William Wordsworth

Here you will find the Poem Sailor's Mother, The of poet William Wordsworth

Sailor's Mother, The

One morning (raw it was and wet---
 A foggy day in winter time)
 A Woman on the road I met,
 Not old, though something past her prime:
 Majestic in her person, tall and straight;
And like a Roman matron's was her mien and gait.

 The ancient spirit is not dead;
 Old times, thought I, are breathing there;
 Proud was I that my country bred
 Such strength, a dignity so fair:
 She begged an alms, like one in poor estate;
I looked at her again, nor did my pride abate.

 When from these lofty thoughts I woke,
 "What is it," said I, "that you bear,
 Beneath the covert of your Cloak,
 Protected from this cold damp air? "
 She anwered, soon as she the question heard,
"A simple burthen, Sir, a little Singing-bird."

 And, thus continuing, she said,
 "I had a Son, who many a day
 Sailed on the seas, but he is dead;
 In Denmark he was cast away:
 And I have travelled weary miles to see
If aught which he had owned might still remain for me.

 The bird and cage they both were his:
 'Twas my Son's bird; and neat and trim
 He kept it: many voyages
 The singing-bird had gone with him;
 When last he sailed, he left the bird behind;
From bodings, as might be, that hung upon his mind.

 He to a fellow-lodger's care
 Had left it, to be watched and fed,
 And pipe its song in safety;---there
 I found it when my Son was dead;
 And now, God help me for my little wit!
I bear it with me, Sir;---he took so much delight in it."