To the place the streams come from, there they return again.@Ecclesiastes 1:7

Edward C. Avis, in Sacred Melodies (Revised) (Andersonville, Tennessee: E. C. Avis, 1889) (🔊 pdf nwc). From an incident occurring in one of the Southern States during the yellow fever. Possibly the words were inspired by the 1873 and 1878 yellow fever epidemics in Memphis, Tennessee, which killed over 7,000.

Two little children were strolling one day,
Down by a clear river side;
One came up to a boatman and said,
Row me over the tide.

Refrain

Row me over the tide,
Row me over the tide,
Loved ones are waiting for me on the strand,
Row me over the tide.

We are so poor, and so hungry and cold,
We have no place to abide;
Papa and mama and Nellie are gone;
Row us over the tide.

Refrain

Dear mama told little Charlie one day,
Jesus would care for her child;
But we are tired of waiting so long,
Row us over the tide.

Refrain

Two little faces no more we shall see,
Sweetly they sleep side by side;
Jesus, so full of compassion and love,
Rowed them over the tide.

Refrain