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The fisher-wives of Salisbury,
(The men were all away), Looked out to see the stranger oar
Upon their waters play.
Deer-Island's rocks and fir-trees threw
Their sunset-shadows o'er them,
Peered o'er the pines before them.
Around the Black Rocks, on their left,
The marsh lay broad and green; And on their right, with dwarf shrubs crowned,
Plum Island's hills were seen.
With skilful hand and wary eye
The harbor-bar was crossed ;— A plaything of the restless wave,
The boat on ocean tossed.
The glory of the sunset heaven
On land and water lay,— On the steep hills of Agawam,
On cape, and bluff, and bay.
They passed the grey rocks of Cape Ann,
And Gloucester's harbor-bar; The watch-fire of the garrison
Shone like a setting star.
How brightly broke the morning
On Massachusetts' Bay!
Rejoicing in the day.
On passed the bark in safety
Round isle and headland steep — No tempest broke above them,
No fog-cloud veiled the deep.
Far round the bleak and stormy Cape
And on Nantucket's naked isle,
And how, in log-built cabin,
They braved the rough sea-weather; And there, in peace and quietness,
Went down life's vale together:
How others drew around them,
Until to every wind of heaven
How pale want alternated
Behold, is it not written
And yet that isle remaineth
A refuge of the free,
Beheld it from the sea.
Free as the winds that winnow
Free as the waves that batter
Than hers, at duty's summons,
No loftier spirit stirs, — Nor falls o'er human suffering
A readier tear than hers.
God bless the sea-beat island ! —
And grant for evermore,
As now upon her shore!
THE NEW WIFE AND THE OLD.
[the following Ballad is founded upon one of the marvellons legends connected with the famous Gen. M., of Hampton, N. EL, who was regarded by his neighbors as a Yankee Faust, in league with the adversary. I give the story, as I heard it when a child, from a venerable family visitant.]
Dare the balls, and cold the feast —
Hushed within and hushed without,
From the brief dream of a bride
Lightly from the bridal bed
Maiden fear and wonder speaks Through her Hps and changing cheeks.
From the oaken mantel glowing
Listless lies the strong man there,
"Yet," she sighs, "he loves me well,
While she speaketh, falls the light
Gratefully she marks the glow
Ha ! — that start of horror ! — "Why
Hark! that gasping, hoarse and low:
God have mercy ! — Icy cold
Ring and bracelet all are gone,
And that ice-cold hand withdrawn;
But she hears a murmur low,
Full of sweetness, full of woe,
Half a sigh and half a moan:
"Fear not! give the dead her own!"
Ah ! — the dead wife's voice she knows!
In his arms the strong man folds her,
"Nay, a dream — an idle dream." But before the lamp's pale gleam Tremblingly her hand she raises,— There no more the diamond blazes, Clasp of pearl, or ring 6f gold,— "Ah!" she sighs, "her hand was cold!"
Broken words of cheer he saith,
But his dark lip quivereth,
And as o'er the past he thinketh,
From, his young wife's arms he shrinketh;