Rate this poem:(0.00 / 0 votes)

How’s My Boy?

Sydney Thompson Dobell 1824 (Kent) – 1874



“HO, Sailor of the sea!
How’s my boy—my boy?”
“What’s your boy’s name, good wife,
And in what good ship sail'd he?”
“My boy John— He that went to sea—
What care I for the ship, sailor?
My boy's my boy to me.
“You come back from sea,
And not know my John?
I might as well have ask’d some landsman
Yonder down in the town.
There ’s not an ass in all the parish
But he knows my John.

“How’s my boy—my boy?
And unless you let me know
I’ll swear you are no sailor,
Blue jacket or no,
Brass buttons or no, sailor,
Anchor and crown or no!
Sure his ship was the ‘Jolly Briton’”—
“Speak low, woman, speak low!”
“And why should I speak low, sailor,
About my own boy John?
If I was loud as I am proud
I’d sing him over the town!
Why should I speak low, sailor?”
“That good ship went down.”

“How’s my boy—my boy?
What care I for the ship, sailor?
I was never aboard her.
Be she afloat or be she aground,
Sinking or swimming, I’ll be bound,
Her owners can afford her!
I say, how’s my John?”
“Every man on board went down,
Every man aboard her.”
“How’s my boy—my boy?
What care I for the men, sailor?
I’m not their mother—
How’s my boy—my boy?
Tell me of him and no other!
How ’s my boy—my boy?”

Font size:
 

Submitted on May 13, 2011

1:15 min read
26 Views

Sydney Thompson Dobell

Sydney Thompson Dobell, English poet and critic, was born at Cranbrook, Kent. more…

All Sydney Thompson Dobell poems | Sydney Thompson Dobell Books

FAVORITE (0 fans)

Discuss this Sydney Thompson Dobell poem with the community:

0 Comments

    Translation

    Find a translation for this poem in other languages:

    Select another language:

    • - Select -
    • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
    • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
    • Español (Spanish)
    • Esperanto (Esperanto)
    • 日本語 (Japanese)
    • Português (Portuguese)
    • Deutsch (German)
    • العربية (Arabic)
    • Français (French)
    • Русский (Russian)
    • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
    • 한국어 (Korean)
    • עברית (Hebrew)
    • Gaeilge (Irish)
    • Українська (Ukrainian)
    • اردو (Urdu)
    • Magyar (Hungarian)
    • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
    • Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Italiano (Italian)
    • தமிழ் (Tamil)
    • Türkçe (Turkish)
    • తెలుగు (Telugu)
    • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
    • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
    • Čeština (Czech)
    • Polski (Polish)
    • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Românește (Romanian)
    • Nederlands (Dutch)
    • Ελληνικά (Greek)
    • Latinum (Latin)
    • Svenska (Swedish)
    • Dansk (Danish)
    • Suomi (Finnish)
    • فارسی (Persian)
    • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
    • հայերեն (Armenian)
    • Norsk (Norwegian)
    • English (English)

    Citation

    Use the citation below to add this poem to your bibliography:

    Style:MLAChicagoAPA

    "How’s My Boy?" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 2 Dec. 2021. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/35895/how’s-my-boy?>.

    Become a member!

    Join our community of poets and poetry lovers to share your work and offer feedback and encouragement to writers all over the world!

    Browse Poetry.com

    Quiz

    Are you a poetry master?

    »
    What is the longest Old English poem?
    • A. Soul and Body
    • B. The Fates of the Apostles
    • C. Elene
    • D. Beowulf

    Our favorite collection of

    Famous Poets

    »