1807 2

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Mary Marton
A Ballad.

John Mayne [1]
The Gentleman's Magazine, LXXVII (February 1807), p. 156

Poor WILLIAM was landed at bonny Dumbarton,
    Where the streams from Lochlomond run into the sea;
At home, in sweet Ireland, he left MARY MARTON,
    With a child at her foot, and a babe on her knee.
The Regiment march'd off when the passage was over;
    The route was for England, by land all the way;
No, never to halt; but, at Ramsgate or Dover,
    Embark in the vessels that were in the Bay.

Fond MARY, the while, in her spirits quite broken,
    Disturb'd in her sleep, and perplex'd in her mind,
No letters from WILLIAM, no tidings, no token,
    Resolv'd, at all hazards, her Hero to find.
O! what, in this world, can deter a true Lover?
    It is not long journies by land or by sea.
'Tween hope and despair, in a boat without cover,
    She cross'd to Port Patrick from Donaghadee!

The Irish are true to Humanity's claims,
    And the Scots and the English are never unkind;
Poor MARY found friends from the Boyne to the Thames.
    As she trudg'd with her babes in a wallet behind!
Arriv'd at the coast—by her sorrowful tale,
    She soften'd the Captain to let her on board;
And never, O! never, did mariner sail
    With a couple like WILLIAM to MARY restor'd!

When he press'd to his bosom his infants and wife,
    The Sailors gave way to a tear, and no more;
The Soldiers danc'd round to the drum and the fife,
    And plaudits were heard from the people on shore:
Then away went the fleet—and, sailing with glee,
    May Glory, in battle, be ever at hand;
May Britons live happy, united, and free,
    Supreme on the ocean, unconquer'd by land!


1. A Scottish poet, Mayne began his career as a printer in the office of the Dumfries Journal. He went to London in 1787 where he became proprietor and joint editor of TheStar. His long poem, Siller Gun, expanded over a period 1777-1836, was considered by Walter Scott to be superior to anything of Ferguson and close to Burns (Lady of the Lake, v. 20.).

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