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At the soft hour of even-fall
« And sad, in ocean dark and vast, We made his quiet bed,
When death has struck his prey,
A lonely thing, away ;
Till the great Judgment-Day!
“ Yet have I stood where sick men die, The mariner rose, and said :
Where slaughter rife hath been, « Thus sleeps an infant, on the breast And learned to look with steadfast eye Of a fond mother laid ;
On many a dismal scene;
There's one upon my heart would lie,
Though ages came between. « And 'tis a blessed lot, to lie
“ 'Tis fifty summers past and more ;Beneath familiar ground,
We had sailed in seventy-three ;Where ever friends are wandering by, For full two years since touching shore, And kindred sleep around;
We cruised, and kept the sea :-
Our ship was a lovely forty-four-
A gallant bark was she !
As rarely scud and steer,
And knew we held her dear;
And boast her brave career !
“ She was long and low, and sharp be“ When, for his passing-bell, the gale
With a gently curved side,
And white decks, flush and wide,
So sweet a mould you could not shew Of sailors' wintry graves !"
In all the seas beside. Thy words have strongly won mine ear
“Her yards were square, her spars were Say on, thou aged man!
slim, Ay, me! how many a brave career "
Well set by stay and shroud ; (The mariner grey began) “ Hath closed on such a weltering bier !"
Her snowy canvass, broad and trim,
Swelled o'er her, like a cloud;
It was a joy, to see her swim,
Her warrior-decks along,
Right terrible and strong ;-
Who wield proud England's might ! When battle gave them tongue ! “God wot, great joy it is, to range
“ Her speed was as the arrowy sleet, The blue waves to and fro,
Winged by a northern gale; A joy the mariner would not change
And when away,
with flowing sheet, For all that crowns bestow;
She loosed her broad mainsail, But the sea hath seasons sad and strange, The surge behind her rushing feet That landsmen little know.
Shone like a comet's trail. “ 'Tis fearful, when the angry gale
“ Her rest was as a giant's sleep; Strips the curled ocean bare,
Her chase, the stoop of war;
Her roar, the earthquake's jar;
Her flag, the ocean star !" “ 'Tis awful, in the midnight lone, St. George ! how proud the old man grew! When clouds are pacing slow,
He rose, and waved his hand :-
Strange figures on the sand,
His tale, at my demand :
Sailed in our frigate then-
With heart enough for ten ;
To bear the toils of men ! "All loved the child; for hope and joy
Like sun-light round him shone; We trembled for the noble boy,
And watched him night and noon, Lest the quick spirit should destroy
His slender lamp too soon. " And when he fain our watch would
share, And every storm abide, We sought his tender years to spare,
But could not tame the pride That bore him on to do and dare,
And might not be denied. « Full little thanks the urchin bold
For all our cares repaid; • He was,' said he, too stout and old
For fondling like a maid ; Nor did he fear, for toil or cold,
To learn his gallant trade.'
The pride of every eye,
But smiled as he went by ;
To meet his quick reply. « But when the winter nights came on,
With sea, and snow, and gale; His little strength ran out anon,
And his fresh cheek grew pale ; The time was all too stern for one
So flower-like and so frail. “ Though nought would urge him to com
plain, We marked him wan and weak; For the brave lad strove to hide his pain,
And bore, but did not speak ;And when we took him down, would fain
Have lingered on the deck.
While idly sick he lay :
He withered day by day ;
- At length he passed away!
From the cold sea beneath ;
The child had ceased to breathe
So peaceful was his death!
All ashen-white and cold,
Like rose-buds' inner fold;
Even as it wont of old.
“ The ancient mates did then declare,
(1 ween they deemed aright,) His soul around its dwelling fair
Was hovering ere its flight;
Till close of that day-light. « Then up and spake our captain brave,
(For that we loved him well,) When he had heard those old men grave
Discoursing as I tell,
Before the evening bell.' “So we kept the child throughout the day,
A dull and sorrowing crew;
And the sea of sullen hue :
Wild, and more wild it blew. “ Ere the red sun sank down, the north
Lowered black and tempest-browed : And when the evening bell rang forth,
The waves were singing loud :We brought the body from its berth
Wrapped in a hammock-shroud. “ Mournful and slow, with heavy cheer,
By the lee gangway laid,
Till the last rites were paid ;
The hearts of all dismayed. “ The night had fallen swift and black,
With spouts of sudden rain;
Made our strong frigate strain,
Groan, like a soul in pain.
To match our task of wo:-
The troubled groups below,
knit Looked spectral in the glow. “ Then some that watched to windward
said, Right in the tempest's eye, The Phantom-Ship, with sails all spread,
Swept in the darkness by ; Till, what with grief and ghostly dread,
Our hearts were like to die. « And cheerless was our weltering plight
With pain and sea-spray wet,
And cold with dumb regret-
It makes me shiver yet!"
