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Full text of "Poems for the sea"

Z832. 








THE LIBRARY 

OF 

THE UNIVERSITY 
OF CALIFORNIA 

LOS ANGELES 






V 



I S-. 



/. 






JT 







<f 






FOR 



THE SEA, 



BY 



MRS. L. H. SIGOURNEY, 



" They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great 
waters, they see the works of the Lord, and his wonders in the deep." 



HARTFORD: 

H S. PARSONS & CO. 

1850. 



I 



Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1849, by 

H. S. PARSONS AND COMPANY, 

In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the District of 
Connecticut. 



J. GILES, Printtr. 
HARTFORD. 






r-7? 



CONTENTS. 



PA&E 

Parting, 9 

Our Ships, . . . . . . . u 

The two Teachers, , . . . 15 

My first Sabbath at Sea, .... 19 

Song of the Icelandic Fishermen, . . . 25 

Reef Sails, 29 

Icebergs, ....... 33 

Prayers at Sea, , . 37 
* 

Oracle for Seamen, ..... 39 

The Trusting Child, 41 

Laura, ....... 45 

Teachings of the Sea, .... 51 

Drink, Friends, 53 

Homeward Bound, .... 55 

The Prophet's Vision, .... 57 

Midnight Thoughts at Sea, ... 59 
The Angel of the Waters, . . . .61 

To the Ocean, G5 

The Brother, . . . . .. .69 

Return to Native Land, . ... 75 

The Geranium Plant at Sea, ... 83 

Farewell to Fellow Voyagers, ... 85 

v- 

I 






IV CONTENTS. 



The Mother's blessing on her Sailor Son, . 91 
The Sister's Farewell, .... 95 

Tom Hardy, 97 

The Happy Mariner .... 101 
Hymn at Parting, . .... 105 

I went to Sea, 109 

Intemperance, 113 

The Sailor's Sick Child, . . . .117 

A Bible Scory, 121 

Thoughts in Sickness, .... 125 
The Hero, . . . A.*S 127 

Gratitude, 131 

Burial at Sea, 133 

Hope in God, 135 

The Whaler's Song, 139 

Thanksgiving Day on Shore, . . . 137 
What could they do without us? . . 143 
To a Retired Seaman, ^, . *. . . 147 

Ho Landsmen ! 149 

My happy Home, . . . .151 



The little embellishments of this Book were 
designed expressly for it, by Mr. W. R. LAW 
RENCE, a young artist, of Hartford, Conn., and 
engraved by Mr. W. H. DODD. 



A* 
V 









PREFACE. 



THIS little book is the result of some personal 
acquaintance with the element whose name it bears. 
Might it go forth with the voyager, over the path 
less waters, and perchance, tenderly deepen the 
image of the friend who had made it a parting gift, 
it would fulfil a pleasant destiny. 

Its closing portion, commencing with "The Moth 
er's blessing on her Sailor Son," is more particularly 
adapted to those, whose life is on the sea. In the 
dim forecastle, may it be as a sunbeam, brightening 
the memory of home, and its loved ones, and the 
hope of that better home, where no storm shall drive 
the bark astray, or divide the true-hearted. 

L. H. S. 

HARTFORD, DEC., 1849. 










PARTING. 



NOT of the boisterous wave, 
Not of the tempest's power, 

Not of the tossed and cleaving bark, 
Speak at this sacred hour. 

God of the trusting soul ! 

God of the wanderer, hear ! 
And from our parting cup of love 

Wring out the dregs of fear. 
2 






. 

10 POEMS FOR THE SEA. 

Art Thou a God at home, 

Where the bright fireside smiles, 

And not abroad, upon the deep, 
Mid danger's deadliest wiles ? 

What though the eyes so dear 
To distant regions turn, 

Their tender language in our hearts 
Like cherished flame shall burn. 

% 

What though the voice beloved 

Reply not to our pain, 
We'll keep its music in our souls, 

Until we meet again. 

Farewell ! May angeljguards 
Protect thy wave-rocked sleep, 

Nor shall our nightly prayers forget 
The loved one on the deep. 







OUR SHIPS, 



THE ships from young Columbia's shore, 

As fleet they are and free, 
As those from haughtier realms, that boast 

Dominion o'er the sea. 
As gallantly their banners float, 

As keen their lightning's fly, 
And braver hearts than there are found 

Beat not beneath the sky. 






12 POEMS FOR THE SEA. 

White as the glancing sea-bird's wing 

Their swelling sails expand, 
Beside the bright Egean isles, 

Or green Formosa's strand, 
Or where the sparse Norwegian pine 

A sudden summer shares, 
Or Terra del Fuego's torch 

Amid the tempest glares. 

Unmoved, their trackless course they hold 

Though vengeful Boreas roars, 
And make their port on stranger coasts 

Or undiscovered shores, 
Rude people of a foreign speech, 

Have learned their cheering cry, 
"Land-ho ! Aloft !" and "Bear-a-hand !" 

With the ready tar's reply. 

From zone to zone, from pole to pole, 

Where'er in swift career 
The venturous keel a path explores, 

Our Yankee sailors steer. 



OUtt SHIPS. 13 

9 

* 

The white bear, on his field of ice 

Hath seen their signals tossed, 
And the great whale, old Ocean's king, 

Doth know them to his cost. 

The spices from the Indian isles, 

The plant of China's care, 
The cane's sweet blood from tropic climes 

Their merchant-vessels bear, 
Wherever Commerce points his wand, 

They mount the crested waves, 
And link together every sea 

The rolling globe that laves. 

Still nearest to the Antarctic gale 

Our daring seamen press, 
Where storm-wrapped Nature thought to dwell 

In hermit-loneliness ; 
"Whose masts are these, so white with frost, 

Where fearful icebergs shine ?" 
My country from her watch-tower looked ' 

And answered, " They are mine !'" 

2* 



14 POEMS FOR THE SEA. 

Columbia's ships ! With dauntless prow 

The tossing deep they tread ; 
The pirates of the Libyan sands 

Have felt their prowess dread ; 
And the British lion's lordly mane 

Their victor might confessed, 
For well their nation's faith and pride 

They guard on Ocean's breast. 

When strong Oppression fiercely frowns, 

Her eagle rears its crest, 
And means no bird of air shall pluck 

His pinions, or his breast ; 
And brightest on the threatening cloud 

Gleam out her stars of gold ; 
Huzza ! for young Columbia's ships 

And for her seamen bold ! 



THE TWO TEACHERS. 



EARTH hath her firesides, where the truant heart 
Comes back, to be forgiven, where the soft touch 
Of mother, or of sister, lures the boy, 
And tames his fierceness, where the unshap'd sound 
From infancy's fair lip, doth move the soul 
With thrill unspeakable. 

But the strong Sea 

Beareth no hearth-stone on his giant waves. 
He scorns the cadence of the nursery song, 
Nor with his erring children leaves a fault 
For Love's fond kiss to shrive. The hoarse reproof, 
The chronicle of wrecks; the lash of storms, 



16 POEM3 FOR THE SEA. 

Are his appliances. No echoing voice 
Of Sabbath-bell, across the billowy waste 
Calleth the peasant, with his little ones 
Up to God's courts ; no chant of tuneful choir 
Softeneth his pupils, and no fervent prayer 
For their misdeeds, from interceding Love 
Outlasts the night-watch. 

Oft indulgent Earth 

Fits her frail child for Death's most fear'd embrace, 
By holiest ministries around his bed, 
Until her loosening links unclasp and fall, 
In scarce perceptible, and calm decline, 
Without a murmuring moan. And then she opes 
Her matron breast, for his long, dreamless sleep, 
And covers him with flowers. 

It is not so 

With Ocean, in his sterner discipline. 
His tender mercies, are the sad, lone plunge 
Down to his caves, where scaly monsters gaze 
A moment on the guest, with stony eyes, 
Then leave him to an unwept sepulchre, 
Until the day of doom. 



THE TWO TEACHERS. 17 

Oh, gentle Earth ! 

Gird thy son well, ere thou dost cast him forth 
To Ocean's iron rule. Give him the shield 
Of God's true fear, that tho' he turn away 
From charities of homo, and hallow'd bell 
Warning to Church, and turf-bound, tear- wet lomb, 
It may be well with him. 







MY FIRST SABBATH AT SEA 



SWIFT gliding o'er the deep, 

As woke the hallow'd day, 
With snowy sails, and favoring gales, 

Our ship pursued her way, 
When lo \ a gush of music sweet, 

Swelled from her heaving breast, 
A holy voice of hymns, that seem'd 

To lull the wave to rest. 

For on the sheltered deck 

Uprose a sacred rite, 
The worship of old Ocean's King, 

The Lord of power and might ; 



20 POEMS FOR THE SEA. 

Who with a simple line of sand 

Restrains its wrathful tide, 
And lays his finger on its mane, 

To quell its fiercest pride. 

