Modern Street Ballads


One cloudy morning, as I abroad did steer,
By the wide rolling ocean that runs swift and clear,
I heard a poor creature, that in sorrow did weep,
Saying, O, my poor father is lost in the deep.

My father and mother once happy did dwell,
In a neat little cottage they rearéd me well;
Poor father did venture on all the salt sea,
For a keg of good brandy, for the land of the free.

For Holland we steer’d while th ethunder did roar,
And the lightning flash’d vivid when far, far, from shore,
Our ship, mast, and rigging, were blown to the wave,
And found, with poor father, a watery grave.

I jump’d over board in the troubléd main,
To save my poor father—but all was in vain,
I clasp’d his cold clay, for quite lifeless was he,
Then forc’d for to leave him, sink down in the sea.

I clung to a plank, and so gained the shore,
With sad news for mother, and father no more,
For mother, with grief broken hearted did die,
And I was left to wander—so pity poor I.

A lady of fortune, she heard him complain,
And shelteréd him from the wind and the rain,
She said, I’ve employment,—no parents have I,
I will think of an orphan, till the day that I die.

He well did his duty, and gained a good name,
Till the lady she died, and he master became,
She left him 2000 bright pounds, and some land,
So, if you’re ever so poor, you may live to be grand.

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