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And my shoulder stiff to the wheel I lay,
As I answer, "Ay, ay, sir! Ha-a-rd a lee!"
With the swerving leap of a startled steed
The ship flies fast in the eye of the wind,
The dangerous shoals on the lee recede,
And the headland white we have left behind.
The topsails flutter, the jibs collapse, And belly and tug at the groaning cleats;
The spanker slats, and the mainsail flaps;
And thunders the order, "Tacks and sheets!"
'Mid the rattle of blocks and the tramp of the crew,
Hisses the rain of the rushing squall: The sails are aback from clew to clew.
And now is the moment for, "Mainsail, haul!”
And the heavy yards, like a baby's toy,
By fifty strong arms are swiftly
She holds her way, and I look with joy
For the first white spray o'er the bulwarks flung.
"Let go, and haul!" 'Tis the last command,
And the head-sails fill to the blast once more:
Astern and to leeward lies the land, With its breakers white on the shingly shore.
What matters the reef, or the rain, or the squall?
I steady the helm for the open sea; The first mate clamors, "Belay there, all!"
And the captain's breath once more comes free.
In my fo'castle bunk, in a jacket dry,
Eight bells have struck and my watch is below.
And so off shore let the good ship fly: Little care I how the gusts may blow,
SONG OF THE EMIGRANTS IN BERMUDA.
WHERE the remote Bermudas ride In the ocean's bosom unespied, From a small boat that rowed along, The listening winds received this
"What should we do but sing His praise,
That led us through the watery
Where He the huge sea-monsters wracks,
That lift the deep upon their backs,
He gave us this eternal spring
And throws the melons at our feet;
THE MILKY WAY.
"Lo," quoth he, "cast up thine
eye, See yonder, lo! the galaxie, The which men clepe the Milky Way, For it is white; and some parfay Callen it Watling streete,
That once was brent with the hete, When the Sunne's sonne the rede, That hight Phaeton, would lead Algate his father's cart, and gie.*
The cart horses gan well aspie, That he could no governaunce, And gan for to leape and praunce, And bear him up, and now down, Till he saw the Scorpioun,. Which that in Heaven a signe is yet, And for feré lost his wit Of that, and let the reynés gone Of his horses, and they anone Soone up to mount, and downe descend,
Till both air and Earthé brend,