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Q: Poem about two children and a boat ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   0 Comments )
Subject: Poem about two children and a boat
Category: Arts and Entertainment > Books and Literature
Asked by: brendon303-ga
List Price: $20.00
Posted: 01 Dec 2003 03:28 PST
Expires: 31 Dec 2003 03:28 PST
Question ID: 282139
I'm looking for a poem.  I would like the complete text as well as any
available information about the author, date and context.

All we have are the following words, which may or may not be 100%
accurate and are definitely incomplete: "Two little children grown
tired of play / Roamed by the sea one summers day / Watching the great
waves come and go / Prattling as children will, you know / For dolls
and marbles, kites and things / They sometimes hinted at graver things
/ At last they spied within their reach / An old boat cast upon the
beach / Helter skelter and merry din / Over the sides they scrambled
in / Ben with his nut brown ginger hair / Bess with her sweet face
flushed and fair" and so on.

Thanks in advance

Request for Question Clarification by hummer-ga on 01 Dec 2003 08:38 PST
Hi brendon303,

As much information as you can supply would help in the search. For
example, how old is this poem? Where did you learn it from? About how
many years ago? If it was in a book, what do you remember about it? 
Was it only one poem among many? Were there illustrations? If not all
of the words, do you remember the story line? What do the children do
in the boat? The line "They sometimes hinted at graver things" makes
me wonder if there is trouble ahead - do you remember what happens?
For what age group? No hint is too insignificant - whatever you can
remember would be great.


Clarification of Question by brendon303-ga on 01 Dec 2003 10:17 PST
Sorry - it's actually for my girlfriend so I don't know too much.  As
I understand it they go out to sea in the boat and get into trouble. 
Their father is in a boat and ends up pulling them from the water. 
Not sure if they're dead or not!  She learned it from her grandfather
who was born in 1906 - don't know if that tells you anything about the
poem's age or not.  She is English and I understand her grandfather is
as well.
Subject: Re: Poem about two children and a boat
Answered By: pafalafa-ga on 01 Dec 2003 12:39 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hello Brendon,

I found your poem, and as it was published in the 19th century, it is
no longer copyright-protected, so I have reproduced it in full, below,
complete with its surprise ending!

Let me know if you need any additional information.





Two little ones, grown tired of play,
Roamed by the sea, one summer day,
Watching the great waves come and go,
Prattling, as children will, you know,
Of dolls and marbles, kites and strings;
Sometimes hinting at graver things.

At last they spied within their reach
An old boat cast upon the beach;
Helter-skelter, with merry din,
Over its sides they scrambled in, --
Ben, with his tangled, nut-brown hair,
Bess, with her sweet face flushed and fair.

Rolling in from the briny deep,
Nearer, nearer, the great waves creep,
Higher, higher, upon the sands,
Reaching out with their giant hands,
Grasping the boat in boisterous glee,
Tossing it up and out to sea.

The sun went down, 'mid clouds of gold;
Night came, with footsteps damp and cold;
Day dawned; the hours crept slowly by;
And now across the sunny sky
A black cloud stretches far away,
And shuts the golden gates of day.

A storm comes on, with flash and roar,
While all the sky is shrouded o'er;
The great waves, rolling from the west,
Bring night and darkness on their breast.
Still floats the boat through driving storm,
Protected by God's powerful arm.

The home-bound vessel, "Sea-bird," lies
In ready trim, 'twixt sea and skies:
Her captain paces, restless now,
A troubled look upon his brow,
While all his nerves with terror thrill, --
The shadow of some coming ill.

The mate comes up to where he stands,
And grasps his arm with eager hands.
"A boat has just swept past," says he,
"Bearing two children out to sea;
It is dangerous now to put about,
Yet they cannot be saved without."

"Nought but their safety will suffice!
They must be saved!" the captain cries.
"By every thought that's just and right,
By lips I hoped to kiss to-night,
I'll peril vessel, life, and men,
And God will not forsake us then."

With anxious faces, one and all,
Each man responded to the call;
And when at last, through driving storm,
They lifted up each little form,
The captain started, with a groan:
"My God is good, they are my own!"


The poem can be found in:

VOLUME 7. PAGE 438  

search strategy:  searched on-line specialty databases for literature
sources with the phrase "prattling as children"

Request for Answer Clarification by brendon303-ga on 01 Dec 2003 16:07 PST
Actually just one more teeny detail - the date?  Thanks so much.

Clarification of Answer by pafalafa-ga on 01 Dec 2003 16:18 PST
Thanks for the stars!!!

The date of the poem was only given as late-nineteenth century.  The
author, Rose Hartwick Thorpe, was born in 1850...the date of her death
is uncertain.

brendon303-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
Wonderful.  Thank you.

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