High words of solemn prayer 

Each listening spirit stir, 
And by the fair young babe knelt down 

The wrinkled mariner, 
On couch and mattrass rang'd around, 

The sick forgot their grief, 
And caught the lore of Heaven, as drinks 

Its dew, the thirsting leaf. 

Sad Erin's ardent sons 

Up from the steerage came, 
And in their warm response invoked 

Jehovah's awful name ; 
And little children gathered near, 

Blest in their guileless years, 
Hands folded close, and lips apart, 

And thoughts that move to tears. 






MY FIRST SABBATH AT SEA. 

Filled with the scene sublime, 

The priestly heart grew bold, 
To speak with eloquence of Him, 

Who the great deep controlled ; 
And loftier was his youthful brow, 

And deep his tuneful voice, 
That warned the sinner to repent, 

And bade the saint rejoice. 

A spell was on the heart, 

That bowed the proudest head, 
Above us the eternal skies, 

Beneath our feet the dead ; 
The dead who knew no burial rite, 

Save storm, or battle cry, 
Whose tombs are where the coral grows, 

And the sea-monsters lie. 

It is a blessed thing 

In God's own courts to stand, 
And hear the pealing organ swell, 

And join the prayerful band ; 

3 



22 POEMS FOR THE SEA. 

Yet who in full dependence feels 
That One alone can save, 
Until his fleeting life he throws 
Upon the troubled wave ? 

It is a blessed thing 

To heed the Sabbath chime, 
And on 'neath summer foliage walk 

To keep the holy time ; 
Yet who hath all devoutly praised 

The Hand his breath that kept, 
Until the strong unpitying surge 

Raged round him while he slept ? 

Earth the indulgent nurse, 

With love her son doth guide, 
His safety on her quiet breast 

Begets an inborn pride ; 
But Ocean, king austere, 

Doth mock his trusting gaze, 
And try the fabric of the faith, 

By which on Heaven he stays. 



MY FIRST SABBATH AT SEA. 23 

Again that tuneful sound 

Swells o'er the watery plain ; 
How passing sweet are Zion's songs 

Amid the stranger-main: 
Our vessel taught them to the winds 

Along her venturous way, 
And bade the lawless billows hush 

In their tremendous play. 

Throughout the broad expanse 

No living thing is seen, 
Except the stormy petrel's wing, 

That flecks the blue serene ; 
Praise ! Praise ! methinks the hoariest surge 

Might learn that lesson well, 
Which even the infant zephyr's breath 

To earth's frail flowers doth tell. > 

What though the tender thought 

Of loved ones far away 
Steals lingering to the moistened eye, 

Mid prayer and chanted lay, 



24 



. POEMS FOR THE SEA. 



Yet trust in a Redeemer's word, 
Aad hopes that blossom free, 

And haftowed memories cling around 
This Sabbath on the sea. 





SONG OF THE ICELANDIC FISH 
ERMEN. 



1 

YIELD our bark to the breezes free, 

Point its helm to the far, deep Sea, 

Where Heckla's red volcanic light 

Like a watch-fire gilds the night, 

Where in foaming baths, strange monsters play, 

Down to the deep sea launch away ! 

Gay over coral reefs we steer, 

Where moulder the bones of the brave, 
Where the beautiful sleep on their humid bier, 
And the pale pearl gleams in its quenchless sphere, 
3* 



26 POEMS FOR THE SEA. 

The lamp of their Ocean grave ; 
Swift o'er the crested surge we row ; 
Down to the fathomless sea we so. 



o 



King of Day ! to thee we turn, 
May our course be blest by thee, 

Eyes bright as thine in our homes shall burn, 
When again our hearths we see ; 

When the scaly throng, to our skill a prey 

At the feet of our fur-clad maids we lay. 

Thou art mighty in wrath, devouring tide ! 

The strong ship loves o'er thy foam to. ride, 

Her banner by bending clouds carest, 

The waves at ber keel, and a world in her breast; 

Thou biddest the blast of thy billows sweep, 

Her tall masts bow to the cleaving deep, 

And seal'd in thy cells her proud ones sleep. 

Our sails are as chaff, when the tempest raves, 
And our boat a speck on the mountain waves : 
Yet we pour not to thee, the imploring strain* 
We soothe not thy anger, relentless Main L 



ICELANDIC FISHERMEN. 27 

Libation we pour not, nor vow, nor prayer, 

Our hope is in thee, 

God of the sea ! 
The deep is thy path, and the soul thy care. 



"REEF SAILS." 



I SAW a bark, with streamers gay 

O'er Hymen's waters sweep, 
Profusion dancing at the helm, 

And Prudence fast asleep, 
Yet not by Labour's ancient chart 

A steady course it bent, 
But fed the waves with ether's gold 

When all its own was spent. 
Reef sails ! Reef sails ! a whirlpool's nigh 

The thundering rapids sound, 
Ho ! change your reckoning, ere ye sink 
In gulfs profound. 



30 POEMS FOE THE SEA. 

Young Beauty, in her gilded barge 

Like Egypt's haughty queen, 
For whom, 'tis said, the world was lost, 

With graceful form is seen ; 
The morn is fair, the breeze is rare, 

And gliding on her way, 
She deems each billow's flashing crest 

To her, doth homage pay. 
Reef sails ! Reef sails ! I see a cloud 

Athwart the noontide skies, 
A lonely strand, a wreck-strewn sand, 
Be timely wise. 

Pride steers ahead, with canvas spread, 

And top-mast towering high, 
Regardless of the warning winds 

That thro' the shrouds do sigh. 
Reef sails ! 'tis not for him of dust 

For whom the worm doth wait, 
To magnify the fleeting trust 

Of wealth, or high estate. 



REEF BAILS. 31 

Reef sails ! Reef sails ! time's bubble breaks, 

The dark grave claims its part, 
And Heaven's acceptance only crowns 
The lowly heart. 





ICEBERGS. 



THE setting Sun, with glorious smile 

Illumed the Atlantic main, 
And sweetly cheer'd a noble bark 

That rode the surging plain ; 
And from its deck, the voyagers 

That cloudless radiance blest, 
When lo ! a huge, portentous form 

Appear'd on Ocean's breast, 



34 POEMS FOR THE SEA. 

Just at the far horizon's verge, 

A mountain mid the main, 
As erst Philistia's ^jiant tower'd 

O'er Israel's tented plain, 
While hoarsely o'er the wave, it seemed 

A threat of terror sped, 
"Who thus, with foot of fire, hath dar'd 

My realm of frost to tread?" 

Yet on, the gallant steam-ship press'd 

Her flaming heart beat high, 
And boldly flow'd her fervid breath, 

In volumes o'er the sky, 
Though gathering at their chieftain's nod 

A monster-train drew near, 
With frowning helms, by Winter forg'd, 

In panoply severe. 

Then, as the watchful stars looked down 
From their untroubled throne, 

A rushing flood of crimson light* 
Spread forth from zone to zone, 



ICEBERGS. 35 

Aurora Borealis bent 

Her arch around the skies, 
And up the wondering billows gazed 

With phosphorescent eyes. 

The sleepless Captain at his post 

Firm and undaunted stood, 
Though ice was thickening round his keel, 

To chill the seamens' blood. 
How tardily that fearful night, 

Told out each measured hour, 
While many a prayerful heart invoked 

The Great Deliverer's power. 

Up rose the morn, and touched the crowns 

Of all those arctic kings, 
With lustre of a thousand rays 

That the rich diamond flings ; 
And flashing from their vitreous shields 

Reflected colors streamed, 
While towers and miniarets of pearl, 

In fearful brilliance gleamed. 



POEM9 FOR THK SEA. f 

Who led us through that fierce array 

Of foes, so stern and dark, 
The buffet of whose iron hands 

Could crush the strongest bark 1 
Who brought us from their fearful realm 

Unscathed, the tale to tell, 
At home, amid a listening group, 

While tears of rapture swell I 

Forget Him not, that God of love, 

But pay the worship due, 
And on the altar of the soul 

The incense-flame renew, 
To Him, who foiled that frigid host 

Who on their Ocean path, 
So terrible in beauty frowned, 

So pitiless in wrath. 



*The scene here described occurred to the steamship "Great West 
ern," which on her voyage between Europe and the United States, in 
1841, passed through a fleet of icebergs, reported by Capt. Hoskins, 
as between three and four hundred in number, headed by one larger 
than the rest, whose length was computed at three quarters of a mile, 
and its entire altitude, above and below the surface, at four hundred 
feet. 



* 

* 



PRAYERS AT SEA. 



PRAYER may be sweet in cottage homes, 
Where sire and child devoutly kneel, 

And through the open casement nigh 
The vernal blossoms gently steal. 

Prayer may be sweet in stately halls, 
Where heart with kindred heart is blent, 

And upward to the Eternal Throne ' 
The hymn of praise melodious sent. 

But he, who fain would know how strong, 
The soul's appeal to God may be, 
4* 



POEMS FOR THE HE A. 

From friends and native land should turn, 
A wanderer o'er the faithless sea ; 

Should hear its deep imploring tone 
Rise upward o'er the thundering surge, 

When breakers threat the reeling bark. 
And winds with waves their conflict urge. 

