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Fire and blood ! fire and blood !
And round and round, till the blindin scud
Got thinner and thinner, and then I seen
The ould woman had hitched herself between
My arms, and her arms around my neck,
And waitin, waitin, and wond'rin lek.
Aw, I flung her off—“He'll die! he'll die!
This night, this very night,” says I:
“ He'll die before I'm one day ouldher;"
And I stripped my arm right up to the shouldher-
“ Look here!” I says, “hesn God given
The strength ?" I says, “and by Him in Heaven,
And by her that's with Him-hip and thigh !
He'll die this night, by G-- he'll die ! ”
“No! no!” says she, “ no, Thomas, no!”
For I was at the door intarmined to go.
And she coaxed, and coaxed, and “wouldn it be better
To speak to him fuss, or to write a letter,
Or to wait my chance ?” and all that stuff!
“And then I could kill him aisy enough.”
“ Aisy! that's not what I want at all,”
I says—" I'll stand on his body, and call
The people, and let them know right well
It's me that sent the villian to hell."
“ And then you'll be hung,” says she, and I laughed
“ Will you go to the Pazon?” “It's not his craft."
I says; "the work I've got to do
Is no Pazon's work.” “Would I go to the Brew ? "
Aw, when she said that I made a run-
But she held me, and—“Oh my son ! my son!”
And cryin and houldin on to me still
“ Will you go to the Pazon ?” “Yes! I will,
If that'll give you any content."
Not another word, but away we went-
And her in the dark, a keepin a grip
Of my jacket for fear I'd give her the slip,
And a peggin away with her poor old bones,
And stumblin and knockin agin the stones-
And neither the good nor the bad was said,
And the one of us hadn a thing on our head-
And the rain it rained, and the wind it blew-
Aw, the woman was hard, but the woman was true.
“ Missis Baynes !” says the Pazon, “Missis Baynes !
Missis Baynes !
Will you plase to tell me what this means ?"
And white as a sheet, and he cuts a caper,
And he drops the specs, and he drops the paper,
And backs and gets under the lee of a chair-
I'm blest if the Pazon didn look queer !
I raely thought he was goin to fall-
And says mawther—“He isn dead at all!
Don't be freckened !” and— holy Moses !
Wasn he paid to look after ghos'es?
Aw, then the joy he took of me !
“ And the only one saved from the wreck !” says he.
“ There wasn no wreck—God d— his eyes!
No wreck at all, but Taylor's lies!”
“ For shame then! Thomas !” and up she stud.
“Let him cuss !” says the Pazon, “it'll do him gud."
And the look he gev, and the sigh, and the sob !
And he saw in a minute the whole of the job,
And he tried to speak, but he wasn able,
And I laid my head upon the table-
Quite stupid lek, and then them two
Began to talk, and I hardly knew
What was it they said, but “the little drop!”
I heard, and "you'll 'scuse him," and "Woman, stop !
The lad is drunk with grief,” he said,
And he come and put his hand on my head;
And the poor old fingers as dry as chips !
And the pity a tricklin off their tips—
And makin me all as peaceable-
Aw, the Pazon was kind and lovin still !
Full of wisdom and love, and blessin,
Aw, it's kind and lovin was the Pazon
So at last, ye see, whatever they had, I didn say nothin, good or bad; And they settled betwix them what would I do, And neither to go to the town nor the Brew, “But off to sea again, aye straight! And, if I could, that very night.” So they roused me up, and “Me and your mawther"The Pazon says—“Aw, ye needn bother," Says I, “ all right !” and then I'll be bail I took it grand out of Pazon Gale“ Now, Pazon,” I says, “you know your manAnd a son of ould Dan's too! a son of ould Dan ! ” We were at the door just ready to goAw, the Pazon couldn help smilin thoughA son of ould Dan's !-aye just that wayA son of ould Dan's !—eh ? Billy ! eh ?
Well, I kept my word, and off at once,
And shipped on a coaster, owned in Penzance ;
But it was foreign I wanted, so very soon
I joined the Hector bound for Rangoon.
Ah, mates ! it's well for flesh and blood
To stick to a lass that's sweet and good,
Leastways if she sticks to you, ye know;
For then, my lads, blow high, blow low,
On the stormiest sea, in the darkest night,
Her love is a star that'll keep you right.
But there wasn no sun nor star for me-
Drinkin and tearin and every spree-
And if I couldn keep the divil under,
I don't think there's many of you will wonder.
Well, Divil or no, the Hector come home; We raced that trip with the Flying Foam, And up the river the very same tide, And the two of them berthed there side by side ; A tight run that, and the whole of it stuck In the paper-logs and all-good luck! And the captain as proud, and me like a fool Spreein away in Liverpool And lodgins of coorse, for I never could stand Them Sailors' Homes, for a man is a man, And a bell for dinner and a bell for tay, And a bell to sing and a bell to pray, And a bell for this and a bell for that, And “ Wipe your feet upon the mat!” And the rules hung up; and fined if you're late, And a chap like a bobby shuttin the gateIt isn raisonable, it isn : They calls it a Home, I calls it a Prison. Let a man go wherever he chooses ! Ould Mawther Higgins' the house that I usesJem Higgins' widda--you'll be bound to know herClane, but not partickiler. There's Quiggin's too, next door but one, Not Andrew, of coorse ! but Rumpy JohnShe's a dacent woman enough is Nancy, But Higginses allis tuk my fancy. There's some comfort there, for you just goes in, And down with the watch and down with the tin, And sleepin and wakin, and eatin and drinkinAnd out and in, and never thinkinAnd carryin on till all is blue, And your jacket is gone and your waistcoat too. Then of coorse you must cut your stick, For the woman must live, however thick You may be with her : and I'm tould there's houses Where the people'll let ye drink your trousis ; But Higginses! nerer! and it isn right! Shirt and trousis ! honour bright!
