Sarah Dow [poem by E. J. Brady]

[Editor: This poem by E. J. Brady was published in The Ways of Many Waters (1899).]


Sarah Dow.

’Er mother kep’ a lodgin’ place —
I got to know ’er there —
She ’ad the sunrise on ’er face,
The sunset in ’er ’air.
To other wimmen that I’ve met
I’d rather not refer,
But I’d ’ave sold (an’ paid the debt!)
My willin’ soul for ’er!

Oh, Sarah Dow! Oh, Sarah Dow!
You were too good for me, I vow;
But if I could ’ave died, I would —
To serve you, Sarah Dow!

I mustered up the pluck one day —
’T was pretty ’ard to do;
I ’adn’t ’arf the ’eart to say
One ’arf I wanted to; —
I asked ’er if she’d be my wife —
I ’ad no chance, I know,
But it was, somehow, death in life
To ’ear ’er tell me — “No!”

I’ve been like sailormen ashore
To spend my ’ard-earned pence;
I’d been a reckless dog before
An’ little better since;
I never saw ’er face agen,
The face that ’urt me so,
I never saw ’er face since then —
She died ten year ago.

But I’ve a picture in my bunk
I don’t let no one see,
An’ when I’m done an’ drowned an’ sunk
That picture goes with me.
I’ve been an’ hid it in my kit,
I would n’t ’ear them laugh,
An’ onst a while I looks at it,
An old tin photograrf.

Oh, Sarah Dow! Oh, Sarah Dow!
It’s gettin’ brown an’ faded now;
But you are there still young an’ fair,
My Sarah, Sarah Dow!

E. J. Brady, The Ways of Many Waters, Melbourne: Thomas C. Lothian, 1909 [first published 1899], pages 59-60

Editor’s notes:
onst = once

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