I ASKED if father's to return,
He left some years ago,
And I have never seen him since,--
That all sad parting blow.
I said, my father, if you please
Do guide the ship no more,
Some other can your place fulfill,
And others can explore.
If not, dear father, do resign
This ever roaming life,
Oh, do not spend your life in this,
An ever mournful strife.
Perchance that you may ne'er return,
The billows thence your grave,
O'er which no storied wind shall rise,
No music but the wave.
Thus you have roam'd the southern seas,
And riches with you flow;
You have beheld the bread fruit tree,
The yam and millet grow.
You've been around the world again,
And view'd it o'er and o'er;
Then why do you thus wish to go,
And speed the parting hour?
I never may behold you more,
Or seek advice so dear;
Oh! how can I to strangers tell,
Or trust a feeling near.
Some say there's danger on the sea,
No more than on the land;
I think we're liable to this,
On sea, or desert sand.
I begged him, father do not go,
For when you left me last,
You said you would not go again:
My childish joys are past.
Then speed the long farewell;
You must depart in haste,
The seamen are on board her decks,
To plough the billow's waste.
He knelt, and pray'd of God above,
My dearest daughter spare;
If not on earth, in heaven to meet,
Sure trusting in Thy care.
And oft I sit me down, and think
My father's absence long;
I wonder if he will return,
To bless my childish song.
Some say, "he must be dead, I think,
Or we should from him hear;"
Sometimes I think it must be true,
And shed a mournful tear.
If then he is on distant shores,
May God his steps approve,
And find a rest in heaven at last,
And then with Christ to move.