Verse > Anthologies > T. H. Ward, ed. > The English Poets > Vol. IV. Wordsworth to Rossetti
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Thomas Humphry Ward, ed.  The English Poets.  1880–1918.
Vol. IV. The Nineteenth Century: Wordsworth to Rossetti
 
Song: ‘Child, is thy father dead?’
By Ebenezer Elliott (1781–1849)
 
CHILD, is thy father dead?
  Father is gone!
Why did they tax his bread?
  God’s will be done!
Mother has sold her bed:        5
Better to die than wed!
Where shall she lay her head?
  Home we have none!
 
Father clammed 1 thrice a week—
  God’s will be done!        10
Long for work did he seek,
  Work he found none.
Tears on his hollow cheek
Told what no tongue could speak:
Why did his master break?        15
  God’s will be done!
 
Doctor said air was best—
  Food we had none;
Father, with panting breast,
  Groaned to be gone:        20
Now he is with the blest—
Mother says death is best!
We have no place of rest—
  Yes, we have one!
 
Note 1. Fasted; was hungry. [back]
 
 
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