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THE WRECK OF THE “HESPERUS."
It was the schooner Hesperus,
That saild the wintry sea ;
To bear him company.
Blue were her eyes as the fairy flax,
Her cheeks like the dawn of day,
That ope in the month of May.
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,
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 !
Oh say, what may it be ?" “ 'Tis a fog-bell on a rock-bound coast !"
And he steer'd for the open sea.
READINGS AND RECITATIONS
“O Father! I hear the sound of guns,
Oh say, what may it be ?” “ Some ship in distress, that cannot live
In such an angry sea !”
“O Father! I see a gleaming light,
Oh say, what may it be?”.
A frozen corpse was he.
Then the maiden clasp'd her hands, and pray'd
That saved she might be; And she thought of Christ, who still’d the wave
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.
To the rocks and breakers right ahead
She drifted, a dreary wreck,
Like icicles from her deck.
She struck where the white and fleecy waves
Look'd soft as carded wool;
Like the horns of an angry bull.
At daybreak, on a 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; 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 from a death like this,
On the reef of Norman’s Woe.
The shades of night were falling fast,
His brow was sad ; his eye beneath,
In happy homes he saw the light
“ Excelsior !"
“ Try not the Pass !" the old man said ; “ Dark lowers the tempest overhead, The roaring torrent is deep and wide !” And loud that clarion voice replied,
“Oh stay,” the maiden said, “ and rest
“Beware the pine-tree's wither'd branch!
At break of day, as heavenward
A traveller, by the faithful hound
THE AFRICAN CHIEF. CHAIN'd in the market-place he stood,
A man of giant frame,
That shrunk to hear his name;
His dark eye on the ground; And silently they gazed on him,
As on a lion bound.
He was a captive now;
Was written on his brow.
Show'd warrior true and brave;
He could not be a slave.
“My brother is a king;
And take this bracelet ring,
And I will fill thy hands
And gold-dust from the sands.” “Not for thy ivory, nor thy gold,
Will I unbind thy chain;
The battle-spear again.