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

Catherine C. Liddell b. 1848

Jesus the Carpenter

“IS N’T this Joseph’s son?”—ay, it is He;

Joseph the carpenter—same trade as me—

I thought as I ’d find it—I knew it was here—

But my sight’s getting queer.

I don’t know right where as His shed must ha’ stood—

But often, as I ’ve been a-planing my wood,

I ’ve took off my hat, just with thinking of He

At the same work as me.

He warn’t that set up that He couldn’t stoop down

And work in the country for folks in the town;

And I ’ll warrant He felt a bit pride, like I ’ve done

At a good job begun.

The parson he knows that I ’ll not make too free,

But on Sunday I feels as pleased as can be,

When I wears my clean smock, and sits in a pew,

And has taught a few.

I think of as how not the parson hissen,

As is teacher and father and shepherd o’ men,

Not he knows as much of the Lord in that shed,

Where He earned His own bread.

And when I goes home to my missus, says she,

“Are ye wanting your key?”

For she knows my queer ways, and my love for the shed,

(We ’ve been forty years wed.)

So I comes right away by mysen, with the book,

And I turns the old pages and has a good look

For the text as I ’ve found, as tells me as He

Were the same trade as me.

Why don’t I mark it? Ah, many say so,

But I think I ’d as lief, with your leaves, let it go:

It do seem that nice when I fall on it sudden—

Unexpected, you know!