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Each tall and tapering mast
Holding it firm and fast!
In the deer-haunted forests of Maine,
When upon mountain and plain
They fell,-those lordly pines!
Those grand, majestic pines!
Panting beneath the goad,
Dragged down the weary, winding road
To feel the stress and the strain
Would remind them for ever more
Of their native forests they should not see again.
And every where
The slender, graceful spars
Poise aloft in the air,
And at the mast-head,
White, blue, and red,
A flag unrolls the stripes and stars.
Ah! when the wanderer, lonely, friendless,
In foreign harbours shall behold
That flag unrolled,
"Twill be as a friendly hand
Stretched out from his native land,
Filling his heart with memories sweet and endless!
All is finished! and at length
Has come the bridal day
Of beauty and of strength.
To-day the vessel shall be launched!
With fleecy clouds the sky is blanched,
And o'er the bay,
Slowly, in all his splendours dight,
With ceaseless flow,
His beard of snow
Heaves with the heaving of his breast.
He waits impatient for his bride.
With her foot upon the sands,
Her snow-white signals fluttering, blending,
Ready to be
The bride of the gray,
The joyous bridegroom bows his head;
Down his own the tears begin to run.
The shepherd of that wandering flock,
Of the sailor's heart,
All its pleasures and its griefs,
All those secret currents, that flow
And lift and drift, with terrible force,
"Like unto ships far off at sea,
And climb the crystal wall of the skies,
And then again to turn and sink,
As if we could slide from its outer brink.
It is not the sea that sinks and shelves,
That rock and rise
With endless and uneasy motion,
Now sinking into the depths of ocean.
To the toil and the task we have to do,
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,
She starts, she moves,-she seems to feel
And, spurning with her foot the ground,
And lo! from the assembled crowd
How beautiful she is! How fair
Sail forth into the sea, O ship!
Through wind and wave, right onward steer! The moistened eye, the trembling lip,
Are not the signs of doubt or fear.
Sail forth into the sea of life,
Thy comings and thy goings be!
Thou too, sail on, O Ship of State!
Are all with thee,-are all with thee!
THE EVENING STAR.
JUST above yon sandy bar,
As the day grows fainter and dimmer, Lonely and lovely, a single star
Lights the air with a dusky glimmer.
Into the ocean faint and far
Falls the trail of its golden splendour,
Chrysaor rising out of the sea,
Showed thus glorious and thus emulous,
Leaving the arms of Callirrhoe,
For ever tender, soft, and tremulous.
Thus o'er the ocean faint and far
Trailed the gleam of his falchion brightly;
Is it a god, or is it a star,
That, entranced, I gaze on nightly!
THE SECRET OF THE SEA.
АH! what pleasant visions haunt me
All the old romantic legends,
All my dreams, come back to me.
Sails of silk and ropes of sendal,
Most of all, the Spanish ballad
Like the long waves on a sea-beach,
Telling how the Count Arnaldos,
How he heard the ancient helmsman
Till his soul was full of longing,
"Wouldst thou,”- -so the helmsman answered,
In each sail that skims the horizon,
I behold that stately galley,
Till my soul is full of longing
And the heart of the great ocean
Sends a thrilling pulse through me.