by Achsa White Sprague
A gallant ship has left the strand, and cleaves the foaming deep,
And onward like a thing of life her course undaunted keeps,
She's freighted with a priceless load of many happy hearts,
And some, filled with wild agony, compelled from friends to part.
There's some upon her deck who love to trust the treacherous tide;
And some, to view Earth's thousand scenes, her hills and valleys wide,
To gaze upon her far-famed towers, her high and lofty domes,
And feast the mind with lovely things, have left their sunny homes.
And some, long exiles from their homes in their loved native land,
Till every lock is silvered o'er by Time's relentless hand,
Turn once again, to view the hills and plains of that dear spot
That through their wanderings o'er the earth has never been forgot.
And some, to win the flush of health back to their pallid cheek,
Have bade their homes and friends farewell with anguish none might speak;
For who could tell if those loved forms might fill a lonely grave,
Or, far more sad than aught beside, be buried 'neath the wave!
Ah, who can tell the anxious eyes that watch them from the shore,
Or know the dark forebodings sad that they should meet no more,
Or guess each throb of anguish wild when lowering tempests rise,
And howling winds with dirge-like blast sweep through the darkening skies?
The sky is calm, the breezes light, the Ship speeds o'er the main,
Bearing her load of human hearts, -- will she return again?
Though now awhile the sky is fair, and wind and tempests sleep,
They, e'er to-morrow's dawn, may rise, and shroud her in the deep.
And all the wealth of joyous hearts that with high rapture beat.
To view once more their native land, and friends and kindred meet,
May all be hushed and coldly still beneath the dishing wave,
Where none may know their lonely bed, or weep above their grave.
The friends who loved them fondly well, may never know their fate,
But by their fireside lone and sad through long dark hours may wait,
To greet the loved one's form once more, the well known voice to hear,
To welcome their return with smiles, long hoped with prayers and tears.
An early poem, composed during sickness.
Source:The Poet And Other Poems.
Boston: William White And Co.,
158 Washington Street.