Frank Dutton

Original Text: 
Mortal refrains: the Complete Collected Poetry, Prose, and Songs of Julia A. Moore, the Sweet Singer of Michigan, ed. Thomas J. Riedlinger (East Lansing: Michigan State University Press, 1998): 58-60. PS 2430 .M3 1998 Robarts Library. The Sentimental Song Book (Grand Rapids, Michigan: C. M. Loomis, 1876).
1AIR -- "Dublin Boy"
2Frank Dutton was as fine a lad
3    As ever you wish to see,
5    On earth no more will he be.
6His age was near fifteen years,
7    And he was a motherless boy --
8He was living with his grandmother
9    When he was drowned, poor boy.
10It was one Thursday afternoon,
11    The weather being fine,
12Poor Frank and another lad
13    A fishing were inclined.
14He said to his grandmother dear,
15    "A fishing may I go," said he;
16"I rather you would stay at home.
17    For danger I can see."
18Frank had a dream, by his friends I hear,
19    That he saw his mother dear,
20And he shook hands with her he said,
21    But it did not make him fear.
22His grandmother thought to keep him home,
23    And spoke to him of that,
24But he begged so hard she let him go
25    She at last gave her consent.
26He went away with a merry heart,
27    His spirit light and free --
28A happy time he was thinking of,
29    And no danger did he see.
30They were on the lake but a little while
31    When a heavy storm arose --
32The thunder roared and the lightning flash'd
33    And the winds upset their frail boat.
34One of the boys sank in the deep --
35    Went down to a watery grave,
36The other returned safe home,
37    To his friends the alarm gently gave;
38He said his hat was all he saw,
39    It was floating on the waves,
40It was floating near by the place
41    Where he sank beneath the waves.
42Friends helped to hunt the lake o'er and o'er,
43    Near friends almost went wild --
44His uncle said he'd not leave the lake
45    Till he found that drowned child.
46He sent to Grand Rapids, a cannon was brought
47
48Grand Rapids: the seat of government in Kent County,
49a small city well-known country-wide for its manufacture of
50furniture at this time.
51cannon: Mark Twain, in Huckleberry Finn
52(1884), describes this (quite unworkable)
53technique of raising a drowned body.
54
55    And fired over the lake;
56It did no good, for this we heard,
57    They had to rake the lake.
58They raked one day, or nearly two --
59    A hundred people were on the ground --
60It was on the Sunday afternoon
61    When at last his body was found.
62How sad it was for his friends to see
63    That loved one, in full bloom,
64Cut down by death, and lying there,
65    Robbed of life so soon.
66He was drowned on Tuesday afternoon --
67    On Sunday he was found,
68And the tidings of that drowned boy
69    Was heard for miles around.
70His form was laid by his mother's side,
71    Beneath the cold, cold ground --
72His friends for him will drop a tear
73    When they view his little mound.

Notes

4] Big and Little Pine Island Lakes are in Kent County, Michigan. Back to Line
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
2004