All day he lay upon the sand When summer sun was bright, And let the grains sift through his hand With infantile delight; Just like a child, so soft and fair, Though he was twenty-five - An innocent, my mother -care Had kept so long alive.
Oh it is hard to bear a cross For five-and-twenty years; A daft son and a husband's loss Are woes out-weighing tears. Yet bright and beautiful was he, Though barely could he walk; And when he signaled out to sea His talk was baby talk.
The man I loved was drowned out there When we were ten weeks wed. 'Tis bitter hard a boy to bear That's fathered by the dead. And now I give my life to him Because he needs me so; And as I look my sight is dim With pity, love and woe. . . .
Then suddenly I see him rise, Tall, stalwart and serene . . . Lo! There he stands before my eyes, The man he might have been.
"Dear Mother mine," I hear him say, "The curse that bound me fast, Some miracle has swept away, And all you pain is past. Now I am strong and sane and free, And you shall have your due; For as you loved and cherished me, I'll love and cherish you."
His kisses sooth away my pain, His clasp is paradise . . . Then - then I look at him again With terror in my eyes:
For down he sinks upon the sand, And heavy droops his head; The golden grains drift through his hand . . . I know - my boy is dead.