The Sailor's Mother

" O whence do you come,
Figure in the night-fog that chills me numb?"
" I come to you across from my house up there,
And I don't mind the brine-mist clinging to me
That blows from the quay,
For I heard him in my chamber, and thought you unaware."

" But what did you hear,
That brought you blindly knocking in this middle-watch so drear?"

" My sailor son's voice as 'twere calling at your door,
And I don't mind my bare feet clammy on the stones,
And the blight to my bones,
For he only knows of this house I lived in before."

" Nobody's nigh,
Woman like a skeleton, with socket-sunk eye."

" Ah — nobody's nigh! And my life is drearisome,
And this is the old home we loved in many a day
Before he went away;
And the salt fog mops me. And nobody's come!"
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