Thomas Bailey Aldrich

Here you will find the Poem Alec Yeaton's Son of poet Thomas Bailey Aldrich

Alec Yeaton's Son


The wind it wailed, the wind it moaned, 
And the white caps flecked the sea; 
"An' I would to God," the skipper groaned, 
"I had not my boy with me!

Snug in the stern-sheets, little John 
Laughed as the scud swept by; 
But the skipper's sunburnt cheeks grew wan 
As he watched the wicked sky.

"Would he were at his mother's side!" 
And the skipper's eyes were dim. 
"Good Lord in heaven, if ill betide, 
What would become of him!

"For me--my muscles are as steel, 
For me let hap what may; 
I might make shift upon the keel 
Until the break o' day.

"But he, he is so weak and small, 
So young, scarce learned to stand-- 
O pitying Father of us all, 
I trust him in Thy hand!

"For Thou, who makest from on high 
A sparrow's fall--each one!-- 
Surely, O Lord, thou'lt have an eye 
On Alec Yeaton's son!"

Then, helm hard-port; right straight he sailed 
Towards the headland light: 
The wind it moaned, the wind it wailed, 
And black, black fell the night.

Then burst a storm to make one quail 
Though housed from winds and waves-- 
They who could tell about that gale 
Must rise from watery graves!

Sudden it came, as sudden went; 
Ere half the night was sped, 
The winds were hushed, the waves were spent, 
And the stars shone overhead.

Now, as the morning mist grew thin, 
The folk on Gloucester shore 
Saw a little figure floating in 
Secure, on a broken oar!

Up rose the cry, "A wreck! a wreck! 
Pull, mates, and waste no breath!"-- 
They knew it, though 't was but a speck 
Upon the edge of death!

Long did they marvel in the town 
At God his strange decree, 
That let the stalwart skipper drown 
And the little child go free!