No spot on which his foot can rest, 
No refuge where his form may flee, 

How will he turn, O Rock Divine ! 
And bind his anchoring soul to Thee. 








n n 



ORACLE FOR SEAMEN. 



[It is a fable of heathen mythology, that the ship 
Argo was built of oaks from the sacred groves of 
Dodonia, which were endowed with the gift of 
prophecy ; so that the masts and timbers gave orac 
ular advice to the Argonautic adventurers, and saved 
them from many threatening calamities.] 

DODONIAN Oaks were those, ye say 
That warn'd the sailor on his way, 
When in old time, with peril fraught. 
The Argonautic fleece he saught. 
For still prophetic impulse wove 
Those sever'd trunks from sacred grove, 



40 POEMS FOR THE SEA. 

t. '*" 

And mystic voices here and there 
From mast and rudder cried "beware!" 
And boast ye nought of spell or charm, 
Your wanderer o'er the deep to arm ? 
No shield or panoply to cast 
Around his breast mid danger's blast ? 

A Book ye have, of wondrous power, 
Go, press it on his parting hour, 
And make the Bible's voice divine 
His pilot, while he ploughs the brine. 

So shall an Oracle be near, 
Like angel-whisper in his ear, 
From swelling sail, from humble chest 
Where home's lov'd tokens garner'd rest, 
From dim forecastle's crowded throng 
Mid oath and bacchanalian song, 
From breaking dawn's uncertain light, 
From lonely watch, at dead of night, 
Even from the tempest's blackening cloud, 
The iceberg dread, the shatter'd shroud, 
The whelming surge, that voice shall be 
A guide to immortality. 




THE TRUSTING CHILD. 









THE good ship o'er the Ocean, 

Glides on, where skies are bright, 
And rolling waves right merrily 

Propel her homeward flight ; 
But lo ! the blast and tempest 

Rush from their prisoning cell, 
The rocky coast, frowns dark and dread, 

The wintry surges swell. 



POEMS FOR THE SEA. 



'Tis night ! Amid the breakers 

The headlong vessel goes, 
And shrieking, like a wounded man, 

Strives with her vengeful foes ; 
Pale grows the boldest mariner, 

For scarce the trumpet's cry 
Is heard amid contending blasts, 

Whose warfare shakes the sky. 

How fearful is the tumult ! 

Hark, to the wailing prayer 
That mingles with the deafening sto~m 

Like hope amid despair ; 
Yet in the darken'd cabin 

Rocked by the raging sea, 
There calmly sat a beauteous boy, 

Upon his mother's knee. 

He sang a hymn of heaven, 
Then spoke so sweetly mild, 

" The Bible saith our Savior dear 
Doth love the little child ; 



THE TRUSTING CHILD. 43 

It telleth of a happy home 

Beyond the stormy sky ; 
Mother ! He'll take us there to dwell, 

We're not afraid to die." 


His brow was pure and peaceful 

As the pearl beneath the deep, 
When the booming battle thunders, 

Across its bosom sweep ; 
Hoarse came the words of horror 

From men of sinful life, 
But innocence, with soul serene, 



Beheld the appalling strife. 

Lo ! tke black clouds are breaking, 

The winds remit their force, 
The shatterd bark retrims her sails 

And slowly holds her course ; 
The wearied men are faint, as they 

Who with giant foes have striven, 
But the trusting child, as he gently smiled 
Seem'd like a guest from Heaven. 




'^^^~?&^i 

LAURA. 



LAUBA was fair, and of a tender heart, 
And lov'd a son of Neptune. Nought to her 
That toils of Ocean bronz'd his brow, or gave 
A roughness to his manners, for she priz'd 
His generous nature, full of noble thoughts, 
And warm devotedness to every friend. 

Cold winter fled away, and gentle Spring 
From its low bed the earliest snow-drop call'd, 
And then the holy marriage-vow they spake, 
And were made one. Yet scarce the fleeting moon 
Had marked her change of crescent, orb and wane, 
5 



46 POEMS FOR THE SEA. 

Ere came the parting hour : for he was bound 
Upon a three years' cruise. 

He cheer'd his bride, 
With promises to tempt the sea no more, 
But after this, one farewell voyage, to rear 
A cottage mid their native hills, where all 
Her favorite flowers might grow, and dwell content 
Forever at her side. 

So, forth he went, 

The dauntless Captain of a hardy crew, 
To barb the monarch whale, mid arctic floods. 
'Twere hard to tell, how loneliness and woe, 
Chill'd her young breast, and how thro' midnight storms 
She sleepless wept or from some broken dream 
Of shipwreck, and the swimmer spent with toil, 
Sprang up, affrighted. 

But with that good sense 

Which marks a well-train'd mind, she quell'd her grief 
By industry, and kindliest sympathies 
In other's woe. Still for her parent's weal, 
Both hand and heart were busy, by the bed 
Of the poor sick she sate, or fed the young 



LAURA. 47 

41 

With dews of knowledge ; for the love of books 
And the pure faith of Christ, refined her soul. 

Thus, well-employ'd, tho' with a tardy flight 

Revolv'd the months and years, while anxious care 

For the long absent husband, gave a cast 

Of pensive beauty to her youthful brow. 

At length, the blessed telegraph announc'd 

His laden ship, and soon her weary days 

Of widowhood, were ended. 

But the voice 

That to her ear like richest music seem'd, 
Announc'd sad tidings. He must tempt again 
The treacherous deep. 

"Ah, not again ! No ! No ! 
Think of your promise, never more to roam ! 
The humblest cot, where I might work for you, 
And hear your voice, and be your comforter, 
Is all my heart's ambition." 

"Laura, love, 

Fain would I place you in a loftier home, 
Such as your merits claim. 



48 POEMS FOB THE SEA. 

When first our flag 

Was rear'd o'er Mexico, the land of gold, 
I touch'd upon that wondrous coast, and there 
Invested all my gains. So, I must go 
Thither and be made rich ! 

Hear me, my wife. 

'Tis but this once, and then I shall return 
With wealth untold." 

" Oh ! let us be content," 
She fain had said, but saw it was in vain. 
A marble paleness o'er her features stole, 
And when it fled, left a fix'd purpose there 
To go with him. 

Though earnestly he strove 
To paint the hardships of the sea, fierce storms, 
Privations, nameless dangers, all unfit 
For one so delicate ; yet still the wife 
Clave to her husband. 

Mournful kindred spake 
Dissuasively of peril, and the pang 
Of dire sea-sickness, far away from all 
Her sympathising sex; and of the life, 



LAURA. 49 

So uncongenial to her gentle soul 
In California. But she only said, 
" My husband will be there." 

Brief space was given 

For parting words, and then the tossing deck 
With slender foot she trod, resting unmoved 
Upon her husband's arm, and her blue eye 
Rais'd calmly to the skies. 

Tempest and blast 

And mountain-billow marked their dreary change 
On Ocean's face ; yet mid their darkest wrath 
'Twas beautiful to see how woman's love 
O'ermastered fear, keeping the sunbeam bright 
In the transparent heart, to light the brow 
With cheering smiles. 

Once more upon the land, 
Across the dreary wilds of Panama, 
The place of skulls, they took their pilgrim way. 
Strange hardships came upon them, rugged men 
Fell down and died. Yet still her course she held. 
Her strength was in the heart. 



50 POEMS FOR THE SEA. 



The raging main 

Again was tempted, ere upon the shore 
Of San Francisco, with a motley throng 
From every clime, she stood. 

Death met her there, 

And with cold grasp, his fatal welcome seal'd. 
Faintly, her pale lips sigh'd, "The vale is dark, 
But Jesus is beside me." 

There she lay 

Breathless, and wasted as a skeleton, 
Yet, on her brow a smile. 

Amid the pangs 

With which that stricken husband bow'd him down, 
Was no remorseful sorrow o'er his haste 
To gather gold ? no painful imagery 
Of a sweet cottage mid New England's hills 
With her, who would have solace'd all his care, 
Yet, neath his feet, now found a stranger's grave ? 



TEACHINGS OF THE SEA. 



Go, muse beside the Sea 

Where white-winged navies ride, 
While its highest pulse is beating free, 

In strong mysterious tide : 
Where deep in coral cells 

The sunless forests weep, 
And many a wandering child of earth 

Hath laid him down to sleep. 

Go forth upon the Sea 

At the first break of morn, 

And bless it with the words of prayer 
Ere the young day is born. 






52 



POEMS FOR THE SEA. 



And when the night grows dim, 

Beguile the billows wild, 
With the holy breath of thine evening hymn, 

As the Mother lulls her child. 

Go, listen to the Sea 

When its thundering breakers roar, 
And a meek hearted pupil be 

Of their terrific lore. 
Hark ! while the tempests lower, 

To the lessons of the wave, 
" One Voice alone, can curb our power, 

One Hand alone, can save." 

