But first the Captain snatched from flame, and pressed within

his breast,
A relic of departed days, of all his heart loved best:
A little Prayer-book, well-worn now, a gift in early life,
Sweet token from his early love ere yet he called her wife.

Then out upon a lonely sea, six hundred miles from land,
The solitary boat sailed forth with that courageous band;
Sailed forth as drifts a withered leaf upon the surging tide,
With only hope to be their strength, and only God as gviide.

Oh! God, it was a fearful thing to float and drift away,

Upon so wide a wilderness, day after weary day,

With meagre store of food and drink which, ere two days had

rolled, They measured out as never yet a miser did his gold.

"Oh, Captain!" cried a sailor boy, "I ran away to sea,

And well I know my mother's heart has sorely grieved for me;

Will some one take my parting love ?—I shall not reach the

shore." And then he smiled a saintly smile, nor smiled nor spoke no


The red sun dipp'd into the sea, and lit the west afar,

The crimson clouds paled one by one, beneath the evening

star; A calm of even-tide enwrapp'd both breeze and sky and wave, When in God's great cathedral vault the sailor found a grave.

They wept no more—but, silent, stood and watched the placid

deep; Thinking with wistful hearts of him who slept such blessed

sleep. And one—a gaunt and giant man—sent forth a bitter cry, And clenched his hand, and shrieked aloud, "Oh, Master,

Let us Die!"

Oh, Let Us Die! The words rang forth through the sweet

summer air, As if a mad and tortured soul breathed out its last wild

prayer. They sounded far athwart the sea, and up into the sky, Till even silence seemed to make the echo, " Let Us Die!" Then rose the Captain, sternly sad, and where the sun had set, He waved one hand, and cried in tones which could command

them yet: "Oh, comrades! will you see His works, and doubt that He

can still Save e'en in the eleventh hour, if such should be His Will (

"Oh, whilst there's life, despair not! Have we mothers.

children, wives 1 Does not Their memory give us all the strength of double lives I Mind ye not how the widow's cruse, though wasted, filled

again: We've yet the widow's God o'erhead, and yet a little grain.

Where palaces of merchant kings in marbled splendour rise— And gleam beneath the burning blue of fair Calcutta's skies— Where orange groves and myrtle bowers weigh down the

sultry air, The Captain's fair young wife abode, and watched his coming


She never heard the billows roar, or saw a ship at sea, Without a thought of those who steered the bonnie Golden

Bee; She never kissed her babes at night, or woke at dawn of day, Without a prayer that God would speed her sailor on his way.

One night rose up a fierce monsoon, and with a sudden roar, Startled the waves from twilight rest, and dashed against the

shore; Where all night long they shrieked and wailed, and sobbing

sunk to sleep, As dying groans of shipwrecked men fade on the silent deep.

The Captain's babes serenely slept, and through the tempest

smiled, As sweet forget-me-nots bloom fair amid an Alpine wild; The mother, weeping, clasped her hands, and, pacing to and

fro, Prayed, with a white faced misery, in murmurs faint and low.

"Oh, God! who 'mid ten thousand worlds has fixed Thy

glorious seat, And cares for every human heart that worships at Thy feet, Pity my happy,.helpless babes—my watchful agony,

And guide my husband's precious life in safety back to me."

Days glided by, and brought the time when every ship might

be That one for which her soul was sick of wistfulness to see; Days grew to weeks, and still she watched, and hoped, and

prayed the same, For the Golden Bee's safe advent, which never, never came.

She held her children to her heart, and prayed without a word (Ofttimes the heart's unspoken prayer by Heaven is soonest

heard); And if the heedless played or slept, the passion of her grief Would spend itself in wailing tears, which brought her no


Then, as a soft and tranquil day follows a night of rain,
And drooping flowers will feel the sun, and ope their leaves

again, For sweetest sake of feeble babes, no helper by save One, She learned to lead a widowed life, and say, "Thy Will Be


One night the moon escaped from clouds, and with a pale

light gleamed Over the sea, which felt the glow, and murmured as it

dreamed; Her bright boy cradled at her feet, her baby on her breast, She sung her evening cradle song, and hushed the pair to rest.