Thrill in the withered brake,
Through every limb did shake : Long time he closed his lips : at last,
Gravely the old man spake :
“Unheard, thenceforth, the chaplain read;
He had as well been dumb ; “Now when his stand the chaplain took,- But we saw his face by the lamp o'er head, He was a weak old man,
And when the time was come, So loud the grinding timbers shook,
He made a sign to cast the dead So loud the wild sea ran,
Forth to its stormy tomb. Scarce could we hear, as from the book
“ Now, when the corpse to sea we gave, The service he began :
Christ! through the pallid night, « « The resurrection and the life
Full on the ship a whirlwind drove, I am,' the Lord hath said ;
So swift and full of might, • And he shall live who trusts in me,
It swept the unburied from the wave, Although that he be dead;
And bore it from our sight! Whoso on me doth rest, in faith,
“ And the mariners gave a shuddering cry, His life is ransomed!
A cry of wild dismay, “And ever as the rite was read
To see the corpse pass whirling by, More shrilly rang the gale ;
Ere it could break the spray.And heavier rain, in torrents shed,
For thus, they deemed, the Enemy Hissed in the panting sail ;
Had torn the child away. Thus few of all the words he said
“Short leisure, 'midst the storm's descent, Might o'er the din prevail.
For awe or thought had we, “I know that my Redeemer, Christ,
As straight, through sails and rigging rent, In heaven liveth aye ;
Down gushed the dark green sea ; And he shall stand upon the earth
While reeled our ship, as though she meant In the great Judgment-Day:
To founder by the lee. Yea, though the worms my dust consume, “Beneath the varying shocks o'er-strained, As for this mortal clod,
A quivering hulk she lay ; Even in the flesh, I yet shall see
The waves, like monsters fiery-maned, The presence of my God!'
Seemed gathering o'er their prey ; “ And when he breathed that holy word Lord I how the deafening gusts, unchained The gust it raved so loud,
On every side, did bray! That further speech might none be heard, “We could not hear the Captain's shout, So rattled sail and shroud :
Yet well we guessed the word, Still we could see his thin lips stirred, As, hissing loud, the waterspout And oft his head he bowed.
Burst terribly on board, « The burdened mainsail, smitten sore,
And from its flash the light flew out Strained wild at brace and sheet ;
Keen as a flaming sword. The climbing seas, with hoarser roar, “ We could not aid the good ship's toil ; On the crushed bulwarks beat;
For masterless, and crossed And, hissing, as the ship lay o'er,
By countless blows, at each recoil, High washed the corpse's feet.
More helplessly she tossed : u Great awe was ours, and whispering We could but hear the mad sea boil, spake
And gave our lives for lost! Each man to man around,
“ But ere we drave ten fathoms wide, That the great sea-snake lay in our wake, After the corpse flew past, That laughs when fleets are drowned :
The gale went down, and lulled, and died ; The next brief lull, this sentence brake And the sea smoothed so fast,
Through the vexed waters' sound : That ere mid-watch, we seemed to glide « When thy strong breath doth scatter
Across a waveless waste. them,
And where the Eastern billows slept Even as a sleep they pass :
In the moist starlight dim, All suddenly they fall away,
Uprose the loving moon, and pept And perish like the grass :
O'er the full ocean's brim ; At morning, green it Aourisheth : And a faint murmur round us crept, Lo! ere the even-tide,
Sweet as a seraph's hymn. Its beauty falls before the sithe,
“ Then did our praise to Him who Is withered up and dried.'
wrought " At once the gale uprose again :
That blessed calm, ascend ; It seemed, that instant still
But awe bechilled us, as we thought Were breathing space for louder strain; Upon our parted friend ;
For, trumpet-voiced and shrill, Each questioned much, and answered It came with such a gush of rain,
nought, As though the ship must fill.
For none could counsel lend :
“ Till up and spake the oldest mate,
And thus his rede was given ;-
With Angel bands had striven;
In the wild storm to Heaven.'
The child is with the blest, That burial, like an ugly dream,
For ever haunts my rest,
Though when I pray, there falls a beam
Of comfort on my breast. “ But none who mourn in churchyards
Or what stern death may be,
In the midnight gale, at sea !”
SOME LATE PASSAGES IN THE LIFE OF JOHN BULL, ESQ.
(Continued from Page 599, vol. 1.)
Shewing how Bill Boswain lost his Breeches, and what came thereof ; the Stramash
in John's Family, and the Rumpus at the Mitre.
Bill BOSWAIN did not well remember how he tumbled into bed on the night of the hop, after the dismissal of Gaffer; but all night long he dreams of the 'Squire transformed into a bear in a rage ; and of Gaffer and his Broom talking; and of the message he behoved to send in the morning. And then, that his wenches were frying the old dish, and Hookey standing by, staring at him like a mad doctor, using a horn to make him swallow it. The message to Gaffer, to say truth, was ready cut-and-dry, long before ; though Bill, poor soul, might not know as much.
