Billeder på siden

Colder and louder blew the wind,

A gale from the north-east

The snow fell hissing in the brine,

And the billows frothed like yeast.

Down came the storm, and smote amain,
The vessel in its strength;

She shuddered and paused, like a frighted steed,
Then leaped 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 wrapped 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, O say, what may it be?"

""Tis a fog-bell on a rock-bound coast!"And he steered 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, O say what may it be?"

But the father answered never a word,

A frozen corpse was he.

Lashed to the helm, all stiff and stark,

With his face to the skies,

The lantern gleamed through the gleaming snow
On his fixed and glassy eyes.

Then the maiden clasped her hands and prayed
That saved she might be ;

And she thought of Christ who stilled 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.


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
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 strove and sank,
Ho! ho! the breakers roared!

At day-break 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 the Hesperus,

In the midnight and the snow!

Christ save us all from a death like this,

On the reef of Norman's Woe!




"AND I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened which is the book of life; and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works."-Rev. xx. 12 and 13.

[blocks in formation]

WHAT hidest thou in thy treasure-caves and cells,
Thou hollow-sounding and mysterious main ?
-Pale glistening pearls, and rainbow-coloured shells,
Bright things which gleam unrecked of, and in vain.
-Keep, keep thy riches, melancholy sea!

We ask not such from thee.

Yet more, the depths have more! What wealth untold
Far down, and shining through their stillness lies!
Thou hast the starry gems, the burning gold,

Won from ten thousand royal argosies.

-Sweep o'er thy spoils, thou wild and wrathful main !
Earth claims not these again!

Yet more, the depths have more! Thy waves have rolled
Above the cities of a world gone by!

Sand hath filled up the palaces of old,
Sea-weed o'ergrown the halls of revelry!
-Dash o'er them, ocean! in thy scornful play-
Man yields them to decay!

Yet more! the billows and the depths have more!
High hearts and brave are gathered to thy breast!
They hear not now the booming waters roar,
The battle-thunders will not break their rest,
-Keep thy red gold and gems, thou stormy grave—
Give back the true and brave!

Give back the lost and lovely! those for whom
The place was kept at board and hearth so long,
The prayer went up through midnight's breathless gloom,
And the vain yearning woke 'midst festal song!
Hold fast thy buried isles, thy towers o'erthrown,—
But all is not thine own!

To thee the love of woman hath gone down,
Dark flow thy tides o'er manhood's noble head,
O'er youth's bright locks and beauty's flowery crown;
-Yet must thou hear a voice-Restore the dead!
Earth shall reclaim her precious things from thee—
Restore the dead, thou sea!




"THERE is something in the contemplation of general laws which powerfully persuades us to merge individual feeling, and to commit ourselves unreservedly to their disposal; while the observations of the calm energetic regularity of nature, the immense scale of her operations, and the certainty with which her ends are attained, tend irresistibly to tranquillize and reassure the mind, and render it less accessible to repining, selfish and turbulent emotions. And this it does, not by debasing our nature into weak compliances and abject submission to circumstances, but by filling us, as from an inward spring, with a sense of nobleness and power, which enables us to rise superior to them, by showing us our strength and innate dignity, and by calling upon us for the exercise of those powers and faculties by which we are susceptible of the comprehension of so much greatness, and which form, as it were, the link between ourselves and the best and noblest benefactors of our species, with whom we hold communion in thoughts and participate in discoveries which have raised them above their fellow-mortals, and brought them nearer to their Creator."-Sir John Herschel.

NATURE never did betray

The heart that loved her; 'tis her privilege,
Through all the years of this our life, to lead
From joy to joy; for she can so inform
The mind that is within us, so impress
With quietness and beauty, and so feed
With lofty thoughts, that neither evil tongues,
Rash judgments, nor the sneers of selfish men,
Nor greetings where no kindness is, nor all
The dreary intercourse of daily life
Shall e'er prevail against us or disturb
Our cheerful faith, that all which we behold
Is full of blessings. Therefore let the moon
Shine on thee in thy solitary walk;
And let the misty mountain winds be free
To blow against thee: and, in after years,
When these wild ecstacies shall be matured
Into a sober pleasure, when thy mind
Shall be a mansion for all lovely forms,
Thy memory be as a dwelling-place


For all sweet sounds and harmonies; oh! then,

If solitude, or fear, or pain, or grief,

Should be thy portion, with what healing thoughts
Of tender joy wilt thou remember me,
And these my exhortations!



"THE world was made to be inhabited by beasts, but studied and contemplated by man; it is the debt of our reason we owe unto God, and the homage we pay for not being beasts; without this, the world is still as though it had not been, or as it was before the sixth day, when as yet there was not a creature that could conceive, or say there was a world. The wisdom of God receives small honour from those vulgar heads that rudely stare about, and with a gross rusticity admire his works; those highly magnifying him whose judicious inquiry into his acts, and deliberate research into his creatures, return the duty of a devout and learned admiration.”—Sir Thomas Browne.

THE Ocean looketh up to heaven,

As 'twere a living thing;

The homage of its waves is given
In ceaseless worshipping.

They kneel upon the sloping sand,
As bends the human knee,
A beautiful and tireless band,
The priesthood of the sea!

They pour the glittering treasures out
Which in the deep have birth,
And chant their awful hymns about
The watching hills of earth.

The green earth sends its incense up
From every mountain-shrine,
From every flower and dewy cup
That greeteth the sunshine.

The mists are lifted from the rills,
Like the white wing of prayer;
They lean above the ancient hills,
As doing homage there.

The forest tops are lowly cast
O'er breezy hill and glen,
As if a prayerful spirit passed
On nature as on men.

« ForrigeFortsæt »