FRANK DUTTON - Sidney Lanier Poems


Poems » sidney lanier » frank dutton


AIR -- "Dublin Boy"

Frank Dutton was as fine a lad
    As ever you wish to see,
And he was drowned in Pine Island Lake --
    On earth no more will he be.
His age was near fifteen years,
    And he was a motherless boy --
He was living with his grandmother
    When he was drowned, poor boy.

It was one Thursday afternoon,
    The weather being fine,
Poor Frank and another lad
    A fishing were inclined.
He said to his grandmother dear,
    "A fishing may I go," said he;
"I rather you would stay at home.
    For danger I can see."

Frank had a dream, by his friends I hear,
    That he saw his mother dear,
And he shook hands with her he said,
    But it did not make him fear.
His grandmother thought to keep him home,
    And spoke to him of that,
But he begged so hard she let him go
    She at last gave her consent.

He went away with a merry heart,
    His spirit light and free --
A happy time he was thinking of,
    And no danger did he see.
They were on the lake but a little while
    When a heavy storm arose --
The thunder roared and the lightning flash'd
    And the winds upset their frail boat.

One of the boys sank in the deep --
    Went down to a watery grave,
The other returned safe home,
    To his friends the alarm gently gave;
He said his hat was all he saw,
    It was floating on the waves,
It was floating near by the place
    Where he sank beneath the waves.

Friends helped to hunt the lake o'er and o'er,
    Near friends almost went wild --
His uncle said he'd not leave the lake
    Till he found that drowned child.
He sent to Grand Rapids, a cannon was brought
Grand Rapids: the seat of government in Kent County,
a small city well-known country-wide for its manufacture of
furniture at this time.
cannon: Mark Twain, in Huckleberry Finn
(1884), describes this (quite unworkable)
technique of raising a drowned body.

    And fired over the lake;
It did no good, for this we heard,
    They had to rake the lake.

They raked one day, or nearly two --
    A hundred people were on the ground --
It was on the Sunday afternoon
    When at last his body was found.
How sad it was for his friends to see
    That loved one, in full bloom,
Cut down by death, and lying there,
    Robbed of life so soon.

He was drowned on Tuesday afternoon --
    On Sunday he was found,
And the tidings of that drowned boy
    Was heard for miles around.
His form was laid by his mother's side,
    Beneath the cold, cold ground --
His friends for him will drop a tear
    When they view his little mound.