Late in the morning he rubs up his eyes, with something of a head.. ache, and perhaps, something of a heartache too, if he had owned it ; but he put the best face on the matter. “ Where's my wife ?" quoth he. “ In the back parlour with Hookey, darning a stocking;” for it was always making a pudding or darning a stocking she was. This good housewife was never meddling with John's matters—not she ! “ Then bring me my breeches,” quoth Bill.—But up or down, high or low, no such article was to be found. “ Where's my breeches,” shouted Bill, manfully ; for his wife was now gone out to chapel. “What a spot of work is here," quoth that pert gipsy, Jenny Driver; “I daresay that rogue, H. B. has stolen them to make a picture of them, and they may be in Rag Fair by this time." “ I'll have my breeches,” cried Bill ;
« If the 'Squire hear of this,” “ Sure you have no more need of such an article than a Highlander for kneebuckles,” said the forward, saucy wench, whose shrewish, merry humour made her a great favourite with Bill ; “ A’n't you a brisk Jack tar, and shouldn't sport shorts. There's Hookey on the stairs : throw any thing on you for decency; and get up, and put that prig Gaffer out of his pain. Here's an old petticoat of my mistress's, and here's a wrap-rascal of
's." It was impossible to make out the name ; whether the last flourish was the up-swirled tail of an or r, or the sweep of an e or d, no could tell; and of which garment Bill availed himself, or if he donned both, history is mute ; but up he got, in time to hear that his mes.. sage to Greysteel had caused a commotion in John's family, to which all that had ever happened before was mere moonshine in water;
and the beauty of it was, that Prince Rusty, and the Old Gen. tlewoman were now almost as anxious as John that Madam should be brought in, if that would only make peace in the house, so mortally afraid were they of Sister Peg, and Brummagem Tom.
Every Steel was on the alert, “ All hands aloft” was the cry, and “ Down with Hookey ;” and even Prince Rustyfusty himself seemed less hateful to them at this time than the old Drill. And ever and anon they would shout, “ Bill Boswain has sold Madam !-sold her! and be. trayed John Bull !” and every five minutes a fresh scout of the Rusty faction would bounce into Bill's parlour, which no Steel would now look near, and where neither Tims nor Chronie would be admitted, when they begged to tell Bill the rights of the story.
« Mrs. Bull, the vixen,” cried one, “ is still insisting on keeping the keys." “Well, Moses will lend us a couple of pieces for a few days, to carry on the war,” cried Hookey, nothing daunted yet ; “ I have thrown as much in his way before now.' But Moses “ pegged the prave and callant Hookey would exquies de poor Cherman Chew, who was stranger, and did not wish to meddle or make in 'Squire Pull's familish.” Hookey, it is said, lent him a kick, made him bounce out at the window, where, in falling, he knocked down Old Bags, Mad Charley, and the Pettifogger, like as many nine pins set up for practice. But as a faithful and veracious historian, I must premise, that this part of my narrative is not authenticated, and that it is as like Hookey would have been sly enough to apply privately for funds to That Most Mighty and Potent, &c., &c., before trying a Jew money-lender. But to return.
“ What next, goose-face ?" cries the Old Corporal, as Silly Billy came in, blowing and puffing, Hookey's hands now as full of work as if there had been a grand cock-match next day ; besides having all the wenches hanging on him. “ Peg,” cried Silly Billy,“ is coming striding up the North Wynd, * her petticoats kilted to the knee, laying about her with a rung,t her eyne like a wild-cat's, and Donald hard behind her, ettling at the Skien Dhu."
“ Peg has been at her whisky bottle this morning," quoth the Raw Duckling ;# but had you seen the pair of black lucken brows Peg bent, when this was told her, ye might guess the reason Duckie was fain to sing dumb, and eat in these same.words of wisdom.
“ Pat is whooping over the bog like a mad bull, flourishing his shille. lah, and swearing by the Poker to be the death of the Old Gentlewoman, and to break every bone in Hookey's body,” said Derrydown Georgy, or Paddy Roddy, or some one or other of those spalpeens that had provoked Pat to this.
“ What next, Gents.?” cried Hookey sulkily; and between hands he and the wenches were sending off gossoons and caddies to every quarter -to Sly Bob, to Chanticleer, to the Chuff, &c. &c. “ What next, your honour?
If this is not enough, there's Brummagem Tem, beating up, on his iron griddle, and all the hive gathering at his tail, brandishing Sheffield whittles, and swearing to make mince-meat of you.” “ The Devil they do," quoth Hookey, pretending still to be nothing daunted. “ Peg and Tom are swearing a Solemn League and Covenant against you.” Peg's heart jumped to her mouth when she heard of this Covenant.
See Horne Tooke. # The
+ See Jamieson.