Sidebilder
PDF
ePub

BLACK-EYED SUSAN.

All in the Downs the fleet was moored,

The streamers waving in the wind, When black-eyed Susan came on board,

“Oh, where shall I my true-love find? Tell me, ye jovial sailors, tell me true, Does my sweet William sail among your crew ?”

William, who high upon the yard

Rocked by the billows to and fro, Soon as the well-known voice he heard,

He sigh'd and cast his eyes below; The cord flies swiftly through his glowing hands, And quick as lightning on the deck he stands.

“O Susan, Susan, lovely dear,

My vows shall always true remain,
Let me kiss off that falling tear,-

We only part to meet again ;
Change as ye list, ye winds, my heart shall be
The faithful compass that still points to thee.

[ocr errors]

• Believe not what the landsmen say,

Who tempt with doubts thy constant mind;
They tell thee sailors, when away,

In every port a mistress find;
Yes, yes, believe them when they tell thee so,
For thou art present wheresoe'er I go.”

The boatswain gave the dreadful word,

The sails their swelling bosoms spread;

No longer she must stay on board,

They kissed, she sighed, he hung his head: Her lessening boat unwilling rows to land,

Adieu !" she cried, and waved her lily hand.

66

[ocr errors][merged small]

We were crowded in the cabin,

Not a soul would dare to sleep,-
It was midnight on the waters

And a storm was on the deep.

'Tis a fearful thing in Winter

To be shattered by the blast,
And to hear the rattling trumpet

Thunder : “Cut away the mast !"

So we shuddered there in silence,

For the stoutest held his breath,
While the hungry sea was roaring,

And the breakers talked with Death.

As thus we sat in darkness,

Each one busy in his prayers,
“ We are lost !” the captain shouted

As he staggered down the stairs.

But his little daughter whispered,

As she took his icy hand : “Isn't God upon the ocean

Just the same as on the land ?"

Then we kissed the little maiden,

And we spoke in better cheer,
And we anchored safe in harbor

When the morn was shining clear.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][graphic][merged small][merged small][merged small]

QUA CURSUM VENTUS.

As ships becalmed at eve, that lay

With canvas drooping, side by side, Two towers of sail at dawn of day,

Are scarce, long leagues apart, descried ;

When fell the night, upsprung the breeze,

And all the darkling hours they plied, Nor dreamt but each the selfsame seas

By each was cleaving, side by side :

E'en so,—but why the tale reveal

Of those whom, year by year unchanged, Brief absence join'd anew to feel,

Astounded, soul from soul estranged ?

At dead of night their sails were filled,

And onward each rejoicing steered : Ah, neither blame, for neither willed

Or wist what first with dawn appeared.

To veer, how vain ! On,

nward strain, Brave barks! In light, in darkness too ! Through winds and tides one compass guides-

To that and your own selves be true.

But O blithe breeze! and O great seas,

Though ne'er, that earliest parting past, On your wide plain they join again,

Together lead them home at last.

One port, methought, alike they sought

One purpose hold where'er they fare; O bounding breeze, O rushing seas,

At last, at last, unite them there!

ARTHUR HUGH CLOUGH.

ON THE DEATH OF JOSEPH RODMAN

DRAKE.

GREEN be the turf above thee,

Friend of my better days!
None knew thee but to love thee,

Nor named thee but to praise.

Tears fell, when thou wert dying,

From eyes unused to weep,
And long, where thou art lying,

Will tears the cold turf steep.

When hearts whose truth was proven,

Like thine, are laid in earth,
There should a wreath be woven

To tell the world their worth;

And I, who woke each morrow

To clasp thy hand in mine,
Who shared thy joy and sorrow,

Whose weal and woe were thine,

It should be mine to braid it

Around thy faded brow,
But I've in vain essay'd it,

And feel I cannot now.

« ForrigeFortsett »