[from Collected Works, T.E.Brown]


I SAW a fisher bold yestreen
At his cottage by the bay,
And I asked how be and his had been,
While I was far away.
But when I asked him of the child
With whom I used to play,
The sunniest thing that ever smiled
Upon a summer’s day—
Then said that fisher bold to me—
And turned his face away :—
" She was not willing to stay with us—
She was not willing to stay."

" But, Evan, she was brave and strong,
And blithesome as the May;
And who would do her any wrong,
Our darling of the bay?"
His head was low, his breath was short,
He seemed as he would pray,
Nor answer made in any sort
That might his grief betray;
Save once again that fisher bold
Turned, and to me did say
" She was not willing to stay with us,
She was not willing to stay."

Then I looked upon his pretty cot,
So neat in its array,
And I looked upon his garden-plot
With its flowers so trim and gay;
And I said :—" He hath no need of me
To help him up the brae;
God worketh in his heart, and
He Will soon let in the day."
So I left him there, and sought yon rock
Where leaps the salt sea-spray;
For ah ! how many have lost their loves
That were " not willing to stay " with them,
That were not willing to stay!


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HTML Transcription © F.Coakley , 2000