Sydney Thompson Dobell

(1824-1874 / England)

The Widow's Lullaby - Poem by Sydney Thompson Dobell

She droops like a dew-dropping lily,
'Whisht thee, boy, whisht thee, boy Willie!
Whisht whisht o' thy wailing, whisht thee, boy Willie!'


The sun comes up from the lea,
As he who will never come more
Came up that first day to her door,
When the ship furled her sails by the shore,
And the spring leaves were green on the tree.


But she droops like a dew-dropping lily,
'whisht thee, boy, whisht thee, boy Willie!
Whisht whisht o' thy wailing, whisht thee, boy Willie!'


The sun goes down in the sea,
As he who will never go more
Went down that last day from her door,
When the ship set her sails from the shore,
And the dead leaves were sere on the tree.


But she droops like a dew-dropping lily,
'Whisht thee, boy, whisht thee, boy Willie!
Whisht whisht o' thy wailing, whisht thee, boy Willie!'
The year comes glad o'er the lea,
As he who will never come more,
Never, ah never!
Came up that first day to her door,
When the ship furled her sails by the shore,
And the spring leaves were green on the tree.
Never, ah never!
He who will come again, never!


But she droops like a dew-dropping lily,
'Whisht thee, boy, whisht thee, boy Willie!
Whisht whisht o' thy wailing, whisht thee, boy Willie!'


The year goes sad to the sea,
As he who will never go more
For ever went down from her door,
Ever, for ever!
When the ship set her sails by the shore,
And the dead leaves were sere on the tree.
Ever, for ever!
For ever went down from her door.


But she droops like a dew-dropping lily,
'Whisht thee, boy, whisht thee, boy Willie!
Whisht whisht o' thy wailing, whisht thee, boy Willie!'


A gun, and a flash, and a gun,
The ship lies again where she lay!
High and low, low and high, in the sun,
There's a boat, a boat on the bay!
High and low, low and high, in the sun,
All as she saw it that day,
When he came who shall never come more,
And the ship furled her sails by the shore.


But she droops like a dew-dropping lily,
'Whisht thee, boy, whisht thee, boy Willie!
Whisht whisht o' thy wailing, whisht thee, boy Willie!'


All as she saw it that day,
With a gun, and a flash, and a gun,
The ship lies again where she lay,
And they run, and they ride, and they run,
Merry, merry, merry, down the merry highway,
To the boat, high and low in the sun.
Nearer and nearer she hears the rolling drum,
Clearer and clearer she hears the cry, 'They come,'
Far and near runs the cheer to her ear once so dear,
Merry, merry, merry, up the merry highway,
As it ran when he came that day
And said, 'Wilt thou be my dearie?
Oh, wilt thou be my dearie?
My boat is dry in the bay,
And I'll love till thou be weary!'
And she could not say him nay,
For his bonny eyes o' blue,
And never was true-love so true,
To never so kind a dearie,
As he who will never love more,
When the ship furls her sails by the shore.


Then she shakes like a wind-stricken lily,
'Whisht thee, boy, whisht thee, boy Willie!
Whisht whisht o' thy wailing, whisht thee, boy Willie!'


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Poem Submitted: Monday, April 12, 2010



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