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The Pilot's Daughter
William Allingham

Round her gentle happy face,
Dimpled soft, and freshly fair,
Danced with careless ocean grace
Locks of auburn hair;
As lightly blew the veering wind,
They touched her cheeks, or waved behind,
Unbound, unbraided, and unloop'd;
Or when to tie her shoe she stooped,
Below her chin the half-curls droop'd
And veil'd the Pilot's Daughter.

Rising, she toss'd them gaily back,
With gestures infantine and brief,
To fall around as soft a neck
As the wild-rose's leaf.
Her Sunday frock of lilac shade
(That choicest tint) was neatly made,
And not too long to hide from view
The stout but noway clumsy shoe,
And stocking's smoothly-fitting blue,
That graced the Pilot's Daughter.

With look, half timid and half droll,
And then with slightly downcast eyes,
And blush that outward softly stole,--
Unless it were the skies
Whose sun-ray shifted on her cheek,--
But 'twas a brightness all her own
That in her firm light step was shown,
And the clear cadence of her tone;
The Pilot's lovely Daughter!

Were it my lot, (the sudden wish)--
To hand a pilot's oar and sail,
Or haul the dripping moonlight mesh,
Spangled with herring-scale;
By dying stars, how sweet 'twould be,
And dawn-blow freshening the sea,
With weary, cheery pull to shore,
To gain my cottage-home once more,
And clasp, before I reach the door
My love, the Pilot's Daughter.

A fisher's hut, the scene perforce
Of narrow thoughts and manners coarse,
Coarse as the curtains that beseem
With net-festoons the smokey beam,
Would never lodge my favourite dream,
E'en with my Pilot's Daughter.

But could I sink and call it gain?
Unless a pilot true, 'twere vain
To wed a Pilot's Daughter.

Lift her, perhaps?--but ah! I said,
Much wiser leave such thoughts alone.
So may thy beauty, simple maid,
Be mine, yet all thy own.

Low voiceful wave! hush soon to sleep
The gentle Pilot's Daughter!

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