by Hannah Flagg Gould
If ever I venture again on the deep,
And hope, with the night, for the blessings of sleep --
To die to the real, and live in a dream,
I'll not clear the land in a boat pushed by steam,
To suffer the torture the helpless one feels,
Entrapped in a ship made to run upon wheels!
Can this be the wave with its light, foamy wreath,
So much like a hard, rocky mountain, beneath
The thundering keel and my quivering berth,
That seem undergoing a quake of the earth,
The while this sea-monster, with bowels of fire,
Is jarring one's head like a toy upon wire?
The creaking and dashing from timber and flood,
And thoughts of the boiler are chilling my blood,
As slowly I measure each wearisome hour,
Deprived of all action, and freedom, and power,
And hope but remains in one glimmering ray,
That breath may be seared till the dawning of day.
While through the long cabin, with pale, dying light,
The dim, lonely lamp, adds but gloom to the night,
At rest on their shelves, its dumb tenants recline
Like those of a tomb, as I view them from mine,
And dare not to slumber, lest nightmare should put
A stop to my heart with her broad, leaden foot.
O come, blessed morning, that I may arise
To breathe the free air, and behold the bright skies!
Return, holy light, and to order restore
The nerves, that were never such rebels before;
And let me go forth with the use of my heels,
To flee from the ship made to run upon wheels.
Source:Poems By Miss H. F. Gould. Volume 2.
Hilliard, Gray, & Co., Boston