Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

The breakers were right beneath her bows,

She drifted a dreary, wreck,
And a wbooping billow swept the crew

Like icicles from her deck.

She struck where the white and fleecy waves

Looked soft as carded wool,
But the cruel rocks, they gored her side,

Like the horns of an angry bull.

Her rattling shrouds, all sheathed in ice,

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

Ho! ho! the breakers roared !

At daybreak on the bleak sea-beach,

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

Lashed 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 Hesperus,

In the midnight and the snow ! Christ save us all from death like this, On the reef of Norman's Woe!

LONGFELLOW. THE

CAPTAIN'S CHILD.

A GOOD thing is it to obey

Whom God hath set to rule ; And happy are our children trained

Betimes in duty's school.

Of such an one, to you, my friends,

A story I will tell ;
A truthful and a touching tale, -

I pray ye, mark it well.

There was a child whose early home

Was on the rolling deep; The waters sung his lullaby,

And rock'd him to his sleep.

He was the Captain's only child,

And when his mother died
He would not to her kindred send

The prattler from his side.

And so the little boy grew up,

A dweller on the sea : For feats of horsemanship, he learn'd

To climb the tall mast tree.

The song of birds at early morn

It was not his to hear; But the ocean breeze, that swept the seas,

Was music in his ear.

Yet was the ship a rugged school

For one so fair and young; And harshly in his hearing oft

His father's accents rung.

For dearly as he lov'd the boy,

That love was never shown
In fond endearment, but in care

Of discipline alone.

Yet Harry was a merry boy,

Brimful of fearless fun,
And blithely with a ship boy's skill,

Could up the rigging run.

Oh, but the sailors lov'd him well ;

The sunshine of his smile,
With memories of their childish days,

Could home-sick hearts beguile.

All household loves on him were shower'd

As in their sight he grew;
And so the Captain's child became

The darling of the crew.

Now of a monkey I must tell,

A droll and knavish elf,
The sailors' pet, and Harry's plague,

A mimic of himself.

A grinning, chattering plague it was,

And mischievous full oft,He clutch'd his cap from Harry's head, And darted up

aloft.

Up in the rigging with his prize,

The thievish creature flew,
Now here, now there, it dodg'd about,

And Harry followed too.

“ Hollo ! hollo !” the boy exclaim'd,

“ Such manners suit not me, Come, Master Jacko, I must teach

Civility to thee."

[ocr errors]

At first it was a merry chase,

And blithely all look'd on ; But many a weather-beaten face

Paled e'er the cap was won.

The eager boy, without a thought

Of danger or of dread, Had reach'd at length the top-most pole,

Where scarce was room to tread.

G

Where none could turn,, and none could bend,

He stood in dizzy trance, Beyond the reach of others' help,

Nor dared the downward glance.

Breathless with fear, the crew look'd

up, None spoke and no one stirr’d, Not even when the Captain's tread

Upon the deck was heard.

- What is the matter now, my men ?

Why stand ye moon-struck here ? " None answer'd him—one look above

Reveal'd the speechless fear.

Pale with his agony, the boy

Is trembling, e'er he fall
Upon the deck with murderous crash-

The Captain saw it all.

But not a nerve or muscle yet

With quivering anguish shook,“Bring me my fowling piece," he said,

And steadfast aim he took.

Then stern, and loud, and trumpet-clear,

He cried, “ Attend to me! This moment, sir, I fire; unless

You jump into the sea.”

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »