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TIME's golden sands have marked the lapse of years :
Years of alternate pleasure, toil, and pain:
In all their peerless beauty freshly came.
And as, to-day, my memory backward strays
Along the brilliant track thy fancy trod,
Invest the spirit wafted home to God!
Gone, son of Genius! noble soul of mirth,
In the bright blazon of thy perfect fame :
While all rejoiced to hear and speak thy name.
Farewell! thou white-robed dweller of the Land
Where all the sons of God in glory shine,
Farewell ! – and may our brows be wreathed like thine !
The heaven's blue arch may glow with living fire,
And yet one star amid its azure dome
Be missed: that precious one we call our own!
E'en so the Gifted in the world of light,
Illumined by the soul's ethereal ray,
Then suddenly forever pass away.
Departed glory of my star-lit morn,
Effulgent orb that crowned life's cloudless noon,
That now controls my being's light or gloom!
And as, to-day, fond Memory backward strays,
Along the brilliant track thy fancy trod;
To woo thee back to earth, at home with God!
AFTER the song, our second lieutenant
a young man of poetical temperament, with reddish hair, pink whiskers, and bottle-green coat — hemmed thrice, and giving the tails of the aforesaid bottle-green a strong sheer to starboard, commenced to edify us after this fashion :
For months had the river Weser been blockaded by a Danish squadron, to the no small detriment of Bremen and Bremerhaven, when news was brought to these mighty cities of the near-coming to their waters of the United States Frigate San Lorenzo :
Doubtless,' quoth the burgomaster of Bremen, laying his right fore-finger significantly on the very tip end of his German nose, 'to take part with us against these accursed Danes ! »
“Yaw, Mynheer: dat ish more petter ash goot!' replied his brother burgomaster of the Haven.
And so the news went abroad that the Yankees were about to give the Danes a dressing, and was every where received with the wildest demonstrations of joy and enthusiasm.
The authorities of Bremen decreed that in honor of their expected guests, no language but the English should be spoken or written in any place within their jurisdiction for the space of a whole year.
The syndics of Bremen passed three sleepless nights in preparing a congratulatory oration for the strangers, wherein they boidly asserted that Slavery was a most excellent institution for the propagation of niggers and tobacco,' and Monongahela whiskey • a far healthier and better drink than lager bier, any day of the seven.'
The ladies of Bremen nearly worked their finger-ends off in making a star-spangled banner of fabulous dimensions, out of Mandarin-satin; while the musicians of Bremen became quite broken-winded in a vain attempt to play Yankee Doodle with the Christy variations.
Things were in this state when the San Lorenzo, freighted with myself among others, and going at the rate of twelve knots the hour, was hailed off Heligoland by a Bremen pilot-boat:
Shtop her! shtop her! Mynheer Captain,' cried pilot Number ne. Shtop her! shtop her!' cried pilot Number Two. And Shtop her! shtop her! cried a whole chorus of pilots as loud as they could squeak.
So the main top-sail was laid to the mast, and the San Lorenzo shtopped, until the fattest and ruddiest of the pilots had clambered
up the ship's side, when we braced full again, and headed for Bremerhaven.
'Donner and blixen, but de schiff ish la-r-ge!' exclaimed the man of 'deeps' and 'marks, as he reached the quarter-deck, and cast an alarmed look forward and aloft: 'Donner and blixen! but she's more pigger ash la-r-ge!'
“Never mind her size, my man,' said the first lieutenant, endeavoring to reässure him; she's a beauty in stays, and steers like your own lugger there.
Yet, nothing comforted, the Bremener took his station in the weather gang-way, murmuring to himself every little while, as the quarter-masters reported the soundings: "Mein eysh! but de shand-banks ish plenty, and de schiff, by dam! more pigger ash a wein-keller.'
His fears, however, proved to be groundless, since we anchored off Bremerhaven without scraping the ground once.
Here all was excitement bordering on madness; the speech of the syndics, and the presentation by the ladies of their banner, being merely the advanced guards of a series of balls, concerts, and dinners, that threatened to be the death of the San Lorenzos; when, simultaneously with the arrival in the Weser of five fine steam-frigates, purchased in England and the United States for the German Navy, the fact got wind, that our Government was on quite as good terms with Denmark as with the Hanse-towns; whereupon, all sounds of revelry ceased at once, and the staid Bremeners, giving up champagne and Havanas, again took to their pipes and their lager.
And now finding that they must rely upon themselves for protection against the Dane, they began seriously to think of officering their squadron, and particularly of making choice of a Commodore to command it, who should lead his followers on to victory after victory, until — O German Nelson ! — he stood amid the ashes of Copenhagen.
Many, as may be supposed, were the competitors for this high office;
but, from the first, the struggle for it rested with Baron Von Blaunase, a plethoric Prussian who had seen service, and Jack Barker, the master of the San Lorenzo; a little black-eyed fellow, much given to reading Don Quixote, and breezing the women ; who, under a placid exterior, concealed a somewhat ardent temperament, and was quite fool enough, at that time, to seek the bubble reputation at the cannon's mouth.
