Historic Sheet Music Collection


Henry Russell

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The Mother who Hath a Child at Sea
Composed by Henry Russell

New York: Published by Atwill (201 Broadway)

Some of these resources may contain offensive language or negative stereotypes. Such materials should be seen in the context of the time period and as a reflection of the attitudes of the time. The items are part of the historical record, and do not represent the views of the libraries or the institution.


There's an eye that looks on the swelling cloud,
Folding the moon in a fun'ral shroud,
That watches the stars dying one by one,
'Till the whole of heav'ns cal light hath gone,
There's an ear that lists to the hissing surge,
As the mourner turns to the Anthem dirge,
That eye! that ear! oh whose can they be,
But a Mother's who hath a child at sea!
There's a cheek that is getting ashy white,
As the tokens of storm come on with the night,
There's a form that fix'd on the latties pane,
To mark how the gloom gathers o'er the main,
While the yeasty billows lash the shore,
With loftier sweep and hoarser roar,
That cheek, that form, oh! whose can they be,
But a Mother's, who hath a child at Sea
She presses her brow, she sinks and kneels,
Whil'st the blast howls on and the thunder peals,
She breathes not a word for her passionate prayer,
Is too fervent and deep for her lips to hear,
It is pour'd in the long convulsive sigh,
In the straining glance of an upturn'd eye,
And a holier offering cannot be,
Than a Mother's who hath a Child at Sea.
Oh I love the winds when they spurn controul,
For they suit my own bond hating soul,
I like to hear them sweeping past,
Like the eagle's pinions free and fast,
But a pang will rise with sad alloy,
To soften my spirit and sink my joy,
When I think how dismal their voices must be,
To a Mother who hath a Child at Sea.


The views expressed in this paper are solely those of the author.