Collected by Max Hunter (H-10)
For Mary C. Parler
Transcribed by Frances Majors
Sung by Allie Long Parker
Eureka Springs, Arkansas
July 10, 1953
Reel 253-54, Item 3
The Dying Californian
Lie up nearer, brother, nearer,
For my limbs are growing cold;
And your presence seemeth nearer
When your arms around me hold.
I am dying, brother, dying,
Soon you'll miss me from your berth;
And my form will soon be lying
'Neath the ocean's briny surf.
Tell my father, when you see him,
That in death I prayed for him,
Prayed that I some day would meet him
In the world that's free from sin.
Tell my mother, God uphold her
Now that she is growing old,
Tell her how I messed her presence
When my limbs grew stiff and cold.
Listen, brother, closely listen,
'Tis my wife I speak of now;
Tell her how I missed her presence
When the fever burned my brow.
Tell her for to kiss my children,
Like a kiss I last impressed;
Hold them as when I held them,
Pressing closely to her breast.
Tell her I never reached the haven
Where I sought the precious dust;
But I gained the portal heaven
Where the gold will never rust.
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