**** ROTATE **** **** ROTATE **** **** ROTATE **** **** ROTATE ****

Find this Story

Print, a form you can hold

Wireless download to your Amazon Kindle

Look for a summary or analysis of this Poem.

Enjoy this? Share it!

The Sailor’s Mother [Eclogue]
by [?]

Sir for the love of God some small relief
To a poor woman!

Whither are you bound?
‘Tis a late hour to travel o’er these downs,
No house for miles around us, and the way
Dreary and wild. The evening wind already
Makes one’s teeth chatter, and the very Sun,
Setting so pale behind those thin white clouds,
Looks cold. ‘Twill be a bitter night!

Aye Sir
‘Tis cutting keen! I smart at every breath,
Heaven knows how I shall reach my journey’s end,
For the way is long before me, and my feet,
God help me! sore with travelling. I would gladly,
If it pleased God, lie down at once and die.

Nay nay cheer up! a little food and rest
Will comfort you; and then your journey’s end
Will make amends for all. You shake your head,
And weep. Is it some evil business then
That leads you from your home?

Sir I am going
To see my son at Plymouth, sadly hurt
In the late action, and in the hospital
Dying, I fear me, now.

Perhaps your fears
Make evil worse. Even if a limb be lost
There may be still enough for comfort left
An arm or leg shot off, there’s yet the heart
To keep life warm, and he may live to talk
With pleasure of the glorious fight that maim’d him,
Proud of his loss. Old England’s gratitude
Makes the maim’d sailor happy.

‘Tis not that–
An arm or leg–I could have borne with that.
‘Twas not a ball, it was some cursed thing
That bursts [1] and burns that hurt him. Something Sir
They do not use on board our English ships
It is so wicked!

Rascals! a mean art
Of cruel cowardice, yet all in vain!

Yes Sir! and they should show no mercy to them
For making use of such unchristian arms.
I had a letter from the hospital,
He got some friend to write it, and he tells me
That my poor boy has lost his precious eyes,
Burnt out. Alas! that I should ever live
To see this wretched day!–they tell me Sir
There is no cure for wounds like his. Indeed
‘Tis a hard journey that I go upon
To such a dismal end!

He yet may live.
But if the worst should chance, why you must bear
The will of heaven with patience. Were it not
Some comfort to reflect your son has fallen
Fighting his country’s cause? and for yourself
You will not in unpitied poverty
Be left to mourn his loss. Your grateful country
Amid the triumph of her victory
Remember those who paid its price of blood,
And with a noble charity relieves
The widow and the orphan.

God reward them!
God bless them, it will help me in my age
But Sir! it will not pay me for my child!

Was he your only child?

My only one,
The stay and comfort of my widowhood,
A dear good boy!–when first he went to sea
I felt what it would come to,–something told me
I should be childless soon. But tell me Sir
If it be true that for a hurt like his
There is no cure? please God to spare his life
Tho’ he be blind, yet I should be so thankful!
I can remember there was a blind man
Lived in our village, one from his youth up
Quite dark, and yet he was a merry man,
And he had none to tend on him so well
As I would tend my boy!