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Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Lady Castaways cover and Dreams of the Shore

This, as discussed earlier, was the image I first chose for the jacket of Lady Castaways.

So where did I find it?  In my treasured, tattered, falling-apart copy of the Girls' Own Paper annual for 1884.  My mother's grandmother worked as a cook or maid in some colonial household, and every Christmas the lady of the house gave the female "help" a copy of the annual.  There were three or four, but this is the one that was eventually handed down to me.

The woman on the rock was the illustration to a poem, called "Dreams on the Shore" by Isabella Fyvie Mayo.

She sat her down where the rocks are low
The sun made a pathway across the sea.
And she sighed, "Though the ships go to and fro
Is there ever a ship will come for me?

"There is a daily duty and daily care,
But nothing happens in glad surprise
Shall I never gain my woman's share
A beating heart and two dewy eyes?

"My mother folds her hands on her knees
And sings, "God gives to us in our sleep." 
Oh! I could wait, with a heart at ease,
Was I sure the future has aught to keep!"

So young harts chafe through the summer hours
Yet ships sail on down the golden way
Wasting their season for gathering flowers
The storms will break in the winter day!

She sits her down in the dead of night
And one star peeps through the tiny pane
Her face is worn and her hair white,
But she smiles, We shall surely meet again!

For a ship came safe o'er life's pathless sea
My heart beat high and dew filled my eyes
Why had I doubt God kept for me
All I could crave of a glad surprise?

And so when the tides of life rolled out
And took my ship to an unknown shore
I learned to trust from my ancient doubt
We shall meet again, as we met before.

There's always work while we have to wait
All ships are safe in the Master's hand
The day is short and it soon grows late
Who sails tonight for the far-off strand?

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