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Alas ! too late the ship returned—too late her life to save; My father closed her dying eyes, and laid her in the grave. He was a man of ardent hopes, who never knew dismay; And, spite of grief, the winter-time wore cheerfully away.
He had crossed the equinoctial line full seven times or more; And, sailing northward, had been wrecked on icy Labrador. He knew the Spice Isles, every one, where the clove and
nutmeg grow, And the aloe towers, a stately tree, with clustering bells of
He had gone the length of Hindustan, down Ganges' holy
flood; Through Persia, where the peacock broods, a wild bird of
the wood; And, in the forests of the West, had seen the red deer
chased, And dwelt beneath the piny woods, a hunter of the waste.
Oh! pleasant were the tales he told of lands so strange and
new; And in my ignorance I vowed I'd be a sailor too: My father heard my vow with joy; so in the early May We went on board a merchantman, bound for Honduras
Right merrily, right merrily, we sailed before the wind,
With a briskly heaving sea before, and the landsman's cheer behind.
There was joy for me in every league, delight on every strand,
And I sat for days on the high foretop, on the long lookout for land.
There was joy for me in the nightly watch, on the burning tropic seas,
To mark the waves, like living fires, leap up to the freshening breeze.
Eight merrily, right merrily, our gallant ship went free,
Until we neared the rocky shoals within the Western Sea.
Yet still none thought of danger near, till in the silent
night The helmsman gave the dreadful word of "Breakers to the
right!" The moment that his voice was heard, was felt the awful
shock; The ship sprang forward with a bound, and struck upon a
"All hands aloft!" our captain cried: in terror and dismay They threw the cargo overboard, and cut the masts away: 'Twas all in vain, 'twas all in vain; the sea rushed o'er the
deck, And, shattered with the beating surf, down went the parting wreck!
The moment that the wreck went down my father seized
me fast, And leaping 'mid the thundering waves, seized on the
broken mast. I know not how he bore me up, my senses seemed to
swim, A shuddering horror chilled my brain, and stiffened every
What next I knew, was how at morn, on a bleak, barren
shore, Out of a hundred mariners, were living only four. I looked around, like one who wakes from dreams of fierce
alarm, And round my body still I felt, firm locked, my father's arm.
And with a rigid, dying grasp, he closely held me fast,
mast. With humble hearts and streaming eyes down knelt the
little band, Praying Him who had preserved their lives to lend His
Aud day by day, though burning thirst and pining hunger
came, His mercy through our misery preserved each drooping
frame: And after months of weary woe, sickness, and travel sore, He sent the blessed English ship that took us from that
And now, without a home or friend, I wander far and near,
And tell my miserable tale to all who lend an ear.
Thus sitting by your happy hearth, beside your mother's
knee, How should you know the miseries and dangers of the sea 1
Art thou weary, little Minnie 1
Lay thy head upon my knee:
Thy sunny face to see.
Who tread life's rugged way,
Grows weary of her play.
Tell thee a story, Minnie 1
Nay, I am growing old,
Long since to thee were told.
There's something I would say,
When I have passed away.
Minnie! my sweetest thought for years,
Is the memory of the mother
Minnie! do you remember
Your gentle mother too, Whose only grief in dying
Was the thought of leaving you 1
Ah, child! I mind me of the time—
A tiny babe wert thou—
Was sprinkled on thy brow.
One of Christ's flock to be:
She waiteth there for thee.
Ah, Minnie! little Minnie!
When at the close of day
Your evening prayer to say;
To keep thy mother's vow,
Upon thy fair young brow.
"Remember thy Creator !"—
These words were kindly given,
His little ones to heaven.
As through life's path you roam:
'Twill safely lead you home.
And when they lay me by her side,
In the peaceful church-yard there, And you sometimes gaze with tearful eyes
Upon this vacant chair, These words, perchance, your lonely heart
Will soothe 'mid grief and pain; Think, darling, we who loved you here
Will meet with you again.
Good-night, my little Minnie!
You're weary now, I know ;—
And kiss me ere you go;
Another day has gone;
God bless thee, little one!
THE SOTJND OF THE SEA.
Thou art sounding on, thou mighty Sea,
For ever and the same!
Whose thunders nought can tame.
Oh! many a glorious voice is gone
From the rich bowers of earth, And hushed is many a lovely one
Of mournfulness or mirth;
But thou art swelling on, thou Deep,
Through many an olden clime; Thy billowy anthem ne'er to sleep
Until the close of time.
Thou liftest up thy solemn voice
To every wind and sky;
In that one harmony!
It fills the noontide's calm profound,
The sunset's heaven of gold;
E'en as when first it rolled.
Let there be silence, deep and strange,
Where crowning cities rose!
Thou speak'st of One that doth not change—
So may our hearts repose.