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Five hundred souls in one instant of dread
Are hurried o'er the deck ;
And fast the miserable ship
Becomes a lifeless wreck.
Her keel hath struck on a hidden rock,
Her planks are torn asunder,
And down come her masts with a reeling shock,
And a hideous crash like thunder.
Her sails are draggled in the brine,
That gladdened late the skies,
And her pendant 1 that kissed the fair moonshine
Down many a fathom lies.
Her beauteous sides, whose rainbow hues
Gleamed softly from below,
And flung a warm and sunny flash
O'er the wreaths of murmuring snow,
To the coral rocks are hurrying down
To sleep amid colours as bright as their own.

Oh! many a dream was in the ship
An hour before her death;
And sights of home with sighs disturbed
The sleepers’ long-drawn breath.
Instead of the murmur of the sea
The sailor heard the humming tree
Alive through all its leaves,
The hum of the spreading sycamore
That grows before his cottage door,
And the swallow's song in the eaves.
His arms enclosed a blooming boy,
Who listened with tears of sorrow and joy
To the dangers his father had passed ;
And his wife—by turns she wept and smiled,
As she looked on the father of her child
Returned to her heart at last-
He wakes at the vessel's sudden roll,
And the rush of waters is in his soul,

Now is the ocean's bosom bare,
Unbroken as the floating air ;

The ship hath melted quite away,
Like a struggling dream at break of day.
No image meets my wandering eye
But the new-risen sun and the sunny sky.

Wilson. 1 Pendant. See Pennon, note 1 of The Convict Ship, page 76.


It was the schooner 1 Hesperus,

That sailed the wintry sea ;
And the skipper 2 had taken his little daughter

To bear him company.

Blue were her eyes as the fairy-flax,

Her cheeks like the dawn of day,
And her bosom white as the hawthorn buds,

That ope in the month of May.

The skipper he stood beside the helm,

His pipe was in his mouth,
And he watched how the veering flaw 3 did blow

The smoke—now west, now south.

Then up and spake an old sailor,

Had sailed the Spanish Main : 4 'I pray thee, put into yonder port,

For I fear a hurricane.

'Last night the moon had a golden ring,

And to-night no moon we see !'
The skipper he blew a whiff from his pipe,

And a scornful laugh laughed he.

Colder and louder blew the wind

A gale from the north-east ;
The snow fell hissing in the brine,

And the billows frothed like yeast.


Down came the storm, and smote amain

The vessel in its strength ; She shuddered and paused, like a frighted steed,

Then leaped a cable's length.

“Come hither! come hither! my little daughter,

And do not tremble so ;
For I can weather the roughest gale

That ever wind did blow.'

He wrapped her warm in his seaman's coat,

Against the stinging blast ;
He cut a rope from a broken spar,

And bound her to the mast.

“O father! I hear the church-bells ring,

Oh, say, what may it be?' "Tis a fog-bello on a rock-bound coast!'

And he steered for the open sea.

"O father! I hear the sound of guns,

Oh, say, what may it be?' "Some ship in distress, that cannot live

In such an angry sea !!

“O father, I see a gleaming light,

Oh, say, what may it be?'
But the father answered never a word,

A frozen corpse was he.

Lashed to the helm, all stiff and stark,

With his face turned to the skies, The lantern gleamed through the gleaming snow

On his fixed and glassy eyes.

Then the maiden clasped her hands and prayed

That saved she might be ; And she thought of Christ who stilled the wave

On the Lake of Galilee.?

And fast through the midnight dark and drear,

Through the whistling sleet and snow, Like a sheeted ghost, the vessel swept

Towards the reef 8 of Norman's Woe.

And ever the fitful gusts between,

A sound came from the land ;
It was the sound of the trampling surf

On the rocks and the hard sea-sand.

The breakers were right beneath her bows,

She drifted a dreary wreck,
And a whooping billow swept the crew

Like icicles from her deck.

She struck where the white and fleecy waves

Looked soft as carded wool,
But the cruel rocks they gored her side,

Like the horns of an angry bull.

Her rattling shrouds, all sheathed in ice,

With the masts, went by the board ; Like a vessel of glass she stove and sank,

Ho! ho! the breakers roared !

At daybreak, on the bleak sea-beach

A fisherman stood aghast,
To see the form of a maiden fair

Lashed close to a drifting mast.

The salt sea was frozen on her breast,

The salt tears in her eyes ;
And he saw her hair, like the brown sea-weed,

On the billows fall and rise.

Such was the wreck of the Hesperus,

In the midnight and the snow ;
Christ save us all from a death like this,

On the reef of Norman's Woe!



1 Schooner, a vessel with two masts. | 5 The moon had a golden ring, a lumin2 Skipper, captain.

ous halo round the moon, occa3 Veering flaw, varying gusts of wind. sioned by the density of vapoury 4 Spanish Main means here that part of particles in the atmosphere.

the Atlantic Ocean which washes Fog-bell, a warning bell rung in foggy the northern shores of South weather to prevent collisions. America between the Windward 7 The Lake of Galilee. See Matt. viii. Islands and the Isthmus of Darien. 23-27. It properly means the main land 8 Reef, rocks partially covered with of that continent; but came to be water, applied to the adjoining sea.


Fair pledges ofa fruitful tree,
Why do ye fall so fast ?

Your date is not so past,
But you may stay yet here

To blush and gently smile;

And go at last.
What! were ye born to be

An hour or half's delight;

And so to bid good-night? 'Twas pity Nature brought

ye forth, Merely to shew your


And lose you quite. But you are lovely leaves,

where we May read how soon

things have Their end, though ne'er

so brave: And after they have shewn

their pride,
Like you, awhile; they

Into the grave.


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