But mostly afore it come to the spout I'd ask if the money was all run out, And she'd allis tell me whether or no, And I'd lave' my chiss, and away I'd go. And so this time I took the street, And I walked along till I chanced to meet A shipmate, somewhere down in Wappin'And “What was I doin? and where was I stoppin ? " And “Blow it all! here goes the last copper!” And into a house to get a cropper.
It was one of them dirty stinkin places,
Where the people is not a bit better than bases,
And long-shore lubbers a shammin to fight,
And Jack in his glory, and Jack's delight-
With her elbers stickin outside of her shawl
Like the ribs of a wreck—and the divil and all!
And childer cussin and suckin the gin-
God help them craythurs ! the white and the thin !
But what took my eye was an ouldish woman
In and out, and goin and comin,
And heavy feet on the floor overhead,
And “She's long a dyin," there's some of them said.
“ Dyin !” says I; “ Yes, dying !” says they;
“ Well, it's a rum place to choose to die in-eh?”
Aw the ould woman was up, and she cussed very bad —
And—“ Choosin ! there's not much choosin, my lad!”
“And what's her name?” says I; says she,
“ If ye want to know, it's Jinny Magee."
Aw never believe me but I took the stair!
And “ Where have you got her ? where? where? where?"
“ Turn to the right !” says she, “ ye muff !”
And there was poor Jinny sure enough!
There she was lyin on a wisp of straw-
And the dirt and the rags—you never saw-
And her eyes-aw them eyes! and her face-well! well!
And her that had been such a handsome gel !
“ Tom Baynes ! Tom Baynes ! is it you ? is it you? Oh can it be? can it be? can it be true ?" Well, I cudu speak, but just a nod“ Oh it's God that's sent you—it's God, it's God !” And she gasped and gasped—“ Oh I wronged you, Thomas ! I wronged you, I did, but he made me promiseAnd here I'm now, and I know I'll not liveOh Thomas, forgive me, oh Tom, forgive ! Oh reach me your hand. Tom, reach me your hand!” And she stretched out hers, and I think I'm a man, But I shivered all over, and down by the bed, And “Hush ! hush! Jinny! hush! hush !” I said ; “ Forgive ye ?—Yes !” and I took and pressed Her poor weak hand against my breast. “Look, Tom,” she said, “ look there ! look there!” And a little bundle beside a chairAnd the little arms and the little legs— And the round round eyes as big as eggs, And full of wondher--and “ That's the child !” She says, and, my God! the woman smiled! So I took him up, and I says-quite low“ Is it Taylor's ? " I says; « Oh no! no! no!” “ All right!” I says ; "and his name?” “ It's Simmy: " And the little frock and the little chimmy! And starved to the bones-s0 “ Listen to me! Listen now! listen! Jinny Magee ! By Him that made me, Jinny ven ! This child is mine for ever- Amen!” And “ Simmy!” I says, “ remember this ! ” And I put him to her for her to kiss ;
And then I kissed him ; but the little chap
Of coorse he didn understand a rap.
And I turned to Jinny, and she tried to rise,
And I saw the death-light in her eyes-
Clasped hands! clenched teeth! and back with the head-
Aye, Jinny was dead, boys ! Jinny was dead.
“Come here,” I says, and I stamped on the floor, And up the old woman come to be sure. “ See after her!" I says, “ould Sukee !” And “All very well !” she says, “but lookee ! You gives yourself terrible airs, young man ! Come now! what are you going to stand ?” But I took the child, and says I, “ I'm goin: ” “ Indeed!” she says, “ and money owin! And the people'll be 'spectin a drop of drink," And cussin, and who was she did I think ? And the buryin too, for the matter of that ! “Out of the way !” says I, “ you cat!”. And down the stair, and out at the front, And the loblollyboys shoutin “ Down with the blunt!” And a squarin up, and a lookin big, And “hould him! down with him! here's a rig!” “ Stand back, you Irish curs ! stand back !”. Says I, for there wasn a man in the pack: “ Stand back, you cowards; or I'll soon let ye see!” So off we went—little Simmy and me.
Is that him there asleep ? did ye ax?
Aye, the very same, and them's the fac's.
And now, my lads, you'll hardly miss
To know what poor little Simmy is.
Bless me! it's almost like a dream,
But the very same! the very same!
Grew of coorse, and growin, understand ye !
But you can't keep them small agin nathur, can ye?
Look at him, John! the quiet he lies !
And the fringes combin over his eyes !
I know I'm a fool-but-feel that curl!
Aw he's the only thing I have in all the world.
Well, on we marched, and the little thing
Wasn so heavy as a swaller's wing—
A poor little bag of bones, that's all,
He'd have bruk in two if I'd let him fall.
And I tried all the little words I knew,
And actin the way that women do.
But bless ye ! he wouldn take no rest,
But shovin his little head in my breast,
For though I had lived so long ashore,
I never had carried a child before.
And not a farlin at me; so the only plan
Was to make tracks straight off for Whitehaven,