Go homeward from the Sea, 

With a treasure in thy hand, 
A stronger trust in Him who curbs 

Its might, with reins of sand. 
And mid earth's darkest snare, 

Safe in thy bosom keep 
The pearl-drops thou didst gather there, 

The wisdom of the Deep. 






DRINK, FRIENDS. 



Drink, friends ! the parting hour draws nigh, 

Drink and forget your care, 
The sultry summer-noon is high, 

Drink, and your strength repair ; 
The farmer with his toil-brown hands, 

The soldier, tired of slaughter, 
The camel mid the burning sands, 

Drink deep the crystal water. 

Our father Sun the example gives, 

Our mother Earth also ; 
He, jocund drinks, above the cloud, 

She, thirsting, drinks below : 



54 



POEMS FOR THE SEA. 



Drink friends, drink deep, before we part, 

To loving wife, or daughter, 
Or bright-eyed maid who rules your heart, 

Drink deep, but only water. 





HOMEWARD BOUND 



HAIL, distant mountain ! rearing dim 
O'er my loved land, thy lofty head, 

How welcome is thy sight to him 
So long by chart and compass led ; 

Speck though thou art, and wrapped in haze, 

Right pleasant 'tis on thee to gaze. 



I've marked the lordly Teneriffe 

Rise with rough forehead from the sea, 

Gay songsters warbling round the cliff, 
Rich strains of dulcet melody ; 

Yet rather would my listening ear 

The wild birds of my country hear. 



66 POEMS FOR THE SEA. 

I've sailed where Chimborazo towers 
Amid old Andes' giant chain, 

And where the bright Brazilian flowers 
Pour living fragrance o'er the plain ; 

But sweeter is the clustering vine 

That doth my home's lov'd porch entwine. 

I've roamed where Himmaleh aspires 
With snowy crest o'er Indian vales, 

And where perfumed from spicy groves 
The freighted vessel fills her sails ; 

But dearer far, yon mountain hoar, 

Blest herald of my native shore. 






THE PROPHET'S VISION. 

EZEKIEL XLVII. 



HE look'd, and from the Temple gate 
Where the bright orient glow'd, 

Fast by the altar's hallow'd base 
A stream like chrystal flow'd. 

Bathing the feet, that limpid spring 
With gentlest murmur crept, 

Then deepening to a bolder flood 
In fearless current swept. 

Till, spreading out, a river broad 
In strong, translucent tide, 
6 



58 POEMS FOR THE SEA. 

* 

Those mighty waters, rushing, roIPd, 
And foil'd the swimmer's pride. 

Oh ! vision of the glorious fount 

Which the meek Hand that fell 
. Transpierc'd, on Calvary's fatal cross, 
Brought forth a living well, 

True symbol of the Gospel's course, 

Didst thou that Prophet cheer, 
Who erst on Chebar's lonely banks 
: Shed the pale captive's tear ? 

On that blest river's banks we dwell, 
We drink its healing tide, 

So, like the trees Ezekiel saw 
His vision'd flood beside, 

May we with fresh, unfading leaf 
Each changeful season dare, 

And still the fruits of faith renew 
Till Heaven's pure clime we share. 



- 'If 

* 



9 
f 

* 
MIDNIGHT THOUGHTS AT SEA. 



LIKE a speck mid ocean's foam 
Far from native land and home, 
Midnight's cloud without a ray, 
Darkening o'er our venturous way, 
While the mountain wave is rolling, 
And the ship's bell faintly tolling, 
Helpless, Lord, and weak are we, 
Let us turn for strength to Thee. 

Blast and surge, contending hoarse, 
Drive us on with headlong force, 
And the ship, while tempests urge, 
Groans and shivers at their scourge ; 



, 



POEMS FOR THE SEA. 

Yet should wildest tempests swell, 
Be thou near, and all is well ; 
Saviour ! on this tossing Sea 
Let us find repose in Thee. 

Countless wrecks are spread below, 
Where with daring keel we go ; 
Gentle forms, and bosoms brave, 
Ocean's floor, like jewels pave; 
If with them in briny deep 
It should be our lot to sleep, 
Saviour ! from the whelming sea 
Take our ransomed souls to Thee. 






THE ANGEL OF THE WATERS. 



FULL flow'd Bethesda's mantling pool 

While forth from hall and bower, 
Throng'd the wan victims of disease 

To test its healing power, 
Yet still, in calm repose it lay, 

Though many a straining eye 
For its first, infant ripple watch'd, 

With pain's impatient sigh. 

'Tis troubled ! Man of science say, 
What moves its mystic tide ? 

6* 



62 POEMS FOR THE SEA. 

Doth some strange planet from its throne 

Attract yon heaving tide ? 
Thou answerest not. The Christian sees 

An Angel break its rest, 



And bring the renovating flood, 
O'er each sad sufferer's breast. 

Oh ! if the fever of the heart, 

Or palsy of the brain, 
Should smite us, Father ! till we find 

All earthly helpers vain, 
Send forth thine Angel to the stream 

That holy health can give ; 
And bid him stir its blessed wave, 

That we may bathe, and live. 

And for our brethren of the Sea, 

Who oft neglected pine, 
Incite our sympathizing care 

And wake a zeal divine, 



THE ANGEL OF THE WATERS. 63 

* - 

Till we, their penury enrich 

With Heaven's eternal gem, 
And what the Angel did for u?, 

Delighted, do for them. 






TO THE OCEAN 



AH ! let me be thy pupil, mighty Deep ! 
Yet speak thou gently to me, for I fear 
Thy voice of terror, nor desire to learn 
Those lessons that do make the mariner 
Shrink in his dreams. 

My Mother Earth imparts 
An easier lore. She talketh of her sons. 
Her level'd mountains, and her corn-clad vales, 
Town, tower, and temple, and triumphal arch, 
All speak of man, and moulder while they speak. 
But, of whose architecture, and design, 
Tell thine eternal fountains, when they rise 
To combat with the clouds, or when they fall '( 






POEMS FOR THE SEA. 



Of whose strong culture, speak thy sunless plants ? 
And groves of coral, which no mortal guest 
Hath visited, and liv'd ? 

What sculptor wrought 
These monuments of amber, and of pearl, 
Where sleeps the sea-boy, in a pomp, that earth 
Denies her buried kings ? 

Who strangely stretch'd 
A line of sand to curb thy monstrous tide, 
And writing "Hitherto /" bade the mad surge 
Respect the silent mandate ? 

From whose loom 

Came forth thy drapery, that ne'er waxeth old ? 
No fallen leaf, or withering floweret marks 
Thy sere decadence of autumnal time. 
Who hath thy keys, Oh Deep ? Who taketh note 
Of all thy wealth ? Who numbereth the host 
That spread their tent amid thy cells, and sleep 
Unwaken'd, unreturning ? Who doth scan 
The secret annal, from Creation lock'd 
In thy dark cabinet ? 

Still, one reply ! 
Each breaking billow speaks that One Dread Name 



TO THE OCEAN. 67 

Which he, who deepest graves within his heart 
Is wisest, though the world may call him fool. 

Therefore, I bend to thy resounding tides, 
And list the echo of thy countless waves, 
A lone disciple, if perchance, mysoul 
That poor shell-gatherer, on the shores of time, 
May by thy lore instructed, learn of God. 







THE BROTHER 



The good ship on an iceberg struck 

Where northern seas ran high, 
And midnight in its ebon veil 

Encircled earth and sky, 
It struck ! what moment was there then 

To waste in sorrow's strife, 
When but one bold adventurous rush 

Remained 'tween death and life! 



70 POEMS FOR THE SEA. 

The boat ! the boat ! it launches forth 

Upon the mountain wave, 
And shrieking throngs, with frantic haste 

Essay its power to save ; 
A fragile thing, it darkly strives 

Amid the wrathful tide, 
And deep, unutter'd pangs are theirs 

Who leave that vessel's side. 

A moonbeam pierced the heavy cloud ! 

Alas ! what sight was there ! 
Who stood on that forsaken deck 

In calm and mute despair ! 
A fair, young maiden, just arous'd 

From slumber soft and dear, 
Stretched her white arms in wild amaze, 

But found no helper near. 

In sad adieu, her hand she wav'd 
As if some friend she blest, 

Then closer drew her snowy robe 
Around her gentle breast, 



THE BROTHER. 71 

And upward, to the darkened heavens 

Imploring glances cast, 
While her rich curls profusely fell, 

And floated on the blast. 

Then sudden, in the thronging boat, 

With agonizing scream, 
Up sprang a noble, youthful form 

As from a wildering dream, 
Oh Sister ! Sister !" echoed loud 

His shrill, unearthly cry, 
" How dare I bear a brother's name 

Yet leave thee thus to die ?" 

He plunged, the crested wave he ruled, 

He climbed the cloven deck, 
And clasped her, as the thundering surge 

Swept o'er the sinking wreck. 
" Sweet sister, 'tis thy brother's voice, 

His cheek is pressed to thine, 
One cradle-bed was ours, my love, 

Thy last, dread couch be mine. 



