Phoebe Carey

Sept 4, 1824 - 1871


The Reefer

by Phoebe Carey

Yes, sailor, when the angry deep
Its war with heaven is waging,
I'll tell thee why I sit and weep
When thus the storm is raging.
Once when the sea, as now, was tossed
With fierce and wild commotion,
I stood unheeding on the coast,
And watched the troubled ocean.

For as the arrowy bolts were hurled
In fiery wrath from heaven,
We saw afar, with canvas furled,
A ship through darkness driven.
I had a brother then, whose bark
Upon the sea was riding,
And when I saw that vessel dark,
I knew his hand was guiding.

And now, as fiercer came the light,
And as the storm grew drearer,
We saw her through the gathering night
Come near the strand, and nearer!
Already fancy clasped once more
The form so fondly cherished,
When, reaching to the fatal shore,
That vessel struck and perished!

And now, upon the sea, when'er
The black clouds o'er us hover,
I see that frail bark strike. and hear
The shriek that rose above her!
No change can lull my thoughts to sleep,
No time my grief assuages;
And therefore, sailor, do I weep,
When thus the tempest rages.


The Poems Of Phoebe Carey
Copyright 187_?
New York: Hurst And Company
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