Tradesman's farewell/The Tradesman's Farewell

Tradesman's farewell  (1816) 
The Tradesman's Farewell

The Tradesman's Farewell.

Fare you well, dear wife and children,
For now I'm going to sea;
It grieves me to part with you,
But here I cannot stay;
Provisions are so very dear,
And trading is so low,
It grieves me for to part with you,
But now it must be so.

My dear, said she, why should you venture
Your life where cannons roar,
To leave your wife and family
Lamenting here on shore?
Pray do not rove, but stay at home,
Content your mind, my dear,
The times my take a better turn
In the ensuing year.

Molly, said he, believe me really,
I tell you as a friend,
There is no sign, or likelihood
These pinching times will mend;
The market’s been so very high,
And the farmers still complain,
That they cannot pay their rents
But by high prices for the grain.

Many a good mechanic,
Through mere necessity,
Is gone on board a man of war,
And left his family;
There’s scarce any encouragement
For man’s industry,
Tis better to serve the King,
Than live in poverty.

Great numbers of our tradesmen
Have nothing for to do;
The weaver’s loom is idle,
Which does his grief renew;
What can surpass their great distress!
Their comfort is but small;
Instead of having a free trade,
They have no trade at all.

Likewise those crafty meal-men
Great profit they do make,
And those cunning little bakers
Advantages do take;
The loaf is small, yet, after all,
They crib an ounce or two;
Poor people, by experience,
They know it to be true.

The widows and their orphans,
Alas! are in great need;
To hear their lamentation
Would make your heart to bleed

Their hunger’s great, none can relate
What hardships they endure;
Few ever think upon them,
And take pity on the poor.

Now to conclude, and end my song,
May war’s effects decay,
And the British manufactories
Still flourish every day
Dear Molly I am going
To plough the raging main,
May all happiness attend you
Till I return again.

This work was published before January 1, 1928, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.