Successful Recitations eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 540 pages of information about Successful Recitations.



“O sailor, tell me, tell me true,
Is my little lad—­my Elihu—­
A-sailing in your ship?”
The sailor’s eyes were dimmed with dew. 
“Your little lad?  Your Elihu?”
He said with trembling lip;
“What little lad—­what ship?”

What little lad?—­as if there could be
Another such a one as he! 
“What little lad, do you say? 
Why, Elihu, that took to the sea
The moment I put him off my knee. 
It was just the other day
The Grey Swan sailed away.”

The other day?  The sailor’s eyes
Stood wide open with surprise. 
“The other day?—­the Swan?
His heart began in his throat to rise. 
“Ay, ay, sir, here in the cupboard lies
The jacket he had on.” 
“And so your lad is gone!”

“Gone with the Swan.”  “And did she stand
With her anchor clutching hold of the sand
For a month, and never stir?”
“Why, to be sure!  I’ve seen from the land,
Like a lover kissing his lady’s hand,
The wild sea kissing her—­
A sight to remember, sir.”

“But, my good mother, do you know,
All this was twenty years ago? 
I stood on the Grey Swan’s deck,
And to that lad I saw you throw—­
Taking it off, as it might be so—­
The kerchief from your neck;”
“Ay, and he’ll bring it back.”

“And did the little lawless lad,
That has made you sick and made you sad,
Sail with the Grey Swan’s crew?”
“Lawless! the man is going mad;
The best boy ever mother had;
Be sure, he sailed with the crew—­
What would you have him do?”

“And he has never written line,
Nor sent you word, nor made you sign,
To say he was alive?”
“Hold—­if ’twas wrong, the wrong is mine;
Besides, he may be in the brine;
And could he write from the grave? 
Tut, man! what would you have?”

“Gone twenty years! a long, long cruise;
’Twas wicked thus your love to abuse;
But if the lad still live,
And come back home, think you you can
Forgive him?” “Miserable man! 
You’re mad as the sea; you rave—­
What have I to forgive?”

The sailor twitched his shirt so blue,
And from within his bosom drew
The kerchief.  She was wild: 
“My God!—­my Father!—­is it true? 
My little lad—­my Elihu? 
And is it?—­is it?—­is it you? 
My blessed boy—­my child—­
My dead—­my living child!”



(Sunday, March 24, 1878.)

The training ship Eurydice—­
As tight a craft, I ween,
As ever bore brave men who loved
Their country and their queen—­
Built when a ship, sir, was a ship,
And not a steam-machine.

Six months or more she had been out,
Cruising the Indian Sea;
And now, with all her canvas bent—­
A fresh breeze blowing free—­
Up Channel in her pride she came,
The brave Eurydice.

Project Gutenberg
Successful Recitations from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.