Page images
[blocks in formation]

Swallows, on your pinions glide
O'er the restless, rolling tide
Of the ocean deep and wide.

Farewell !
In groves, far, far away,
In summer's sunny ray,
In warmer regions dwell;
And then return to tell
Strange tales of foreign lands;
In bands,
Perched on the eaves! Farewell!

[blocks in formation]



Tomkare you still within this land
Of livers-still on Hastings' sand,

Or roaming on the waves;
Or has some billow o'er you rolled,
Jealous that earth should lap so bold

A seaman in her graves ?

On land the rush-light lives of men
Go out but slowly; nine in ten,

By tedious long decline-
Not so the jolly sailor sinks,
Who founders in the wave, and drinks

The apoplectic brine !

Ay, while I write, mayhap your head
Is sleeping on an oyster-bed-

I hope 'tis far from truth !
With periwinkle eyes ;-your bone
Beset with mussels, not your own,

And corals at your tooth !

Still does the Chance pursue the chance
The main affords--the Aidant dance

In safety on the tide ?
Still flies that sign of my good-will
A little bunting thing—but still

To thee a flag of pride ?

Does that hard, honest hand now clasp The tiller in its careful grasp

With every summer breeze When ladies sail, in lady-fearOr, tug the oar, a gondolier

On smooth Macadam seas ?

Or are you where the flounders keep,
Some dozen briny fathoms deep,

Where sand and shells abound-
With some old Triton on your chest,
And twelve grave mermen for a 'quest,

To find that you are--drowned ?

Swift is the wave, and apt to bring
A sudden doom-perchance I sing

A mere funereal strain;
You have endured the utter strife
And are the same in death or life,

A good man in the main !

Oh, no I hope the old brown eye Still watches ebb, and flood, and sky;

That still the old brown shoes Are sucking brine up-pumps indeed! Your tooth still full of ocean weed,

Or Indian-which you choose.

I like you, Tom! and in these lays
Give honest worth its honest praise,

No puff at honor's cost;
For though you met these words of mine,
All letter-learning was a line

You, somehow, never crossed !

Mayhap we ne'er shall meet again,
Except on that Pacific main,

Beyond this planet's brink;
Yet as we erst have braved the weather,
Still may we float awhile together,

As comrades on this ink !

Many a scudding gale we've had
Together, and, my gallant lad,

Some perils we have passed;
When huge and black the wave careered,
And oft the giant surge appeared

The master of our mast :

'Twas thy example taught me how To climb the billow's hoary brow,

Or cleave the raging heapTo bound along the ocean wild, With danger only as a child,

The waters rocked to sleep.

Oh, who can tell that brave delight,
To see the hissing wave in might,

Come rampant like a snake !
To leap his horrid crest, and feast
One's eyes upon the briny beast,

Left couchant in the wake!

« PreviousContinue »