'm downright dizzy wi' the thought, In troth I'm like to greet!

If Colin's weel, and weel content, I ha'e nae mair to crave; And gin I live to keep him sae, I'm blest abune the lave. And will I see his face again, And will I hear him speak? I'm downright dizzy wi' the thought, In troth I'm like to greet! For there's nae luck aboot the house, There's nae luck ava'; There's little pleasure in the house When our gudeman's awa'.

William Julius Mickle [1735-1788] (or Jean Adam (?) [1710-1765])


No matter how the chances are, Nor when the winds may blow, My Jerry there has left the sea With all its luck an' woe: For who would try the sea at all, Must try it luck or no.

They told him - Lor', men take no care How words they speak may fall - They told him blunt, he was too old, Too slow with oar an' trawl, An' this is how he left the sea An' luck an' woe an' all.

Take any man on sea or land Out of his beaten way, If he is young 'twill do, but then, If he is old an' gray, A month will be a year to him. Be all to him you may.

He sits by me, but most he walks The door-yard for a deck, An' scans the boat a-goin' out Till she becomes a speck, Then turns away, his face as wet As if she were a wreck.

I cannot bring him back again, The days when we were wed. But he shall never know - my man - The lack o' love or bread, While I can cast a stitch or fill A needleful o' thread.

God pity me, I'd most forgot How many yet there be, Whose goodmen full as old as mine Are somewhere on the sea, Who hear the breakin' bar an' think O' Jerry home an' - me.

Hiram Rich [1832-1901]


O don't be sorrowful, darling! And don't be sorrowful, pray; Taking the year together, my dear, There isn't more night than day.

The Home Book of Verse, Volume 2 - 160/175

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