72 POEMS FOR THE SEA. 

The placid Moon with pitying eye, 

Look'd lone and silent down, 
Encircling them with holy light, 

As with a martyr's crown, 
Then shrank within a fleecy cloud, 

Hoarse shrieked the impetuous main, 
The deep sea closed, and where were they ? 

Go ask the angel train ! 



Ah ! dauntless hearts that night were whelmed 

Beneath the billowy high, 
And temples white with honored years, 

And woman's love-lit eye, 
And clinging to its mother's breast, 

In visions soft and deep, 
Unwakened innocence went down 

Amid the pearls to sleep. 

The eye that saw that iceberg dread 

Come drifting darkly down, 
Destruction in its wintry breath 

And on its monster crown ; 



* * 

THE BROTHERS. 73 

The ear that heard the deadly crash, 

And thunder of the wave, 
Can never lose that bitter trace 

But in the oblivious grave. 

The rescued man to listening groups 

May tell the mournful tale, 
And fond affection clasp his hand, 

And childhood's cheek grow pale, 
While the sad memory of their fate 

Brother and sister dear, 
Who with that buried ship went down 

Shall wake the pitying tear. 



7* 







RETURN TO NATIVE LAND. 



LAND of birth, whose outline dear, 
O'er the morning mist doth peer,. 
Blessed hills whose wings outspread 
Seemed to follow, as we fled, 
When our parting glance was bent 
On our country's battlement, 
As with white sails set, we sped 
Far away, o'er Ocean dread, 
How our glad return ye greet 
With a smile of welcome sweet ! 
He who fashioned earth and sea, 
Made no hills more fair than ye. 

Spires ! that break the rolling tide 
Of man's worldliness and pride, 



76 POEMS FOE THE SEA. 

A 48 xCi^f 

Asking with your Sabbath chime 
For his consecrated time, 
And with holy chant and prayer 
Soothing all his woe and care, 
Minster and cathedral high 
Ne'er have shut ye from mine eye, 
With your church-yard's grassy sod, 
Where my musing childhood trod, 
With your music on the glade, 
Whichjthe roving Indian staid, 
Who, of yore, at twilight dim, 
Starting, caught the white man's hymn, 
Hallowed spires ! that fleck the vale, 
Heaven's ambassadors ! all hail ! 

Trees ! with arch of verdure bright, 
Gleaming on the gazer's sight, 
Have ye met the wintry blast 
Bravely, since we saw ye last ? 
Was your spring-tide wakening sweet, 
With the grass flowers at your feet ? 
Nest the birds with breast of gold 
Mid your branches, as of old ? 



RETURN TO NATIVE LAND. 

V* 

Pours the thrush his carol fair ? 
Glides the crimson oriole there ? 

Have ye o'er their callow young 

II 
Still your kind protection flung ? 

Blessings on ye ! Dews and rain 
Fill with sap each healthful vein ; 
Blessings on ye ! Wear serene 
Nature's coronal of green, 
And no woodman's savage blade 
Dare your birthright to invade. 

Roofs ! that in the vista rise, 

Rude, or towering toward the skies, 

Not by wealth or taste alone 

Are your innate treasures shown, 

Tho', perchance, your hearth-stones show 

Signs of penury and 'woe, 

Yet where'er with peaceful sigh 

Sits the mother patiently, 

Plying still her needle's care 

For the child that slumbers there. 

Wheresoe'er in cottage low 

Rocks the cradle to and fro, 



78 POEMS FOR THE SEA 

There the eye of God doth turn, 
There the lamp of soul doth burn. 
Roofs ! that nurse this deathless light, 
Precious are ye in His sight. 

Throngs ! I see ye on the strand^ 
As the steamer nears the land, 
Some might fortune's favourites seem, 
Borne on pride or pleasure's stream ; 
Others, marked by weary care, 
Labor's rugged livery wear ; 
Ye, who humbly dig the soil, 
Brow and hand embrowned by toil, 
If ye eat my country's bread, 
If to work her weal ye tread, 
Faithful even in lowest sphere, 
Friends ye are, like kindred dear. 

Since I last these scenes surveyed, 
Who have in the tomb been laid ? 
Who, the bitter tear have shed, 
O'er the bosom of the dead ? 



RETURN TO NATIVE LAND. 

Who beneath the sable pall 
Hath the poet's lyre let fall ? 
Who that won a nation's trust 
Sleep in silence and the dust? 
While with faint and trembling fires 
Fearfully my heart inquires, 
Hears it not an answer swell 
" God hath ordered ! all is well !" 

Home ! my home ! though earth'and sky 
Still conceal thee from mine eye, 
Still though envious leagues remain 
Ere thy vine-clad porch I gain, 
Lightest leaf that wooed the gale, 
Frailest plant with petals pale, 
That beside thy threshold grew, 
Ne'er have faded from my view ; 
On my cheek, through cloud and storm, 
Still thy parting kiss was warm ; 
O'er each dream thine accents free 
Stole like angel melody ; 
Little footsteps, light as wings, 
Hands that swept the tuneful strings, 



80 POEMS OF THE SEA. 

Lips that touched with filial flame 
Syllabled a mother's name, 
With their memories, warm and true, 
KepMhee ever in my view ; 
And when loftier mansions prest 
Lures of pleasure on their guest, 
Held thee, in thine armour bright 
Nearest to me day and night. 
Home ! by absence made more dear, 
Heaven be praised that thou art near ; 
Heaven be praised, that o'er the sea 
Oncejmore, I return to thee ! 

What has been the wanderer's gain ? 
Sight of foreign land and main ? 
Sight of visioned forms that sweep 
O'er the castle's ruined steep? 
Sight of haunts to history dear ? 
Sight of palace, king, or peer? 
No ! the joy that lights the eye 
When the native shore draws nigh. 



RETURN TO NATIVE LAND. 

In the heart a deeper sense 
Of its humbling impotence, 
On the lip a grateful strain, 
This hath been the wanderer's gain. 



81 ** 



** 

* 



THE GERANIUM PLANT AT SEA. 



HOLD up thy head, thou timid voyager, 

Vex'd by the storm-clouds, as they darkly roll, 

And by the fiercely-tossing waves, that stir 
Thy slender root, and try thy trembling soul, 

Sa.d change from thy sweet garden, where the dew 
Each morning glistened in thy grateful eye, 

And where the roughest guest thy bosom knew, 
Was earnest bee, or gadding butterfly, 

It grieves me sore, to see thy leaflets fade, 

Wearing the plague-spot of the sickening spray, 



84 POEMS FOR THE SEA. 

And know what trouble I for thee have made, 
Yet still bear on, meek partner of my way, 

For in thy life, I keep the golden chain, 

Of home, and its delights, here on the lonely main. 



> 



. 



t 



FAREWELL TO FELLOW VOYAGERS. 



WHEN shall we all meet again ? 
When, shall we all meet again ? 
We, who side by side, so long, 
Listen'd to the billows' song, 
Saw the Sun, enrob'd in gloom, 
Plunging 'mid his ocean-tomb, 
And, anon, its bursting floor 
To the skies, their king restore ; 
Days of hope, and nights of fear 
Drew us, heart to heart more near, 
And though now serenely fair 
Gleams the haven of our prayer, 
Still this parting hath its pain, 
When, shall we all meet again ? 



88 POEMS FOR THE SEA. 

A 

When the watch of time is sped, 
When its beacon-fires are dead, 
When our sails no more are furl'd 
From the tempests of the world, 
And no more, expanding wide, 
Woo its gales of joy or pride, 
When those ties the heart that sway, 
Pass, like smoking flax away, 
When the judgment-seat is set, 
When the tribes of earth are met, 
When those Books, whose awful scroll 
Seal the sentence of the soul, 
Ope, for endless bliss, or pain ; 
^ Then, shall we all meet again. 










THE MOTHER'S BLESSING, ON 
HER SAILOR SON. 



SON of my love, farewell ! farewell ! 

On the wide watery plain 
I yield theeto a life of toil, 

And Him, who rules the main. 



And by those pure and speechless joys 
When cradled on my breast, 

I met thy waking infant smile, 
Or 1 ul I'd thy woes to rest, 



92 POEMS FOR THE 8EA. 

By that deep thrill, when first thy lip 

Its lisping utterance tried, 
Or when the evening prayer it breathed 

Thy little bed beside, 

By the strong hope that never dies 

Within a mother's heart, 
I bless thee, wanderer of the deep, 

While tears of anguish start. 

What though no gems, or hoarded gold 
To swell thy stores, I bring, 

A Parent's blessing maketh strong, 
Like guardian angel's wing. 

Yes thou shalt feel when o'er the wave 
Thy bark by storms is driven, 

A Parent's blessing maketh glad 
Next to the hope of Heaven. 

Seek thou that hope to gird thy soul 
Amid the tossing brine, 



THE MOTHER'S BLESSING. 98 

Thy Mother's prayer shall meet thee there, 
And intercede with thine. 

Oh ! seek a Saviour's pardoning grace, 

That so, on land or sea, 
In weal or woe, in life or death, 

It may be well with thee. 




