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Her course is laid with fearless skill,

For brave hearts man the helm ; And joyous winds her canvas fill —

Shall the wave the stout ship whelm ?

On, on she goes, where the icebergs roll
Like floating cities by;

Where meteors flash by the northern pole,
And the merry dancers fly;

Where the glittering light is backward flung
From icy tower and dome,

And the frozen shrouds are gayly hung
With gems from the ocean foam.

On the Indian sea was her shadow cast,
As it lay like molten gold,

And her pendant shroud and towering mast
Seem'd twice on the waters told.

The idle canvas slowly swung

As the spicy breeze went by,

And strange, rare music around her rung
From the palm tree growing nigh.

O, gallant ship, thou didst bear with thee
The gay and the breaking heart,
And weeping eyes look'd out to see
Thy white-spread sails depart.
And when the rattling casement told
Of many a perill'd ship,

The anxious wife her babes would fold,

And pray with trembling lip.

The petrel wheel'd in its stormy flight;
The wind piped shrill and high;
On the topmast sat a pale blue light,
That flicker'd not to the eye:

The black cloud came like a banner down,
And down came the shrieking blast;
The quivering ship on her beam is thrown,
And gone are helm and mast.

Helmless, but on before the gale,

She ploughs the deep-trough'd wave:

A gurgling sound –

-a frenzied wail

And the ship has found a grave.

And thus is the fate of the acorn told,

That fell from the old oak tree,

And the woodlawn Fays in the frosty mould Preserved for its destiny.


A MARINER sat on the shrouds one night,
The wind was piping free;

Now bright, now dimm'd was the moonlight pale,
And the phosphor gleam'd in the wake of the whale,
As it flounder'd in the sea;

The scud was flying athwart the sky,

The gathering winds went whistling by,

And the wave, as it tower'd, then fell in spray,
Look'd an emerald wall in the moonlight ray.

The mariner sway'd and rock'd on the mast,
But the tumult pleased him well:
Down the yawning wave his eye he cast,
And the monsters watch'd as they hurried past,

Or lightly rose and fell,

For their broad, damp fins were under the tide,

And they lash'd as they pass'd the vessel's side,
And their filmy eyes, all huge and grim,

Glared fiercely up, and they glared at him.

Now freshens the gale, and the brave ship goes
Like an uncurb'd steed along;

A sheet of flame is the spray she throws,
As her gallant bow the water ploughs,

But the ship is fleet and strong;

The topsail is reef'd, and the sails are furl'd,
And onward she sweeps o'er the watery world,
And dippeth her spars in the surging flood;

But there cometh no chill to the mariner's blood.

Wildly she rocks, but he swingeth at ease,

And holdeth by the shroud;

And as she careens to the crowding breeze,
The gaping deep the mariner sees,

And the surging heareth loud.

Was that a face, looking up to him,

With its pallid cheek, and its cold eyes dim?
Did it beckon him down? Did it call his name?
Now rolleth the ship in the way whence it came.

The mariner look'd, and he saw, with dread,
A face he knew too well;

And the cold eyes glared, the eyes of the dead,
And its long hair out on the wave was spread, -
Was there a tale to tell?

The stout ship rock'd with a reeling speed,
And the mariner groan'd, as well he need
For ever down, as she plunged on her side,
The dead face gleam'd, from the briny tide.

Bethink thee, mariner, well of the past:
A voice calls loud for thee:

There's a stifled prayer, the first, the last;
The plunging ship on her beam is cast-

O, where shall thy burial be?

Bethink thee of oath's that were tightly spoken;

Bethink thee of vows that were lightly broken;

Bethink thee of all that was dear to thee,

For thou art alone on the raging sea;

Alone in the dark, alone on the wave,
To buffet the storm alone;

To struggle aghast at thy watery grave,
To struggle and feel there is none to save!
God shield thee, helpless one!

The stout limbs yield, for their strength is past;
The trembling hands on the deep are cast;
The white brow gleams a moment more,

Then slowly sinks, the struggle is o'er.

Down, down where the storm is lash'd to sleep,
Where the sea its dirge shall swell;
Where the amber drops for thee shall weep,
And the rose-lipp'd shell its music keep;

There thou shalt slumber well.

The gem and the pearl lie heap'd at thy side;

They fell from the neck of the beautiful bride,

From the strong man's hand, from the maiden's brow, As they slowly sunk to the caves below.

A peopled home is the ocean-bed;

The mother and child are there:

The fervent youth and the hoary head,
The maid, with her floating locks outspread,
The babe, with its silken hair :

As the water moveth, they slightly sway,
And the tranquil lights on their features play:
And there is each cherish'd and beautiful form,
Away from decay, and away from the storm.


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