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The cottage homes of England !
By thousands on her plains
And round the hamlet fanes.
Each from its nook of leaves ;
As the bird beneath their eaves.
Long, long, in hut and hall,
To guard each hallowed wall !
And bright the flowery sod,
Its country and its God !
The Little Haritet. Ay, sitting on your happy hearths, beside your
mother's knee, How should you know the miseries and dangers
of the sea ? My father was a mariner, and from my earliest years I can remember, night and day, my mother's
prayers and tears.
I can remember how she sighed when blew the
stormy gale ; And how for days she stood to watch the long
expected sail : Hers was a silent, patient grief; but fears and
long delay, And wakeful nights and anxious days, were
wearing her away. And when the gusty winds were loud, and
autumn leaves were red, I watched, with heavy heart, beside my mother's
dying bed : Just when her voice was feeblest, the neighbours
came to say, The ship was hailed an hour before, and then
was in the bay. Alas! too late the ship returned—too late her
life to save ; My father closed her dying eyes, and laid her in
the grave. He was a man of ardent hopes, who never knew
dismay; And, spite of grief, the winter-time wore cheer
fully away. He had crossed the equinoctial line full seven
times or more ; And, sailing noithward, had been wrecked on
He knew the Spice Isles, every one, where the
clove and nutmeg grow, And the aloe towers, a stately tree, with clus
tering bells of snow. He had gone the length of Hindustan, down
Ganges' holy flood; Through Persia, where the peacock broods, a
wild bird of the wood; And, in the forests of the West, had seen the red
deer chased, And dwelt beneath the piny woods, a hunter of
the waste. Oh! pleasant were the tales he told of lands so
strange and new; And in my ignorance I vowed I'd be a sailor too; My father heard my vow with joy; so in the
early May We went on board a merchantman, bound for
Honduras Bay.* Right merrily, right merrily, we sailed before the
wind, With a briskly heaving sea before, and the
landsman's cheer behind. There was joy for me in every league, delight on
every strand, And I sat for days on the high foretop, on the
long look-out for land. * HONDURAS BAY.-On the eastern coast of Central America.
There was joy for me in the nightly watch, on
the burning tropic seas, To mark the waves, like living fires, leap up to
the freshening breeze. Right merrily, right merrily, our gallant ship
went free, Until we neared the rocky shoals within the
Western Sea. Yet still none thought of danger near, till in the
silent night The helmsman gave the dreadful word of
“ Breakers to the right!” The moment that his voice was heard, was felt
the awful shock; The ship sprang forward with a bound, and struck
upon a rock. “ AU. hands aloft !” our captain cried : in terror
and dismay They threw the cargo over board, and cut the
masts away : 'Twas all in vain, 'twas all in vain ; the sea
rushed o'er the deck, And, shattered with the beating surf, down went
the parting wreck. The moment that the wreck went down my
father seized me fast, And leaping 'mid the thundering waves, seized
on the broken mast.
I know not how he bore me up, my senses
seemed to swim, A shuddering horror chilled my brain, and
stiffened every limb. What next I knew, was how at morn, on a bleak,
barren shore, Out of a hundred mariners, were living only
four. I looked around, like one who wakes from dreams
of fierce alarm, And round my body still I felt, firm locked, my
father's arm. And with a rigid, dying grasp, he closely held
me fast, Even as he held me when he seized, at midnight,
on the mast. With humble hearts and streaming eyes, down
knelt the little band, Praying Him who had preserved their lives to
lend His guiding hand. And day by day, though burning thirst and
pining hunger came, His mercy, through our misery, preserved each
drooping frame : And after months of weary woe, sickness, and
travel sore, He sent the blessed English ship that took us
from that shore.