Digital Tradition Mirror

Howard Carey

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Howard Carey

My name is Howard Carey, in Grand Falls 1 was born,
In a pleasant little cottage on the banks of the Saint John;
Where the wild birds chant their notes so true and the rippling waters roar,
Where tile ivy vine does closely twins round that cottage on the shore.

My aged parents, they being poor, could not maintain us all,
I had to leave my happy home, for our little farm was small;
I lived there quite contentedly till the year of eighty-four,
 I left my home and parents, I ne'er shall see them more.

The day I left my happy home down by the ocean strand,
My poor old aged father he took me by tile hand,
Saying, "Don't forget your parents, lad, when in a foreign land."

My mother led me to a seat beneath a willow tree,
With trembling lips bade me sit down for she wished to talk with me.
"Do you see on yonder hillside where the grass is growing green,
Where the violets and the lilies are plainly to be seen.
Those flowers they are magnificent, attractive to the eve,
 But the snake you must remember beneath their colors lies.

"So when in strange and foreign lands I'd have you be aware,
Each pleasure hath its poison and every sweet its snare;
So shun had company, my boy, and from strong drink refrain,
Don't patronize those gambling dens, look on them with   disdain.
Always remember that old proverb, one that is good and old:
All are riot gems that sparkle, all that glistens is not gold."

I arose up from my rustic seat, for the dewdrops bright and clear
Had bade the rose a fond farewell, I watched them disappear;
1 kissed my mother's tear-stained cheeks, bade her a fond farewell,
My feelings at that moment no human tongue can tell.
My brothers and my sisters in a group stood in the door,
I waved my hand and left them in their cottage on the shore.

My parents moved to Haverhill, Mlass., and sold their little   farm,
Four years ago a letter came which filled me with alarm:
"You mother dear is dying, her heart for you
She constantly repeats your name, 'Has my wandering son returned?' "

I hastened home, but ah too late, for everything was o'er,
The curtains they were closely drawn, black crepe was on the door
And now she sleeps that long last sleep beneath the churchyard sod,
Four years have passed and gone now since her spirit went to God.

Since then I've traveled in the East and in the West also,
I've traveled in those southern lands where the lofty redwoods grow
My mother's warnings did not heed, but like a silly fly
Got tangled in the silken web, and now I'm doomed to die.

[I rue the day I left my home and caused my parents pain,
I curse tile hour that I arrived all in the State of Maine;
Bad women and bad whiskey they both to me have gave
A blighted life, disgrace and shame, soon a dark dishonored grave.

Tonight I'm lying in a room in the town of Rumford Falls,
My feverish eyes are rolling round upon its whitewashed walls;
The agony I undergo I cannot long endure,
My limbs are weak and painful, I am dying slow but sure.

My money it has long since fled and my friends they are but few
I'll snap this tender thread of life, I'1l bid this world adieu
I'll tie this cord unto the hinge upon my chamber door
There's room enough for me to hang beneath it and the floor.

And when I'm dead this world will roll on just the same as e'er
The birds will sing, the fawn will play in shady woodlands fair;
The grass will grow up just as green as before I passed away,
What signifies a mortal man when slumbering in the clay"

Here's adieu to earth and all things gay, to home and friends adieu,
Here's adieu unto that girl I love, may God watch over you;
No more we'll roam in woodlands fair to hear the thrushes sing
You're purer than the lilies that blooms all in the spring.

At twelve o'clock John Durkin came to see his charge once more,
,on the door; He found his body hanging to a hinge upon the door
He cut him down and spread the news, and many's the cheek grew pale
And filled with wonder many's the heart to hear that mournful tale.

So all young men a warning take from this sad tale of woe,
And shun bad company or they will prove your overthrow

DT #834
Laws E23
From Edward Ives, Joe Scott The Woodsman-Songmaker

Thanks to Mudcat for the Digital Tradition!

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