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And a woman's waving shadow
Is passing to and fro,
Now bowing and bending low.
What tale do the roaring ocean,
And the night-wind, bleak and wild, As they beat at the crazy casement,
Tell to that little child ?
And why do the roaring ocean,
And the night-wind, wild and bleak, As they beat at the heart of the mother, Drive the colour from her cheek?
THE FIRE OF DRIFT-WOOD.
We sat within the farm-house old,
Whose windows, looking o'er the bay, Gave to the sea-breeze, damp and cold,
An easy entrance, night and day.
Not far away we saw the port
The strange, old fashioned, silent town,The lighthouse,—the dismantled fort,
The wooden houses, quaint and brown.
We sat and talked until the night,
Descending, filled the little room ; Our faces faded from the sight,
Our voices only broke the gloom.
We spake of many a vanished scene,
Of what we once had thought and said, Of what had been, and might have been,
And who was changed, and who was dead;
And all that fills the hearts of friends,
When first they feel, with secret pain, Their lives thenceforth have separate ends,
And never can be one again;
The first slight swerving of the heart,
That words are powerless to express, And leave it still unsaid in part,
Or say it in too great excess.
The very tones in which we spake
Had something strange, I could but mark ; The leaves of memory seemed to make
A mournful rustling in the dark.
Oft died the words upon our lips,
As suddenly, from out the fire, Built of the wreck of stranded ships,
The flames would leap, and then expire.
And, as their splendour flashed and failed,
We thought of wrecks upon the main,-Of ships dismasted, that were hailed
And sent no answer back again.
The windows, rattling in their frames,
The ocean, roaring up the beach,The gusty blast,—the bickering flames,
All mingled vaguely in our speech;
Until they made themselves a part
Of fancies floating through the brain,The long-lost ventures of the heart,
That send no answers back again.
O flames that glowed ! O hearts that yearned !
They were indeed too much akin, The drift-wood fire without that burned, The thoughts that burned and glowed within.
THE FIRST DEPARTURE.
How grand, oh sea, thou lonely sea,
Is all thy wandering water ; But yet thou bearest far from me
My boy of song and laughter.
The boy who filled his mother's home
With life and joy and gladness, Thou bearest on thy mighty waste,
And leav'st but tears and sadness.
How grand, old sea, thy lonely waves,
How far the shores it laveth; Yet to those shores thou bear'st away
The boy my spirit craveth.
I miss him at our morning praise,
I miss him at our prayer, I miss him at the Sunday church,-.
My boy, you are not there.
Oh sea, thou sea, thou lonely sea,
That bear'st my child away,
Each passing hour of day.
Remembered in our constant prayer,
Which, God, we raise to Thee; Oh still preserve Thy ransomed child,
That we with Thee may be.
Oh sea, oh sea, oh lonely sea,
Bring back upon thy water, Before death's hand shall part from me
My boy of song and laughter.
But greater far than thou, oh sea,
Is He who lives in heaven,
Rev. E. Monro.