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Young and old
The Sands of Dee
O, Mary, go and call the cattle home,
And call the cattle home,
And call the cattle home,
Across the sands of Dee
The western wind was wild and dark with foam,
And all alone went she.
The western tide crept up along the sand,
And o’er and o’er the sand,
And round and round the sand
As far as eye could see.
The rolling mist came down and hid the land,
And never home came she
‘Oh! Is it weed, or fish or floating hair -
A tress of golden hair?
A drowned maiden’s hair,
Above the nets at sea?
Was never salmon yet that shone so fair
Among the stakes of Dee.
They rowed her in across the rolling foam,
The cruel , crawling foam,
The cruel, hungry foam,
To her grave beside the sea,
But still the boatmen hear her call the cattle home,
Across the sands of Dee.
The Last Buccaneer
Oh, England is a pleasant place for them that's rich and
But England is a cruel place for such poor folks as I;
And such a port for mariners I ne'er shall see again
As the pleasant Isle of Aves beside the Spanish main.
There were forty craft in Aves that were both swift and stout,
Allfurnished well with small arms and cannons round about;
And a thousand men in Aves made laws so fair and free
To choose their valiant captains and obey them loyally.
Thence we sailed against the Spaniard with his hoards of
plate and gold,
Which he rung with cruel tortures from Indian folks of old;
Likewise the merchant captains, which hearts as hard as stone,
Who flog men and keep-haul them, and starve them to the bone.
Oh the palms grew high in Aves, and fruits that shone like
And colibris and parrots they were gorgeous to behold;
And the negro maids to Aves from bondage fast did flee,
To welcome gallant sailors, a-sweeping in from sea.
Oh sweet it was in Aves to hear the landward breeze,
A-swing with good tobacco in a net between the trees,
With a negro lass to fan you, while you listened to the roar
Of the breakers on the reef outside, that never touched the shore.
But Scripture saith, an ending to all fine things must be;
So the King's ships sailed on Aves, and quite put down were we.
All day we fought like bulldogs, but they burst the booms at night;
And I fled in a piragua, sore wounded, from the fight.
Nine days I floated starving, and a negro lass beside
Till for all tried to cheer her, the poor young thing she died;
But as I lay a gasping, a Bristol sail came by,
And brought me home to England here, to beg until I die.
And now I'm old and going - I'm sure I can't tell where;
One comfort is, this world's so hard, I can't be worse off there:
If I might but be a sea-dove, I'd fly across the main,
To the pleasant Isle of Aves, to look at it once again.
© 2000 Elena and Yacov Feldman