THE SISTER'S FAREWELL. 






BROTHER, good bye, your choice is made, 

On the great Sea to dwell, 
Where mighty ships majestic ride, 

And foaming billows swell, 

Good bye, beneath the spreading shade 

Of our old favorite tree 
In places where our childhood play'd 

You will remember'd be. 

The hearth-stone of our pleasant home 

Must lone, and alter'd seem, 
And I shall listen to your voice 

Even in my sweetest dream. 



96 POEMS FOR THE SEA. 



Yes, I shall miss the merry smile 
That oft-times cheer'd my heart, 

While far away, mid storms and surge 
You bear a venturous part. 

Brother, good bye ! yet ne'er forget 

Whatever else betide, 
That your good conduct is our wealth, 

Your stainless name, our pride. 

Be firm and honest, kind and true, 

In sunshine, or in blast, 
And make your duty, your delight, 

Where'er your lot is cast. 

Oh Brother dear ! Heaven be your guide 

Upon the boistrous main, 
And bring you to your sister's side, 

In happiness again. 



TOM HARDY. 



TOM Hardy was an honest lad, 
His pleasant face made others glad, 

Like suns that cloudless shine ; 
Aloft he ran with right good will, 
The topsail reefed with ready skill, 

And snugly clewed the line. 

Obedient still at every call, 

And friendly to his messmates all, 

For others' pain he felt ; 
And ever neatest of the crew, 
On Sundays, in his jacket blue, 

At morning prayers he knelt. 
9* 






98 POEMS FOR THE SKA. 

No draught he took to cheer his mind, 
The temperance pledge he early signed, 

Nor from that promise roved ; 
In every duty free from hlame, 
Blow high, blow low, 'twas all the same, 

Still happy, and beloved. 

But once, upon a sultry shore 
The burning fever smote him sore, 

And when he shipped again, 
Still to this sad disease a prey, 
He wasted like the snows away, 

And all our care was vain. 

So with weak hand, he took the key 
From out his chest and gave it me ; 

" This to my mother take, 
My little all, to her I leave, 
And tell her not too much to grieve, 
For her lost sea-boy's sake. 



TOM HARDY. 99 

Here is the Bible that she gave, 
It was my compass o'er the wave 

When prosperous skies were fair ; 
And now, when darksome billows roll, 
It is the anchor of my soul, 

That drives away despair. 

Cut from my temples, when I'm dead 
One of these curling locks, he said, 

And bear to Mary dear, 
Tell her, 1 lov'd her till the last, 
But ah ! my breath is failing fast, 

The stroke of death is near. 

Yet, now. my peace with God is made, 
So, not of the last foe afraid, 

I dare a watery grave, 
For in yon skies, with pierced hand 
I see the blest Redeemer stand 

My parting soul to save/' 

Bright rose the morn, but cold as lead 
Lay poor Tom Hardy, pale and dead ; 



100 POEMS FOE THE SEA. 

Though yet a smile of joy 
. Sate on his face, while sad and true 
The roughest tar amid the crew 
Mourned for the sailor-boy. 

I 

Now, sometimes while my watch I keep 

At lonely midnight, on the deep, 

When all is calm and clear, 
I seem to hear his well known voice, 
" a Oh, messmate, make your God your choice. 

And to His haven steer." 








THE HAPPY MARINER. 



I AM a happy mariner, 
My home is on the sea, 

And Mother Gary's chickens, 
They are the birds for me. 



With swelling breeze, and favoring tide 

How glorious is our lot, 
And storms that strike a landsman pale, 

Scarce stir our blood a jot, 



102 THE HAPPY MARINER. 

Even, if our sails like ribbons fly, 
And the dead-lights long are in, 

Hard up the helm ! and keep good heart ! 
Till skies are bright again. 

The Ocean is my garden, 
Our vessel ploughs the brine, 

And the pleasant fruits that there I reap,] 
Are my friends' as well as mine, 

My friends, who lead such stupid lives 
On land, among the fl >wers, 

I'm sure my wages they must need 
To cheer their gloomy hours. 

My books, they are the fleecy waves, 
And when the moonbeams shine, 

Methinks, a pencil on their page 
Doth write the Name Divine. 

Yes, I'm a happy mariner, 
If any do me wrong 



THE HAPPY MARINER. 103 

I'll wish for them a better mind, 
And sing my merriest song. 

Here, in our small forecastle 

"Where there's scarcely room to spare 
To stow away the chest and cot, 

There's none for spite or care. 



And so, all tight from stem to stern 

I'd show an honest face, 
And have my chart without a blot 

Of hatred to my race. 

And when my task seems hardest 

And storms arouse in might 
I'll throw my self-love overboard 

To make the cargo light. 

So, come, my hearties, one and all, 

Good comrade?, true and dear, 
Let's do what's right, both day and night, 

And keep the log-book clear. 



104 POEMS FOR THE SEA. 

And ever ask for heavenly grace 
At the last billows' shock, 

To strike an anchor where 'twill hold 
In the Everlasting Rock. 



SAILOR'S HYMN, AT PARTING 



WHEN the heart at parting bleeds, 
As our native land recedes, 
And the sternly tossing main 
Takes us to its breast again, 
Heavenly Father, soothe our woe, 
Guide us, wheresoe'er we go. 

When the lonely watch we keep, 
Silent, on the midnight deep ; 
While the boisterous surges hoarse. 
Bear us darkly on our course ; 
Eye, that nevor slumbers ! shed 

Holy influence on our head. 
10 



106 POEMS FOR THE SEA. 

When the Sabbath's peaceful ray 
O'er the Ocean's breast doth play, 
Though no throngs assemble there, 
No sweet church-bell warns to prayer, 
Spirit ! let thy presence be, 
Sabbath to the unresting sea. 

When the raging billows dark, 
Thundering toss our threatened bark, 
Thou, who on the whelming wave 
Didst the meek disciple save 
Thou, who hear'st us when we pray, 
Jesus ! Saviour ! be our stay. 

When in foreign lands we roam, 
Far from kindred and from home, 
Stranger eyes our conduct viewing, 
Heathen bands our steps pursuing, 
Let our conversation be 
Fitting those that follow thee. 



SAILOR'S HYMN. 107 

Should pale death with arrow dread 
Make the ocean caves our bed, 
Though no eye of love might see 
Where that shrouded grave shall be, 
Thou ! who hear'st the surges roll, 
Deign to save the suppliant soul. 




I WEFT TO SEA. 



I AM a sailor, rough and bold, 

And yet my childhood fair, 
Was nurtured in a pleasant home, 

By parents' tender care ; 
But at their hearth or by their side 

I had no mind to be, 
E'er sinoe I heard a story told 

Of one who went to sea. 



I sat in school, but book or rule 

No wise instruction brought, 
10* 



110 POEMS FOE THE SEA. 

The snowy sail, and tossing flood 

So fill'd my boyish thought, 
And even at night, upon my bed, 

Strange visions spoke to me, "V 

And monsters play'd, and mermaids sung 

Wild carols of the sea. 

My father bade me learn a trade, 

Or till the fallow land, 
And told how healthful toil would heap 

The silver in my hand ; 
But at his (Jeath, alas ! I broke 

From all allegiance free, 
And though my widowed mother wept, 

I left her for the sea. 

I've sail'd where arctic oceans spread, 

And icy mountains frown, 
And the fierce fire of tropic suns 



Hath turn'd my breast so brown, 
I've roam'd among the Indian isles, 
Where grows the spicy tree, 



I WENT TO SEA. 1 1 1 

And where the broad La Plata rolls 
Rich tribute to the sea. 

I've climbed the shroud when storms blew loud, 

And every star was dead, 
And winter in the midnight cloud 

Had muffled up her head ^ 
I've seen our good ship go to wreck, 

For such was heaven's decree, 
And in an open boat have dar'd 

The raging of the sea. 

Yet still that Pilot, who the helm 

Of this round world doth guide, 
Preserved me, when the jaws of death 

Were yawning dark and wide ; 
Though when the blast was safely past, 

Too oft in thoughtless glee 
My hard, ungrateful heart forgot 

The Ruler of the sea. 

But oft my mother's image comes 
So pitiful and meek, 



112 POEMS FOR THE SEA 

As when with streaming eyes she stood 
Her last farewell to speak, 

When from her pleasant cottage door 
I made such haste to flee, 

And in my wilful haste forsook 
Her kindness for the sea. 

That Book divine, which bids us shun 

The dread, undying flame, 
Doth strictly for our parent-guides, 

A filial reverence claim ; 
But mother, mother, kind and dear, 

How have I honored thee ? 
With many a pang thy love was paid, 

Before I went to sea. 

God give me grace to see thy face, 

And soothe thy sorrowing care, 
And freely with thy feeble age 

My hard-earned pittance share, 
And hear thee speak in loving tones 

The words so sweet to me, 
Thy blessing on the lost and found, 

The son who went to sea. 



INTEMPERANCE. 



