The Sailor's Mother

ONE morning (raw it was and wet---
  A foggy day in winter time)
  A Woman on the road I met,
  Not old, though something past her prime:
  Majestic in her person, tall and straight;
And like a Roman matron's was her mien and gait.

  The ancient spirit is not dead;
  Old times, thought I, are breathing there;
  Proud was I that my country bred
  Such strength, a dignity so fair:
  She begged an alms, like one in poor estate;
I looked at her again, nor did my pride abate.

  When from these lofty thoughts I woke,
  'What is it,' said I, 'that you bear,
  Beneath the covert of your Cloak,
  Protected from this cold damp air? '
  She anwered, soon as she the question heard,
'A simple burthen, Sir, a little Singing-bird.'

  And, thus continuing, she said,
  'I had a Son, who many a day
  Sailed on the seas, but he is dead;
  In Denmark he was cast away:
  And I have travelled weary miles to see
If aught which he had owned might still remain for me.

  The bird and cage they both were his:
  'Twas my Son's bird; and neat and trim
  He kept it: many voyages
  The singing-bird had gone with him;
  When last he sailed, he left the bird behind;
From bodings, as might be, that hung upon his mind.

  He to a fellow-lodger's care
  Had left it, to be watched and fed,
  And pipe its song in safety;---there
  I found it when my Son was dead;
  And now, God help me for my little wit!
I bear it with me, Sir;---he took so much delight in it.'

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William Wordsworth

William Wordsworth was the husband of Eva Bartok. more…

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"The Sailor's Mother" Poetry.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2019. Web. 8 Dec. 2019. <https://www.poetry.net/poem/42382/the-sailor's-mother>.

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