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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908). A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895. 1895.

William Johnson Cory 1823–92

A Poor French Sailor’s Scottish Sweetheart


I CANNOT forget my Joe,

I bid him be mine in sleep;

But battle and woe have changed him so

There ’s nothing to do but weep.

My mother rebukes me yet,

And I never was meek before;

His jacket is wet, his lip cold set,

He ’ll trouble our home no more.

Oh, breaker of reeds that bend!

Oh, quencher of tow that smokes!

I ’d rather descend to my sailor friend

Than prosper with lofty folks.

I ’m lying beside the gowan,

My Joe in the English bay;

I ’m Annie Rowan, his Annie Rowan,

He called me his Bien-Aimée.

I ’ll hearken to all you quote,

Though I ’d rather be deaf and free;

The little he wrote in the sinking boat

Is Bible and charm for me.