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The deadly winter seizes; shuts up sense ;
How many thousand of my poorest subjects
upon the high and giddy mast Seal
up the ship-boy's eyes, and rock his brains
It was the schooner Hesperus
That sail'd the wintry sea ; And the skipper had taken his little daughter
To bear him company.
Blue were her eyes as the fairy-flax,
Her cheeks like the dawn of day,
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 did blow
The smoke now west, now south.
Then up and spake an old sailor,
Had sail'd the Spanish main, "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 !"
And a scornful laugh laugh'd he.
Colder and louder blew the wind,
A gale from the north-east ;
And the billows froth'd like yeast.
Down came the storm, and smote amain
The vessel in its strength; She shudder'd and paused, like a frighted steed,
Then leap'd her cable's length.
THE WRECK OF THE
• Come hither!—come hither! my little daughter,
And do not tremble so;
That ever wind did blow.”
He wrapp'd her warm in his seaman's coat,
Against the stinging blast:
And bound her to the mast.
“O father! I hear the church-bells ring;
it be ?"
And he steer'd for the open sea.
“O father! I hear the sound of guns;
O say, what may it be?” “ Some ship in distress, that cannot live
In such an angry sea !”
A frozen corpse was he!
Lash'd to the helm, all stiff and stark,
With his face turn'd to the skies ;
On his fix'd and glassy eyes.
That saved he might be;
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 of Norman's Woe.
THE WRECK OF THE
And ever the fitful gusts between
A sound came from the land;
On the rocks and the hard sea-sand.
The breakers were right beneath her bows;
She drifted a dreary wreck ;
Like icicles, from her deck.
She struck where the white and fleecy waves
Look'd soft as carded wool;
Her rattling shrouds, all sheath'd in ice,
With the masts, went by the board ;
Ho !-ho! the breakers roar'd!
At daybreak, on the bleak sea-beach,
A fisherman stood aghast,
Lash'd close to a drifting mast.
The salt sea was frozen on her breast,
The salt tears in her eyes ;
On the billows fall and rise.
Such was the wreck of the Hesperus,
In the midnight and the snow !
CHILDHOOD AND HIS VISITORS.
ONCE on a time, when sunny May
Was kissing up the April showers, I saw fair Childhood hard at play
Upon a bank of blushing flowers; Happy,-he knew not whence or how;
And smiling,—who could choose but love him? For not more glad than Childhood's brow
Was the blue heaven that beamed above him.
Old Time, in most appalling wrath,
That valley's green repose invaded ; The brooks grew dry upon his path,
The birds were mute, the lilies faded; But Time so swiftly winged his flight, In haste
Grecian tomb to batter, That Childhood watched his paper kite,
And knew just nothing of the matter.
With curling lip, and glancing eye,
Guilt gazed upon the scene a minute, But Childhood's glance of purity
Had such a holy spell within it, That the dark demon to the air
Spread forth again his baffled pinion, And hid his envy and despair,
Self-tortured, in his own dominion. Then stepped a gloomy phantom up,
Pale, cypress-crowned, Night's awful daughter, And proffered him a fearful cup,
Full to the brim of bitter water: Poor Childhood bade her tell her name,
And when the beldame muttered “ Sorrow," He said, “Don't interrupt my game;
I'll taste it, if I must, to-morrow.”