Ballad of the Canal

Phoebe Cary

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We were crowded in the cabin,
Not a soul had room to sleep;
It was midnight on the waters,
And the banks were very steep.

'Tis a fearful thing when sleeping
To be startled by the shock,
And to hear the rattling trumpet
Thunder, "Coming to a lock!"

So we shuddered there in silence,
For the stoutest berth was shook,
While the wooden gates were opened
And the mate talked with the cook.

And as thus we lay in darkness,
Each one wishing we were there,
"We are through!" the captain shouted,
And he sat upon a chair.

And his little daughter whispered,
Thinking that he ought to know,
"Isn't travelling by canal-boats
Just as safe as it is slow?"

Then he kissed the little maiden,
And with better cheer we spoke,
And we trotted into Pittsburg,
When the morn looked through the smoke.

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