I CANNOT forget my Joe,
I bid him be mine in sleep;
But battle and woe have changed him so
There ’s nothing to do but weep.

My mother rebukes me yet,
And I never was meek before;
His jacket is wet, his lip cold set,
He ’ll trouble our home no more.

Oh, breaker of reeds that bend!
Oh, quencher of tow that smokes!
I ’d rather descend to my sailor friend
Than prosper with lofty folks.

I ’m lying beside the gowan,
My Joe in the English bay;
I ’m Annie Rowan, his Annie Rowan,
He called me his Bien-Aimée.

I ’ll hearken to all you quote,
Though I ’d rather be deaf and free;
The little he wrote in the sinking boat
Is Bible and charm for me.

More verses by William Johnson Cory

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