Kids Poems » Poor Marianna
Ah, poor Marianna ! the scene is so bleak,
As shivering and lonely she goes,
The wind causes half the big tear on her cheek,
While round her it whistles and blows.
But why is she out with a prospect so drear,
Beneath the cold lowering sky ?
Methinks is the question which many appear
To ask by a look or a sigh.
Of poor Marianna but sad is the tale;
For she is the fisherman's child
Who climbed up the rock when the furious gale
Turned all the black waters so wild.
While there she stood trembling and pale on the cliff,
And reached forth an impotent hand,
She knew 'twas her father far out in the skiff,
Hard struggling to make for the land.
Yet wild was the ocean, and sudden the flaw
That kept the frail boat far from shore ;
She watched the reefed sail till submerged, but she saw
The boat and her father no more.
The sight was too much for her tender young mind ;
She shrieked and fell faint on the rock.
A ruin of reason was all that behind
Remained, ever after the shock.
When found, and reviving, all trembling and pale,
The fisherman's poor orphan child
Seemed still to behold his lone boat in the gale,
'Mid billows all gloomy and wild.
Her mind is unsettled, and roving her eye,
And sometimes she '11 harmlessly roam,
To watch the light figures in clouds on the sky,
Or near the sea-rocks, in the foam.
She plucks purple berries, or bright scarlet haws,
In clusters that hang on the stem,
And sits by the sea-side to string them on straws,
Then throws in bright tresses of them.
And when the sunned waters are sleeping and pure,
She asks little fishes, thus drawn
So near she can see them, to nibble the lure,
To show where her father is gone.
She gathers wild flowers : when in bouquets they 're tied
She throws them far off on the wave,
And bids them go out where her poor father died,
And hang sweet and bright o'er his grave.
In autumn and spring, in her mantle and hood,
When clouds are portending a storm,
She gathers light faggots and pieces of wood,
Herself and her mother to warm.
For small is their cabin that stands by the sea,
Yet far less convenient than small,
The wind and the rain in a storm making free
To pour through the roof and the wall.
And oft Marianna must shake with the cold,
For she is but scantily dressed ;
While gentle she is as the lamb in the fold,
And harmless as dove in its nest.
And sometimes she sings such a pitiful strain,
So sweet, and so melting the tear
Would gush, and your heart feel strange pleasure and pain,
Her music so dirge-like to hear.
Alas ! it is mournful and solemn, to see
But ruins of reason remain,
And know the affections most holy to be
The cause that disordered her brain.