And sooth to say, it seemed quite 'on the cards' for Barker to win; for not only were all the women of Bremen on his side, but a majority of the men too; and when after a long discussion of the relative merits of the rival candidates, the Town Council' invited our man’to deliver an address before their Honorable Body, on Navies in general, and the German Navy in particular, I considered he had a “sure thing' of it, and, accepting the flagcaptaincy under him, forth with attached myself to his suite.
Thus it happened that I was by his side when he spoke his
speech,' and never shall I forget the sensation it produced. Beginning with the ark, which he clearly demonstrated to be nothing more nor less than a wall-sided clipper-ship, of extraordinary capacity,' the orator gave a brief but comprehensive sketch of all the navies of antiquity, glancing cursorily at the voyages of Scylax and Nearchus, and portraying in glowing colors the shipwreck of the
great Germanicus and his army on these very shores. And coming down to our own times, he dwelt with great emphasis on the destruction, by the English, of the Danish fleet, significantly remarking: What has been done may readily be done again. And now, O wise men of Bremen !' he cried, in conclusion, "last, but not least, comes the German navy—the hope of the oppressed of the earth ! -- the rising-star of European liberty! --- concerning which, I trust it will not be considered presumptuous in me to offer you a few words of counsel and admonition. Abjuring, then, contractors and the contract-system, as you would 'the devil and all his works, let your vessels be built of wood-gopher-wood I would suggest, as likely to last longer and go further than any other - in Government dock-yards, on the banks of your own classic Weser : and that they may be a little in advance of the 6 whole world and the rest of mankind, let their motive-power be placed not amidships, like the common steam-boat's; not astern, like a school-boy's or a propeller's; but forward, gentlemen, forward, chock in the eyes of them! since it cannot have escaped the subtilty of the German brain, I think, that if by any means the bow of a vessel can be made to go through the water, the stern, in nine cases out of ten, will be sure to follow after it. And your ships being constructed of the material and on the plan which I have advised, the question that naturally presents itself to your enlightened minds is, What batteries shall they carry ? To which, I unhesitatingly reply: Let their guns be few in number, but of the highest possible calibre, so that when a Danish · fifty, confident of victory, runs alongside of a German "nine,' she may find she has encountered a wolf in sheep's clothing - a tiger in disguise!'
He ceased, and the whole council-chamber rung with applause, while many a worthy burgher grasped his brother burgher by the hand, and, hoarse with emotion, whispered in his ear: Mein Faderland, mein Faderland! what a future for our Germany! De wolf mit de sheep's clothes on! De tiger mit his guise !'
As soon as the commotion had subsided somewhat, Barker received and accepted an invitation to accompany a party of Bremeners, at an early hour the next morning, on a tour of inspection to the gun-boats of the German Navy, and then left the presence' "to go home and turn in,' as he said, while I threaded my way to the wein-keller, in company with a half-dozen of the San Lorenzos, who were bent on having a comfortable time of it. Of all that transpired that night at the keller, I am free to confess, messmates, I have not a very clear recollection ; but what I do remember distinctly is, that as I was staggering out of it, about
sun-rise the next morning, with a highly respectable load on,' I suddenly brought up all standing against Barker, who, with a bottle of hockheimer in each hand, and a round-faced 'gal' on each arm, was just making his way into it.
Good Heavens, Barker!' I exclaimed, for the sight of him had completely sobered me, what are you doing here? Have you forgotten that you are to be off in less than an hour to inspect the gun-boats ?
But I might as well have spoken to a stone, gentlemen; for if my amiable friend possessed a weakness in the world, that weakness was an uncontrollable penchant for wine and women: so without deigning to make me a reply, he seated himself on the cellar-floor, and dragging his fair companions into his lap, commenced singing for their and my edification:
''Twas on the twenty-fifth of November,
When the ‘Mary' she set sail,
Faddle dum me ding, me ding gi da,
Dingum, dingum di do!' The name of the unfortunate queen who was so outrageously diddled by the Trojan was still lingering on the lips of the singer, when, to my inexpressible horror and mortification, in popped the Minister of the German Marine, accompanied by the burgomaster of Bremen, and a host of other worthies, who, not finding Barker at his hotel, had tracked him (as I afterward learned) from one drinking-place to another, until they finally lit upon him here.
"Ah! mein friend !' said one of the new-comers a certain Mynheer Pretzel, who spoke English fluently — we have found you at last, eh? Now for the gun-boats!' But without heeding the interruption, Barker went on with :
• THE Capting's only dater,
Six maidings clinging reöund;
Faddle dum me ding, me ding gi da,
Dingum, dingum di do!' Shall we not be off now, mein dear friend?' cried Pretzel, valiantly returning to the attack, as he saw that Barker was about tuning his pipes for another effort: “Shall we not be off now for the inspection ?
'Avaunt ! begone! vile caitiffs that ye are !! bellowed the master, now rising to his feet, with a magisterial air :
• Have things, then, come to such a pretty pass,