Cape Cod Ballads, and Other Verse

Poetry/
#Poetry #General
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Book's description:

Excerpt THE COD-FISHER Where leap the long Atlantic swellsIn foam-streaked stretch of hill and dale,Where shrill the north-wind demon yells,And flings the spindrift down the gale;Where, beaten 'gainst the bending mast,The frozen raindrop clings and cleaves,With steadfast front for calm or blastHis battered schooner rocks and heaves.To same the gain, to some the loss,To each the chance, the risk, the fight:For men must die that men may live—Lord, may we steer our course aright..The dripping deck beneath him reels,The flooded scuppers spout the brine;He heeds them not, he only feelsThe tugging of a tightened line.The grim white sea-fog o'er him throwsIts clammy curtain, damp and cold;He minds it not—his work he knows,'T is but to fill an empty hold.Oft, driven through the night's blind wrack,He feels the dread berg's ghastly breath,Or hears draw nigh through walls of blackA throbbing engine chanting death;But with a calm, unwrinkled browHe fronts them, grim and undismayed,For storm and ice and liner's bow—These are but chances of the trade.Yet well he knows—where'er it be,On low Cape Cod or bluff Cape Ann—With straining eyes that search the seaA watching woman waits her man:He knows it, and his love is deep,But work is work, and bread is bread,And though men drown and women weepThe hungry thousands must be fed.To some the gain, to some the loss,To each his chance, the game with Fate:For men must die that men may live—Dear Lord, be kind to those who wait. THE SONG OF THE SEA Oh, the song of the Sea—The wonderful song of the Sea!Like the far-off hum of a throbbing drumIt steals through the night to me:And my fancy wanders freeTo a little seaport town,And a spot I knew, where the roses grewBy a cottage small and brown;And a child strayed up and downO'er hillock and beach and lea,And crept at dark to his bed, to harkTo the wonderful song of the Sea.Oh, the song of the Sea—The mystical song of the Sea!What strains of joy to a dreaming boyThat music was wont to be!And the night-wind through the treeWas a perfumed breath that toldOf the spicy gales that filled the sailsWhere the tropic billows rolledAnd the rovers hid their goldBy the lone palm on the key,—But the whispering wave their secret gaveIn the mystical song of the Sea.Oh, the song of the Sea—The beautiful song of the Sea!The mighty note from the ocean's throat,The laugh of the wind in glee!And swift as the ripples fleeWith the surges down the shore,It bears me back, o'er life's long track,To home and its love once more.I stand at the open door,Dear mother, again with thee,And hear afar on the booming barThe beautiful song of the Sea. THE WIND'S SONG Oh, the wild November wind,How it blew!How the dead leaves rasped and rustled,Soared and sank and buzzed and bustledAs they flew;While above the empty square,Seeming skeletons in air,Battered branches, brown and bare,Gauntly grinned;And the frightened dust-clouds, flying....
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