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.
Russell, Henry, "The Mother Who Hath a child at Sea" (1847). Historic Sheet Music Collection. 958.
The views expressed in this paper are solely those of the author.