THERE'S a cup that maketh sadness, 
Though of mirth it seems the friend ; 

To the brain it mounts in madness, 
And in folly hath its end. 

'Neath its sway the sailor reeleth, 
Helpless, abject and forlorn ; 

All his good resolves it stealeth, 
Every duty bids him scorn ; 

Gives the land-sharks power to fleece him, 
All his hard-earned wages keep, 



114 POEMS FOR THE SEA. 

And at last, with scorn release him 
From worse shipwreck than the deep. 

To his household-hearth it creepeth, 
And the fire in winter dies ; 

There, a lonely woman weepeth, 
While the famished infant cries. 

Bloated form and brow it bringeth, 
Limbs that totter to and fro, 

And like fiery scorpion stingeth, 
To an agony of woe. 

Round the faltering feet it weaveth 
Snares that blind the eyes in gloom, 

Sin it sows, and shame receiveth, 
Frowns of hate, and deeds of doom. 

Bitter words of strife it teacheth, 
Striketh kind affections dead ; 

Even beyond the grave it reacheth, 
To the judgment-bar of dread. 



INTEMPERANCE. 115 

i 

Have we any room to doubt it, 

When its evil fruits we see ? 
Messmates ! let us do without it, 

Break its thraldom and be free. 

Hath not life enough of sorrow, 

Sickness, anguish, and decay, 
That we needs must madly borrow 

Thorns to plant its shortening way ? 

There's a draught that heaven distilleth, 

Pure as crystal from the skies, 
Freely, whosoever willeth, 

May partake it, and be wise. 




THE SAILOR'S SICK CHILD 



COMB, Mother, sit beside my bed, 

And of my father tell, 
On the deep ocean far away, 

Where angry waters swell. 
I wish that he were with me now, 

While sick and faint I lie, 
'T were good to hear his loving voice, 

And bless him ere I die. 
11 



118 POEMS FOE THE SEA. 

. 

Mother, it troubles me to see 
Those stranger-ladies come, 

And urge you so to leave my side, 
And work for them, at home ; 

Methinks they coldly gaze on me, 
And shake their heads and say, 

How feeble and how pale I grow, 

And waste, and waste away. 

^ _J . 

And oh, it grieves my heart to think, 

From morn to evening shade, 
That you so oft for them must toil, 

And have from me no aid ; 
And then, with tender words, you say, 

You wish it were not so, 
But I should have no food or fire, 

Unless you sometimes go. 

When slow the sunset fades away, 
And twilight mists appear, 

The sound of your returning step 
Is music to my ear ; 



THE SICK CHILD. 119 

How happy are those children dear, 

Who, on their couch of pain, 
Behold a mother always near, 

But still, I'll not complain. 

There's nought on earth I love so much 

As your kind face to see, 
And now, indeed, the time is short 

We can together be ; 
Still draw me closer to your side, 

And to your bosom fold, 
For then my cough I do not heed, 

Nor feel the winter's cold. 

Yet when the storm is loud and wild, 

I cover up my head, 
And pray Almighty God to save 

My father from the dead ; 
So, in his lonely midnight watch 

Upon the tossing sea, 
Perhaps beneath the solemn stars 

He will remember me. 



120 POEMS FOR THE SEA. 

, 

I know I cannot see him more, 

I feel it must be so, 
But he can find my little grave, 

Where early spring flowers blow ; 
And you will comfort all his cares, 

When I in heaven shall be ; 
But mother, dearest ! when I die, 

Oh ! be alone with me. 



A BIBLE STORY. 



THEY told a story to me, when a child, 
Ere I could read, that fill'd my heart with awe, 
And wondering love, a story of the Sea, 
And Him who walked upon it. 

Dreary night 

Settled on Galilee, and angry winds 
Lash'd the rebellious waves. Yet o'er their heads 
Toss'd high in maddening fury, Jesus came, 
As calm, as tho' the smooth, green earth he trod. 

A storm-driven ship was there, and the strain'd eyes 
Of the vex'd mariners, were wildly fix'd 
On him astonish'd, for they did not know 
11* 



132 POEMS FOR THE SEA. 

The Master, in that hour. Then, his blest voice 
Assur'd their fainting hearts, and full of joy, 
Peter, with eager footstep, fain would go 
To meet his Lord. 

The loud and boisterous blast 

Swept through his locks, and the cold surge rose high 
Around his shuddering breast, and his foot fail'd 
Amid the awful tides. 

* " Oh save !" he cried, 

"Save ! or I perish !'* 

Jesus stretch'd his hand 

And snatch'd him from the waves. Then on the deck 
Amid the glad disciples, safe he stood, 
Fill'd with adoring gratitude, while all 
Gave praise and glory to the Son of God. 

So Peter learn'd it was not given to man 
To plant his foot upon the stormy main 
And rule its wrath, for in its thundering might 
It sweeps him like a noteless weed away. 



This Bible story was most sweet to me, 
As on my childish ear, from lips revered, 
At eventide it fell. And much I mused 



A BIBLE STORY. 123 

On that Redeemer's power, who made the sea 
A peaceful pavement for his feet divine. 

And afterwards, on Ocean's awful breast, 
When reef, and tempest threatened, or the power 
Of the dread iceberg chill'd our veins with awe, 
Methought I saw Him walking on the Sea 
With hand outstretch'd, the trusting soul to save, 
And so, was comforted. 






* 

*> 



THOUGHTS IN SICKNESS. 



OH THOU, whose healing touch 

So oft the sick did save, 
When thou didst dwell with men below, 

And meet affliction's wave, 



In weakness and in woe, 
I bow my drooping head, 

Give thou thy pitying angels charge 
To watch my lonely bed. 

Far from a mother's love, 
Far from a sister's care 



126 THOUGHTS IN SICKNESS. 



I lift my waiting eyes to Thee, 
Regard my lonely prayer. 

Be near me, while the hours 

Oppress'd with suffering, roll, 
And make each pain a teacher, Lord, 

To my repentant soul. 

* 

Should vigorous health once more 

Reanimate my frame, 
Inspire me with a purer zeal 

To glorify Thy name, 

To keep thy just commands, 
My humbled heart incline, 

And grant that both in life and death 
Thy holy will be mine. 






V 



THE HERO. 



[The following incident took place during the 
great conflagration in the city of New York, on the 
cold night of December 16th, 1836.] 



AH ! fearful was the sight ! 

The fire devouring spread 
From roof to roof, from street to street, 

And on their treasures fed ; 
Hark ! to that Mother's cry ' 

Amid the tumult wild, 
As rushing toward her flame- wrapped home, 

She shrieks, " My child ! my child !" 



128 THE HERO. 



A wanderer from the wave 

A sailor marked her woe, 
And in his feeling bosom woke 

The sympathetic glow, 
Quick up the cleaving stairs, 

With daring step he flew, 
Though sable clouds of stifling smoke 

Concealed him from the view ; 

Loud was the admiring voice, 

Yet mix'd with shuddering fear, 
For him, who nobly risk'd his life, 

Mov'd by a stranger's tear ; 
The blazing timbers fell 

Across his dangerous road, 
And the far chamber where he groped, 

Like reeking oven glow'd. 

How high the exulting shout ! 

When from that mass of flame, 
Unhurt, unshrinking, undismayed, 

The brave deliverer came, 






THE HERO. 129 



While in his victor arms 

A smiling infant lay, 
Pleased with the flash that round his bed 

Had wound its glittering ray. 

A 

The mother's speechless tears 

Forth like a torrent sped, 
Yet ere the throng could learn his name 

That generous hero fled ; 
Not for the praise of man 

He wrought this deed of love, 
But, on a bright unfading page, 

'Tis registered above. 




12 



Jf 



RULER of the sea, and land, 
Who the surging main doth hold 

In the hollow of Thy hand, 
By thy slightest word controlled ; 

Thou the mighty winds hast curb'd 
Warring in their midnight path, 

And our reeling vessel sav'd 

From the madness of their wrath ; 

Thou from shipwreck and despair 
Didst our souls in safety set, 



132 POEMS FOR THE SEA. 

When all human help was vain, 
Can we e'er such love forget ? 



E'er that tender mercy grieve 
That upheld us when we prayed, 

Or the sacred promise break 

That in danger's hour we made ? 

No. Upon our spirits seal 
This memorial of Thy praise, 

And the grateful love we feel 
Make as lasting as our days. 










BURIAL AT SEA 



DOWN to the unfathom'd realms, 
.Where hidden fountains flow, 
Alone, his silent couch to find, 

The child of earth must go. 

a * 

For him no funeral bell 

May weeping friends convene, 
Nor dust, to kindred dust be laid 

Within the church-yard green. 

Farewell ! one heavy plunge ! 

One cleft ,n ocean's floor ! 
12* 



134 POEMS FOR THE SEA. 

And then the deaf and sullen surge 
Sweeps on, and all is o'er. 

