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The deadly winter seizes; shuts up sense ;
And, o'er his inmost vitals creeping cold,
Lays him along the snows, a stiffen'd corse,
Stretch'd out, and bleaching in the northern blast.



How many thousand of my poorest subjects
Are at this hour asleep!- Sleep, gentle sleep,
Nature's soft nurse, how have I frighted thee,
That thou no more wilt weigh my eyelids down,
And steep my senses in forgetfulness ?
Why rather, sleep, liest thou in smoky cribs,
Upon uneasy pallets stretching thee,
And hush'd with buzzing night-flies to thy slumber,
Than in the perfumed chambers of the great,
Under the canopies of costly state,
And lull'd with sounds of sweetest melody;
O thou dull god, why liest thou with the vile,
In loathsome beds; and leav'st the kingly couch,
A watch-case, or a common 'larum-bell ?
Wilt thou

upon the high and giddy mast Seal

up the ship-boy's eyes, and rock his brains
In cradle of the rude imperious surge,
And in the visitation of the winds,
Who take the ruffian billows by the top,
Curling their monstrous heads, and hanging them
With deafʼning clamours in the slippery clouds,
That, with the hurly, death itself awakes?
Canst thou, O partial sleep! give thy repose
To the wet sea-boy in an hour so rude;
And in the calmest and most stillest night,
With all appliances and means to boot,
Deny it to a king? Then, happy low, lie down!
Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.


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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,
And her bosom white as the hawthorn-buds

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 !"
The skipper he blew a whiff from his pipe,

And a scornful laugh laugh'd he.

Colder and louder blew the wind,

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

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.




• 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 wrapp'd 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;


it be ?"
“ 'Tis a fog-bell on a rock-bound coast !"

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 !”
“O father! I see a gleaming light,


it be?"
But the father answer'd never a word

A frozen corpse was he!

Lash'd to the helm, all stiff and stark,

With his face turn'd to the skies ;
The lantern gleam'd through the gleaming snow

On his fix'd and glassy eyes.
Then the maiden clasp'd her hands, and pray'd

That saved he might be;
And she thought of Christ, who still’d the waves

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.




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

Look'd soft as carded wool;
But the cruel rocks, they gored her side,
Like the horns of an angry


Her rattling shrouds, all sheath'd in ice,

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

Ho !-ho! the breakers roar'd!

At daybreak, on the bleak sea-beach,

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

Lash'd 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!



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.”

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