Mrs. S. A. Collins



The Little Stow-Away

by Mrs. S. A. Collins

They launched their boat atPlymouth ;

It was a gala day.

With hands and kerchiefs waving,

The vessel sailed away.

All those on board were happy;

Some wished to cross the tide

To the sunny land of Italy,

On the Mediterranean side,

To see the Alps of Switzerland,

Whose peaks were all aglow,

In the midst of summer weather,

With the whitest of the snow.

To see the "Floating City ,"

And across the great expanse

Of Mediterranean waters,

To see the shores of France.

While some had friends, who never thought

They would ever come again,

To visit home and parents,

     In the far-off land of Spain.

But one there was on board the ship,

Who never had a friend,

Nor ever heard from mother's lips

Kind words and blessings blend.

For when the boy was ushered in,

To this great world of care,

His mother left for realms above,

     To be an angel there.

Without a home, this child became

A child of charity,

Until he tired of everything,

And chose to cross the sea.

He hid away where none could see,

Till the ship was on its way,

And then he ventured out on deck,

This little stowaway.

The day was fair as e'er was seen,

When the vessel left the port,

But ere the sun was setting,

High waves, the winds did court.

The clouds had gathered dark above,

Then came an awful calm.

It told the sailor plain enough,

To be prepared for storm.

The clouds grew black and blacker,

The lightning pierced the gloom;

It seemed that which was awaiting them

Would take them to the tomb.

And as the storm grew fiercer,

Each looked with terror wild,

When away up in the rigging,

The crew had spied the child.

The captain called, "Come down my lad

What are you searching there?"

"I want to get so near to heaven

That God can hear my prayer.

For I shall pray to him to save,

The people all on board,"

Came the reply, when, "Bless the boy,

He surely knows the Lord,"

Came from the lips of stalwart men,

Who had not thought to pray,

In the midst of storm and tempest,

On that dark and fateful day.

It seemed each wave would take the crew

Down to an ocean's grave,

And still the boy kept up his plea

To God, the crew to save.

When the storm had spent its fury,

And the clouds were passing by,

They spied a signal of distress;

Against the blackened sky.

Another crew had met its fate:

The ship they could not save.

The passengers and mate had gone

Down to a watery grave.

And as they saw the signal,

And thought of what might have been,

A little voice came loud and clear,

"Thank God! Amen, amen."