[From Manx Melodies, 1922]


THE quare conthraptions there would be at times
When I was goin' awakin' in the night.
I'd see a shadder slippin' down the stairs
Behind a drowsy blink of candle-light.

Scritch-scratch among the cinders in the grate,
An' then, the light come leapin' through the floor
All bars an' dazzlin' lines across the room
Between the booards and where the rug was tore.

An' then a sudden scotch of salty air,
An' footsteps stoppin' at the door below,
While all the house was rockin' with the noise
Of waves an' shingle teerin' to an' fro.

" An well! So long! " I'd hear my father say,
An' then, " So long," goin' callin' by the crew,
An' then-it's like my mother'd give a sigh,
But I was fast asleep before I knew.

An' still I'm wakin' when the tide is high,
An' still the breeze comes through the clappin' door.
I hear " So long " goin' echoin' down the street,
The waves an' shingle teerin' on the shore.

An' for I'm oul', an' wore, an' full of years,
My sleep once broke will not come back to me.
But all the wakin' hours are not too long
To pray for them that's out upon the sea.


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HTML Transcription © F.Coakley , 2004