Not in wild mendacious fable,
As ‘t was told by t’ other chap;
For I hold it is a youthful
Indiscretion to tell lies,
And the writer that is truthful
Has the reader that is wise.
Enoch Arden, able seaman,
On an isle was cast away,
And before he was a freeman
Time had touched him up with gray.
Long he searched the fair horizon,
Seated on a mountain top;
Vessel ne’er he set his eyes on
That would undertake to stop.
Seeing that his sight was growing
Dim and dimmer, day by day,
Enoch said he must be going.
So he rose and went away-
Went away and so continued
Till he lost his lonely isle:
Mr. Arden was so sinewed
He could row for many a mile.
Compass he had not, nor sextant,
To direct him o’er the sea:
Ere ‘t was known that he was extant,
At his widow’s home was he.
When he saw the hills and hollows
And the streets he could but know,
He gave utterance as follows
To the sentiments below:
‘Blast my tarry toplights! (shiver,
Too, my timbers!) but, I say,
W’at a larruk to diskiver,
I have lost me blessid way!
‘W’at, alas, would be my bloomin’
Fate if Philip now I see,
Which I lammed?-or my old ‘oman,
Which has frequent basted _me_?’
Scenes of childhood swam around him
At the thought of such a lot:
In a swoon his Annie found him
And conveyed him to her cot.
‘T was the very house, the garden,
Where their honeymoon was passed:
‘T was the place where Mrs. Arden
Would have mourned him to the last.
Ah, what grief she’d known without him!
Now what tears of joy she shed!
Enoch Arden looked about him:
‘Shanghaied!’-that was all he said.

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