A Child's Pet
By When I sailed out of Baltimore
With twice a thousand head of sheep,
They would not eat, they would not drink,
But bleated o'er the deep.
Inside the pens we crawled each day,
To sort the living from the dead;
And when we reached the Mersey's mouth
Had lost five hundred head.
Yet every night and day one sheep,
That had no fear of man or sea,
Stuck through the bars its pleading face,
And it was stroked by me.
And to the sheep-men standing near,
'You see,' I said, 'this one tame sheep:
It seems a child has lost her pet,
And cried herself to sleep.'
So every time we passed it by,
Sailing to England's slaughter-house,
Eight ragged sheep-men - tramps and thieves -
Would stroke that sheep's black nose.