Sunday, April 15, 2012




Stay, lady ! stay, for mercy's sake,
And hear a helpless orphan's tale;
Ah ! sure my looks must pity wake
'Tis want that makes my cheek so pale.
Yet I was once a mother's pride,
And my brave father's hope and joy;
But in the Nile's proud fight he died,
And I am now an orphan boy.

Poor foolish child ! How pleased was I,
When news of Nelson's victory came,
Along the crowded streets to fly,
And see the lighted windows flame !
To force me home my mother sought-
She could not bear to see my joy;
For with my father's life 'twas bought,
And made me a poor orphan boy.

The people's shouts were long and loud-
My mother, shuddering, closed her ears;
"Rejoice!, rejoice!" still cried the crowd-
My mother answered with her tears.
"Oh, why do tears steal down your cheek,"
Cried I, "while others shout for joy ?"-
She kissed me, and, in accent's weak,
She called me her poor orphan boy.

"What is an orphan boy ?" I said,-
When suddenly she gasped for breath,
And her eyes closed; - I shrieked for aid,-
But, ah! her eyes were closed in death !
My hardships since I will not tell;
But now no more a parents joy,
Ah, lady ! I have learned too well
What 'tis to be an orphan boy !

Oh, were I by your bounty fed !-
Nay, gentle lady, do not chide;
Trust me, I mean to earn my bread,-
The sailor's orphan boy has pride.
Lady, you weep: - what is't you say ?
You'll give me clothing, food, employ ?-
Look down, dear parents ! look and see
Your happy, happy orphan boy.-







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