Awhile the elder child still drowsed, and like a dove in June,
Cooed from his little downy nest unto his mother's tune,
A ship that bore a foreign flag rode calmly with the tide,
And dropp'd its anchor in the port, by the fair city's side.

Before the mother's voice had ceased its chanting, fond and

sweet, A distant footstep echoed through the silence of the street; And when the boy's blue dreamy eyes sought for her face no

more, A shadow flecked the window panes, and paused without the


A shadow of a human form, but oh, so white and wan!
As if the strong vitality of manhood must be gone;

Then came a low breathed, tender voice, it only murmured

"wife!" And heart to heart the two were clasped, called back to new

glad life.

For hours they hardly spoke a word, but shedding blessed

tears, Poured out their prayers of thankfulness to One who always

hears; Those tears fell on their sleeping babes. O children, ye

receive Such pure baptismal rite as Church or Priesthood ere can give.

All the Year Round.


I Labour under a species of distress, which, I fear, will at length drive me utterly from this society, in which I am most ambitious to appear; but I shall give you a short sketch of my origin and present situation, by which you will be enabled to judge of my difficulties.

You must know, I am of such extreme susceptibility of shame, that, on the slightest subject of confusion, my blood all rushes into my cheeks, and I appear a perfect full-blown rose.

Sir Thomas Friendly, who lives about three miles distant, is a baronet, with an estate of about two thousand pounds a-year, adjoining that which I purchased. He has two small sons and five tall daughters, all grown-up, and living at Friendly-hall, dependent on their father. Conscious of my unpolished gait, I have, for some time past, taken private lessons from a professor, who teaches "grown-up gentlemen to dance;" and although I at first found wondrous difficulty in the art he taught, yet my knowledge of the mathematics was of prodigious use, in teaching me the equilibrium of my body, and the due adjustment of the centre of gravity to the five positions. Having now acquired the art of walking without tottering, and learned to make a bow, I boldly ventured to accept the baronet's invitation to a family dinner; - not doubting but my new acquirements would enable me to see the ladies with tolerable intrepidity; but alas! how vain are all the hopes of theory, when unsupported by habitual practice! As I approached the house, a dinner-bell alarmed my fears, lest I had spoiled the dinner by want of punctuality. Impressed with this idea, I blushed the deepest crimson as my name was repeatedly announced by the several livery servants, who ushered me into the library, hardly knowing whom or what I saw. At my first entrance, I summoned all my fortitude, and made my newly-acquired bow to Lady Friendly; but, unfortunately, bringing back my left foot into the third position, I trod upon the gouty toe of poor Sir Thomas, who had followed close at my heels to be the nomenclator of the family. The confusion this accident occasioned in me is hardly to be conceived, since none but bashful men can judge of my distress. The baronet's politeness by degrees dissipated my concern; and I was astonished to see how far good-breeding could enable him to suppress his feelings, and to appear at perfect ease after so painful an accident.

The cheerfulness of her ladyship, and the famili^ chat of the young ladies, insensibly led me to throw off my reserve and sheepishness, till at length I ventured to join in the conversation, and even to start fresh subjects. The library being richly furnished with books in elegant bindings, I conceived Sir Thomas to be a man of literature; and ventured to give my opinion concerning the several editions of the Greek classics—in which the baronet's ideas exactly coincided with my own! To this subject I was led by observing an edition of Xenophon, in sixteen volumes; which (as I had never before heard of such a thing) greatly excited my curiosity, and I approached to examine what it could be. Sir Thomas saw what I was about, and (as I supposed) willing to save me trouble, rose to take down the book, which made me more eager to prevent him; and, hastily laying my hand on the first volume, I pulled it forcibly—when, lo! instead of books, a board, which, by leather and gilding, had been made to look like sixteen volumes, came tumbling down, and, unluckily, pitched upon a wedgewood inkstand on the table under it. In vain did Sir Thomas assure me there was no harm 'done. I saw the ink streaming from an inlaid table on the Turkey carpet; and, scarce knowing what I did, attempted to stop its progress with my cambric handkerchief. In the height of this confusion, we were informed that dinner was served up.

In walking through the hall and suite of apartments to the dining-room, I had time to collect my scattered senses; till I was desired to take my seat at table, betwixt Lady Friendly and her eldest daughter. Since the fall of the wooden Xeno

« 上一页继续 »