We give thee earnest charge, 
Oh sad, and solemn deep, 

Safe in thy cold and strong embrace 
This precious form to keep ; 



Till at the trumpet's sound, 

Which fills the world with dread, 

Thy caverns, and the graves of earth 
Shall render up their dead : 



Then clothed in glorious light, 

May this our friend arise, 
And change thy dark, imprisoning cell, 

For freedom in the skies. 



V 

* ' 

*. 



HOPE IN GOD. 



MY hope is in the living God ! 

Oh may His shield be spread 
In every time of need, around 

My unprotected head. 
His are the Ocean and the Land, 

And man's frail, dying race, 
And those who walk in pride, His Hand 

Is able to abase. 
But I have nought of which to boast, 

No refuge where to flee, 
An atom mid the mighty main ; 

Have mercy, Lord, on me. 



136 POEMS FOR THE SEA. 

When o'er temptation's boiling gulf, 

My dangerous course doth lie, 
May heavenly wisdom be my guide 

And light the darkened sky ; 
And if, o'er hidden reefs we steer, 

When all around is fair, 
Nor chart nor compass give a sign 

Of evil lurking there, 
Deign Thou, the erring heart to warn 

That hath its trust in Thee, 
And as thy goodness hath no bound, 

Have mercy, Lord on me. 




THANKSGIVING DAY AT SEA. 



SONS of the boisterous sea, 

With joyous hearts we share 
The blessings of this happy land, 

Which heaven hath made its care ; 

Whose glorious flag is borne 

High o'er the ocean's breast, 
Whose strong-winged eagle proudly makes 

Among the stars his nest. 

Not with the cup that drains 
Our best_resolves away, 



138 POEMS FOR THE SEA. 

And leaves its poison in our veins, 
We keep the feast this day, 

But from the fearful cloud 

Of dark intemperance free, 
We thank the Giver of our joys, 

The God of earth and sea ; 

And if in faithful love 

His precepts we obey, 
The whole of life's short voyage may prove 

Like this Thanksgiving day. 









THE WHALER'S SONG. 



THERE she lies ! There she lies ! 

A mountain on old Ocean's breast. 

" Where away ?" Just three points west, 
Toward yon waves that boldly rise. 

Head the vessel ! Trim the sail ! 

We must chase that mighty whale. 



There she blows ! There she blows ! 

Man the boats ! for nothing stay ! 
Such a prize we cannot lose, 

Stretch to your oars ! away ! away 1 



140 POEMS FOR THE SEA. 

Grapple closer, careful steer, 

Launch the harpoon, laugh at fear, 

Plunge it deep, the barbed spear, 

Strike the lance, in swift career, 

Give her line ! Give her line ! 

Down she goes through the foaming brine, 

Sponge the side, where the flying coil 

Mark's the monster's speed and toil ; 

But though she dive to the deepest ground, 

Where the plummet fails to sound, 

'Tis all in vain ! All in vain ! 

She hath that within her side, 
Will surely bring her up again. 



Spout ! Spout ! Spout ! 
The waves are maddening all about, 
Every billow on its head 
Strangely wears a crest of red ; 
How she lashes the seething main, 
In her flurry and her pain ; 



THE WHALER'S SONG. 141 

Take good heed, my hearts of oak, 

Lest her terrible flukes, as she tortured lies, 
Wildly hurl us to the skies : 

But see ! the pride of her strength is broke, 
Heavy she lies, as a mass of lead, 
The mighty monarch-whale is dead ! 


Row ! Row ! Row ! 

In our ship she must go, 
Changed by fire to a liquid stream, 
Over the broad Pacific's swell, 
Round Cape Horn, where the tempests dwell, 
Many a night and many a day, 
Home with us, she must sail away, 

Till we joyful hail once more, 

Old Nantucket's treeless shore. 



There, when the fair with brilliant eyes 

In evening circles sit, 
While the shining needle plies 
Or the merry laugh replies 

To pleasant wit, 
13 






142 



POEMS FOR THE SEA. 



Let them think, if they will, 

Of the hardy tar 

' 

On seas afar, 
Who risks his life, their lamps to fill. 





WHAT COULD THEY DO WITHOUT US ? 






THEY say that we, who rule the sea, 
Or chase the whales and spear them, 

Spin out our yarns so coarse and long 
They can't endure to hear them, 

And when we take a turn on shore, 
They laugh, we understand, 

To see us rolling through the streets 
Like porpoise on the land. 



144 POEMS FOR THE SEA. 

But Jack might louder laugh, we guess, 

Except he's too polite, 
To see those lubbers climb the shrouds 

On a dark and stormy night, 
n 

Or try with gloved and lily hands 

To furl the stiffened sails, 
When through a mist of sleet and snow 

Old Boreas blows his gales. 

How would the world's hard work go on, 
If we who plough the main, 

Should hold umbrellas o'er our heads 
At every squall of rain ? 

* 
Or slink away when Neptune frowns, 

And breakers roar in scorn, 
Or fear to bide the buffet rude 

From the fist of old Cape Horn. 

So, do us justice, landsmen all, 
Even though you seem to flout us, 



WHAT CAN THEY DO WITHOUT US ? 145 

For if our lingo sounds so strange, 
What could you do without us ? 



The merchant in his warehouse proud 
Whould wait awhile we trow, 

Before to sell his cotton bales 
He'd rig a boat and row, 

And how would all his ladies fret, 

For eastern toys and teas, 
Unless our sails we sharply set 

Across the Indian seas ? 

The farmer toils to plant his corn, 
And then to hill and hoe it, 

An honest-hearted man is he, 
His sun-burnt features show it, 

Yet when he takes his grain to town, 
With loads of golden cheese, 

And buys those notions from the shops 
His womankind that please, 
13* 



146 POEMS FOR THE SBA. 

Do any of them ever think 
What blasts the seamen bore, 

To bring their mace and nutmegs home 
From a far tropic shore ? 

Blow high, blow low, 'tis all the same, 
Hot suns or wintry weather, 

For with our sailor's knot we bind 
Earth's utmost coasts together : 

Then do us justice, landsmen dear, 
For where's the need to doubt us ? 

Since in your inmost hearts you know 
You cannot do without us. 






TO A RETIRED SEAMAN. 



How pleasant, when the toils of life, 
And ruder cares have pass'd away, 

To turn from troubled floods and gain 
The shelter of some quiet bay, 

And there refit the shatter'd sails 

That time and chance have sorely tried, 

And meditate, as peaceful years 
Glide on, to meet the eternal tide. 

Tis thus with thee, whose course hath been 
O'er many a sea and many a shore, 

Where battle thunders shook the main 
Or winds and waves in conflict roar. 



148 POEMS FOR THE SEA. 

But now, thy cheerful hearth beside 

Thy happier lot it is to see 
Domestic comfort flourish fair, 

And yield its cherish'd fruits to thee. 

Forget not, on thy varied chart 

To write His name, who rules thy days, 

And from remember'd woes to rear 
A lasting monument of praise. 

Son of the Sea ! thy glorious choice 
Is by thy Saviour's Cross to cling, 
So mayst thou in his glory share, 
And mid yon skies, no cloud that wear, 
The anthem of salvation sing. 






HO LANDSMEN! 



Ho ! landsmen, in your sheltered homes, 

Of hardship what know ye, 
Like us, who dwell amid the blast, 

And ride the wrathful sea ? 
The green trees shade you from the sun, 

You watch the harvests grow, 
And taste the fragrance of the gale, 

When the first roses blow. 

You slumber long on beds of down, 
In curtained chambers warm, 

LulPd only to a deeper dream 
By the descending storm : 



150 POEMS FOR THE SEA. 

While climbing high mid slippery shrouds 

Our midnight path we take, 
When the strongest mast like a reed is bow'd, 

And the roughest timbers quake. 

But do ye ever know the joy 

That cheers our ocean-strife, 
When o'er the waves, our gallant bark 

Glides like a thing of life ? 
When gaily toward the wish'd-for port 

With favoring wind we stand, 
Or first the misty hills descry 

Of our own native land ? 

Say you there's peril on the deep ? 

Well, so there is on land, 
And often when you idly sleep, 

Some tempter's close at hand. 
Yet there's a Guiding Power aloft, 

A pole-star mid the spheres, 
An Ararat to save the ark 

That o'er the deluge steers. 




THE HAPPY HOME 



THOUGHTS of my happy home 

Are pleasant on the Sea, 
For there, my best beloved one 

I know, remembers me, 
And teaches with a glowing cheek 
Our babe, his father's name to speak. 



When on their love I muse, 
I cannot feel alone, 



152 



POEMS FOR THE SEA. 



It seems as though a diamond shield 

Was o'er my bosom thrown, 
The eherish'd forms of wife and child 
Are sunbeams, though the storm is wild. 

And when I pace the deck, 
My midnight watch to keep, 

I ask the never slumbering Eye 
To guard their quiet sleep ; 

For them I toil, for them I save, 

And gladly dare the mountain wave. 

Thoughts of my humble home 

My hardest labours cheer, 
And if it were a palace proud 

It would not be as dear, 
For now its little window seems 
The light-house of my brightest dreams. 




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