‘This Ought ye to Have Done.

That’s a pathetic story of the fishing-boat crew of Gourdon,
Kincardineshire. No class of men face death oftener than the
hardy fisher-toilers of the sea, and among none is a genuine
heroism oftener displayed. The Gourdon boat was manned by
a father and his four sons. When the boat sank, three of the
latter went with her. The old man got an oar, and soon the
fourth son appeared by his side. But the oar could only
support one ; and the lad, taking in the situation at once,
bade his parent farewell in the words, “Weel, weel, faither,
I maun jist awa’,” and sank. Only readers familiar with the
northern dialect will fully appreciate the depth of kindly
resignation and true feeling which the words denote. The
father endured terrible sufferings, but was ultimately picked
up. “Greater love hath no man than this.”’Daily Paper.
We filled the leisure of the days,1
When from the north the wintry rain2
Was driv’n against the window pane,3
With tales that told our soldiers’ praise.4
And e’en the widowed heart seemed glad,5
As when the sun breaks through the cloud,6
To hear the neighbours speak aloud7
The praises of her soldier lad.8
But where the circle of the sky9
Meets everywhere the angry wave,10
What praise is given to the brave11
When only God has seen them die ?12
The lad who, with the sea at strife,13
Let go his hold on life and youth14
To keep a faster hold on truth,15
And gave, perchance, a father’s life,16
Was soon forgotten by the few17
Who chanced to read the scanty note18
Which told the sinking of the boat,19
And all the correspondent knew.20
Not e’en a grave beneath the sod21
Will help to keep his memory green ;22
And all the praise which might have been,23
We leave to be bestowed by God.24
Oh !  praise the soldier’s honest faith25
Which keeps him brave ’midst shot and shell :26
They earn their decorations well27
Who face disablement and death.28
But spare a kindly thought for one29
That Scottish fisher-lad—who gave30
His own another’s life to save,31
For braver deed was never done.32