American Old Time Song Lyrics: 11 Ostler Joe

Theater, Music-Hall, Nostalgic, Irish & Historic Old Songs, Volume 11

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By Geo. R. Sims.

I stood at eve when the sun went down,
By a grave where a woman lies,
Who lured men's souls to the shores of sin
With the light of her wanton eyes;
Who sang the song that the siren sang
On the treacherous Lurley height;
Whose face was as fair as a Summers day,
And whose heart was as black as night.

Yet a blossom I fain would pluck to-day
From the garden above her dust-
Not the languorous lily of soulless sin,
Nor the blood red rose of lust-
But a sweet white blossom of holy love
That grew in that one green spot
In the arid desert of Phyrne's life
Where all else was parched and hot.

In the Summer, when the meadows
Were aglow with blue and red,
Joe, the ostler of "The Magpie,"
And fair Annie Smith were wed.
Plump was Annie, plump and pretty,
With a face as fair as snow;
He was anything but handsome,
Was the "Magpie's " ostler, Joe.

But he won the winsome lassie;
They'd a cottage and a cow-
And her matronhood sat lightly.
On the village beauty's brow.
Sped the months, and came a baby-
Such a blue-eyed baby boy!
Joe was working in the stables
When they told him of his joy.

He was nibbing down the horses-
Gave them, then and there,
All a special feed of clover,
Just in honor of his heir.
It had been his great ambition
(And he told the horses so)
That the fates would send a baby
Who might bear the name of Joe.

Little Joe, the child was christened,
And like babies grew apace.
He'd his mother's eyes of azure,
And his father's honest face.
Swift the happy years went over.
Years of blue and cloudless sky;
Love was lord of that small cottage
And the tempest passed them by.

Down the lane by Annie's cottage,
Chanced a gentleman to roam;
He caught a glimpse of Annie
In her bright and happy home.
Thrice he came and saw her sitting
By the window with her child;
And he nodded to the baby,
And the baby laughed and smiled.

So at last it grew to know him

(Little Joe was nearly four)
He would call the pretty "gemplum"
As he passed the open door,
And one day he ran and caught him
And in child's play pulled her in;
And the baby Joe had prayed for,
Brought about the mother's sin.

Twas the same old wretched story,
That for ages bards have sung;
'Twas a woman, weak and wanton,
And a villain's tempting tongue;
'Twas a picture deftly painted
For a silly creature's eyes,
Of the Babylonian wonders
And the joy that in them lies.

Annie listened and was tempted-
Was tempted and she fell,
As the angels fell from Heaven
To the blackest depth of hell,
She was promised wealth and splendor
And a life of genteel sloth;
Yellow gold, for child and husband-
And the woman left them both.

Home one eve, came Joe, the 'ostler,
With a cheery cry of "wife!"
Finding that which blurred forever
All the story of his life,
She had left a silly letter,
Through the cruel scrawl he spelt,
Then he sought the lonely bed-room.
Joined his horny hands and knelt.

"Now, O Lord, O God, forgive her,
For she ain't to blame, " he cried;
"For I ought to seen her trouble
And a gone away and died.
Why a girl like her-God bless herĀ­'Twasn't likely as her'd rest
With her bonny head forever
On a 'ostler's ragged vest.

It was kind o' her to bear with me
All the long and happy time;
So for my sake please to bless her.
Though you count her deed a crime,
If so be I don't pray proper,
Lord, forgive me, for you see
I can talk all right to 'osses,
But I'm kind o' strange with Thee."

Ne'er a line came to the cottage,
From the woman who had flown.
Joe, the baby, died that Winter,
And the man was left alone.
Ne'er a bitter word he uttered,
But in silence kissed the rod,
Saving what he told his horses,
Saving what he told his God.

Far away in mighty London
Rose the wanton into fame.
For her beauty won men's homage,
And she prospered in her shame.
Quick from lord to lord she flitted,
Higher still each prize she won;
And her rivals paled beside her
As the stars beside the sun.
Next she trod the stage half naked,

And she dragged a temple down
To the level of a market
For the women of the town.
And the kisses she had given
To poor 'ostler Joe for naught
With their gold and priceless jewels,
Rich and titled roues bought

Went the years with flying footsteps
While her star was at its height;
Then the darkness came on swiftly,
And the gloaming turned to night.
Shattered strength and faded beauty
Tore the laurels from her brow;
Of the thousands who had worshipped,
Never one come near her now.

Broken down in health and fortune,
Men forgot her very name
'Till the news that she was dying
Woke the echoes of her fame.
And the papers in their gossip
Mentioned how an actress lay
Sick to death in humble lodgings,
Growing weaker every day.

One there was who read the story
In a far off country place;
And that night the dying woman
Woke and looked upon his face,
Once again the strong arms clasped bar
That had clasped her long ago;
And the weary head lay pillowed,
Upon the breast of 'ostler Joe.

All the past he had forgiven-
All the sorrow and the shame;
He had found her sick and lonely,
And his wife he now could claim.
Since the grand folks who had known her
One and all had slunk away,
He could clasp his long lost darling
And no man could say him nay.

In his arms death found her lying,
From his arms her spirit fled.
And his tears came down in torrents
As he knelt beside his dead.
Never once his love had faltered
Through her sad, unhallowed life,
And the stone above her ashes
Bears the sacred name of wife.

That's the blossom I fain would pluck to-day
From the garden above her dust;
Not the languorous lily- of soulless sin
Nor the blood red rose of lust,
But a sweet white blossom of holy love,
That grew in the one green spot
In the arid desert of Phyrne's life
Where all else was parched and hot.
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