Patrick Regan has kindly shared the material from his Robert Buchanan site with readers of the Victorian Web, who may wish to consult the original.

'Twas clear, cold, starry, silver night,
    And the Old Year was a-dying;
Three pretty girls with melted lead
    Sat gaily fortune-trying.
They dropt the lead in water clear,
    With blushing palpitations
And, as it hissed, with fearful hearts
    They sought its revelations.

In the deep night, while all around
    The snow is whitely falling,
Each pretty girl looks down to find
    Her future husband's calling.
The eldest sees a Castle bright,
    Girt round by shrubland shady;
And, blushing bright, she feels in thought
    A lady rich already.

The second sees a silver Ship,
    And bright and glad her face is;
Oh, she will have a skipper bold,
    Grown rich in foreign places!
The younger sees a glittering Crown,
    And starts in consternation;
For Molly is too meek to dream
    Of reaching regal station!

And time went by: one maiden got
    Her landsman, one her sailor —
The Lackey of a country count,
    The Skipper of a whaler!
And Molly has her Crown, although
    She unto few can show it —
Her crown is true-love fancy-wrought,
    Her husband, a poor Poet!

(From Land and Sea Songs)

Last modified 27 September 2002