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To Infancy, that lisps her praise- to Age
Whose eye reflects it, glistening through a tear
Of tremulous admiration. Such true fame
Awaits her now; but, verily, good deeds
Do no imperishable record find
Of those who, in that dauntless energy,
Foretaste deliverance; but the least perturbed
Can scarcely trust his eyes, when he perceives
That of the pair-tossed on the waves to bring
Hope to the hopeless, to the dying, life-
One is a woman, a poor earthly sister,
Or, be the visitant other than she seems,
A guardian spirit sent from pitying Heaven,
Save in the rolls of heaven, where hers may live
A theme for angels, when they celebrate
The high-souled virtues which forgetful earth
Has witnessed. Oh! that winds and waves could speak In woman's shape. But why prolong the tale,
Casting weak words amid a host of thoughts
Armed to repel them? Every hazard faced.
And difficulty mastered, with resolve
Of things which their united power call forth
From the pure depths of her humanity!
A maiden gentle, yet, at duty's call,
Firm and unflinching, as the lighthouse reared
On the Island-rock, her lonely dwelling-place;
Or like the invincible rock itself, that braves
Age after age the hostile elements,
As when it guarded holy Cuthbert's cell.
That no one breathing should be left to perish,
This last remainder of the crew are all
Placed in the little boat, then o'er the deep
Are safely borne, landed upon the beach,
And, in fulfilment of God's mercy, lodged
Within the sheltering lighthouse. - Shout ye waves!
Send forth a song of triumph. Waves and winds,
Exult in this deliverance wrought through faith
In Him whose Providence your rage hath served!
Ye screaming Sea-mews, in the concert join!
And would that some immortal voice
- a voice
Fitly attuned to all that gratitude
Breathes out from floor or couch, through pallid lips
Of the survivors to the clouds might bear-
Blended with praise of that parental love,
Beneath whose watchful eye the maiden grew
Pious and pure, modest and yet so brave,
Though young so wise, though meek so resolute –
Might carry to the clouds and to the stars,
Yea, to celestial choirs, GRACE DARLING's name!
All night the storm had raged, nor ceased, nor paused,
When, as day broke, the maid, through misty air,
Espies far off a wreck, amid the surf,
Beating on one of those disastrous isles
Half of a vessel, half-no more; the rest
Had vanished, swallowed up with all that there
Had for the common safety striven in vain,
Or thither thronged for refuge. With quick glance
Daughter and sire through optic-glass discern,
Clinging about the remnant of this ship,
Creatures-how precious in the maiden's sight!
For whom, belike, the old man grieves still more
Than for their fellow-sufferers engulfed
Where every parting agony is hushed,
And hope and fear mix not in further strife.
But courage, father! let us out to sea
A few may yet be saved." The daughter's words,
Her earnest tone, and look beaming with faith,
Dispel the father's doubts: nor do they lack
The noble-minded mother's helping hand
To launch the boat; and with her blessing cheered,
And inwardly sustained by silent prayer,
Together they put forth, futher and child!
Each grasp an oar, and struggling on they go.
Rivals in effort; and, alike intent
Here to elude and there surmount, they watch
The billows lengthening, mutually crossed
And shattered, and re-gathering their might;
As if the tumult, by the Almighty's will
Were, in the conscious sea, roused and prolonged
'That woman's fortitude- so tried, so proved –
May brighten more and more!
True to the mark,
They stem the current of that perilous gorge,
Their arms still strengthening with the strengthening
Though danger as the wreck is near'd, becomes
More imminent. Not unseen do they approach;
And rapture, with varieties of fear
Incessantly conflicting, thrills the frames
OF A FORSAKEN INDIAN WOMAN.
[When a Northern Indian, from sickness, is unable to continue his journey with his companions. he is left behind, covered over with deer-skins, and is supplied with water, food, and fuel, if the situa tion of the place will afford it. He is informed of the track which his companions intend to pursue, and if he be unable to follow, or overtake them, he perishes alone in the desert; unless he should have the good fortune to fall in with some other tribes of Indians. The females are equally, or still more, exposed to the same fate. See that very interesting work HEARNE'S JOURNEY from HUDSON'S BAY to the NORTHERN OCEAN. In the high northern latitudes, as the same writer informs us, when the northern lights vary their position in the air, they make a rustling and a crackling noise, so alluded to in the following poem.]
BEFORE I see another day,
O let my body die away!
In sleep I heard the northern gleanis;
The stars, they were among my dreams;
In rustling conflict through the skies,
I heard, I saw the flashes drive,
And yet they are upon my eyes,
And yet I am alive;
Before I see another day,
O let my body die away!