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All those secret currents that flow
With such resistless undertow,
And lift and drift, with terrible force,
The will from its moorings and its course:
Therefore he spoke, and thus said he:-
“Like unto ships far off at sea,
Outward or homeward bound are we.
Before, behind, and all around
Floats and swings the horizon's bound.
Seems at its distant rim to rise
And climb the crystal wall of the skies,
And then again to turn and sink,
As if we could slide from its outer brink.
Ah! it is not the sea,
It is not the sea that sinks and shelves,
That rock and rise
With endless and uneasy motion,
Now touching the very skies,
Now sinking into the depths of ocean.
Ah! if our souls but poise and swing,
Like the compass in its brazen ring,
Ever level and ever true
To the toil and task we have to do,
We shall sail securely, and safely reach
The Fortunate Isles, on whose shining beach
The sights we see, and the sounds we hear,
Will be those of joy, and not of fear.”
Then the master,
With a gesture of command,
Waved his hand;
And, at the word,
Loud and sudden there was heard,
All around them and below,
The sound of hammers, blow on blow,
Knocking away the shores and spurs.
And see! she stirs !
She starts; she moves; she seems to feel
The thrill of life along her keel,
And, spurning with her foot the ground,
With one exulting, joyous bound
She leaps into the ocean's arms !
And, lo! from the assembled crowd
There rose a shout, prolong'd and loud,
That to the ocean seemed to say,
“Take her, O bridegroom old and gray,
Take her to thy protecting arms,
With all her youth and all her charms !”
How beautiful she is! How fair
She lies within those arms that press
Her form with many a soft caress
Of tenderness and watchful care!
Sail forth into the sea, O ship!
Through wind and wave right onward steer!
The moisten's eye, the trembling lip,
Are not the signs of doubt or fear.
Sail forth into the sea of life,
O gentle, loving, trusting wife,
And safe from all adversity
Upon the bosom of that sea
Thy comings and thy goings be!
For gentleness, and love, and trust
Prevail o'er angry wave and gust;
And in the wreck of noble lives,
Something immortal still survives.
Thou too sail on, O Ship of State !
Sail on, 0 Union, strong and great!
Humanity, with all its fears,
With all the hopes of future years,
Is hanging breathless on thy fate !
We know what master laid thy keel,
What workman wrought thy ribs of steel,
Who made each mast, and sail, and rope,
What anvils rang, what hammers beat,
In what a forge and what a heat
Were shaped the anchors of thy hope.
Fear not each sudden sound and shock:
'Tis of the wave, and not the rock;
'Tis but the flapping of the sail,
And not a rent made by the gale !
In spite of rock and tempest's roar,
In spite of false lights on the shore,
Sail on, nor fear to breast the sea !
Our hearts, our hopes, are all with thee:
Our hearts, our hopes, our prayers, our tears,
Our faith triumphant o'er our fears,
Are all with thee! are all with thee!
"CHAPLAIN, I am dying, dying:
Cut a lock from off my hair,
For my darling mother, chaplain,
After I am dead, to wear :
Mind you, 'tis for mother, chaplain,
She whose early teachings now
Soothe and comfort the poor soldier
With the death-dew on his brow!
“Kneel down, now, beside me, chaplain,
And return my thanks to Him
Who so good a mother gave me:
Oh, my eyes are growing dim! Tell her, chaplain, should you see her,
All at last with me was well ; Through the valley of the shadow
I have gone, with Christ to dwell!
“Do not weep, I pray you, chaplain :
Yes, ah! weep for mother dear; I'm the only living son, sir,
Of a widow'd mourner here: Mother! I am going, going
To the land where angels dwell; I commend you unto Jesus :
Mother darling-fare you well!”
Downward from their thrones of beauty
Look'd the stars upon his face; Upward on the wings of duty
Sped the angel of God's grace,
Bearing through the heavenly portal,
To his blessed home above,
The dead soldier's soul immortal,
To partake of Christ's sweet love.
Far away, in humble cottage,
Sits his mother, sad and lone; And her eyes are red with weeping,
Thinking of her absent son: Suddenly Death's pallid presence
Casts a shadow o'er her brow: Smiling a sweet smile of welcome,
She is with her loved ones now!
(EXTRACT FROM “THE WAGONER OF THE ALLEGHANIES.")
Out of the North the wild news came,
Far flashing on its wings of flame,
Swift as the boreal light which flies
At midnight through the startled skies.
And there was tumult in the air,
The fife's shrill note, the drum's loud beat,
And through the wide land everywhere
The answering tread of hurrying feet;
While the first oath of Freedom's gun
Came on the blast from Lexington;
And Concord roused, no longer tame,
Forgot her old baptismal name,
Made bare her patriot arm of power,
And swell’d the discord of the hour.
Within its shade of elm and oak
The church of Berkley Manor stood;
There Sunday found the rural folk,
And some esteemd of gentle blood.
In vain their feet with loitering tread Pass'd mid the graves where rank is naught; All could not read the lesson taught
In that republic of the dead.
How sweet the hour of Sabbath talk,
The vale with peace and sunshine full,
Where all the happy people walk,
Deck'd in their homespun flax and wool !
Where youth's gay hats with blossoms bloom;