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- The Home Book of Verse, Volume 3 - 70/88 -


Till the vessel strikes with a shivering shock, - "O Christ! it is the Inchcape Rock."

Sir Ralph, the Rover, tore his hair; He cursed himself in his despair. The waves rush in on every side; The ship is sinking beneath the tide.

But, even in his dying fear, One dreadful sound he seemed to hear, - A sound as if, with the Inchcape Bell, The Devil below was ringing his knell.

Robert Southey [1774-1843]

THE SEA

Through the night, through the night, In the saddest unrest, Wrapped in white, all in white, With her babe on her breast, Walks the mother so pale, Staring out on the gale, Through the night!

Through the night, through the night, Where the sea lifts the wreck, Land in sight, close in sight, On the surf-flooded deck, Stands the father so brave, Driving on to his grave Through the night!

Richard Henry Stoddard [1825-1903]

THE SANDS OF DEE

"O Mary, go and call the cattle home, And call the cattle home, And call the cattle home Across the sands of Dee!" The western wind was wild and dank with foam, And all alone went she.

The western tide crept up along the sand, And o'er and o'er the sand, And round and round the sand, As far as eye could see. The rolling mist came down and hid the land: And never home came she.

"Oh! is it weed, or fish, or floating hair - A tress of golden hair, A drowned maiden's hair Above the nets at sea? Was never salmon yet that shone so fair Among the stakes on Dee."

They rowed her in across the rolling foam, The cruel crawling foam, The cruel hungry foam, To her grave beside the sea: But still the boatmen hear her call the cattle home Across the sands of Dee!

Charles Kingsley [1819-1875]

THE THREE FISHERS

Three fishers went sailing away to the West, Away to the West as the sun went down; Each thought on the woman who loved him the best, And the children stood watching them out of the town; For men must work, and women must weep, And there's little to earn, and many to keep, Though the harbor bar be moaning.

Three wives sat up in the lighthouse tower And they trimmed the lamps as the sun went down; They looked at the squall, and they looked at the shower, And the night-rack came rolling up ragged and brown. But men must work, and women must weep, Though storms be sudden, and waters deep, And the harbor bar be moaning.

Three corpses lay out on the shining sands In the morning gleam as the tide went down, And the women are weeping and wringing their hands For those who will never come home to the town; For men must work, and women must weep, And the sooner it's over, the sooner to sleep; And good-by to the bar and its moaning.

Charles Kingsley [1819-1875]

BALLAD

In the summer even, While yet the dew was hoar, I went plucking purple pansies, Till my love should come to shore. The fishing-lights their dances Were keeping out at sea, And come, I sung, my true love! Come hasten home to me!

But the sea, it fell a-moaning, And the white gulls rocked thereon; And the young moon dropped from heaven, And the lights hid one by one. All silently their glances Slipped down the cruel sea, And wait! cried the night and wind and storm, - Wait, till I come to thee!

Harriet Prescott Spofford [1835-1921]

THE NORTHERN STAR A Tynemouth Ship

The Northern Star Sailed over the bar Bound to the Baltic Sea; In the morning gray She stretched away: - 'Twas a weary day to me!

For many an hour In sleet and shower By the lighthouse rock I stray; And watch till dark For the winged bark Of him that is far away.

The castle's bound I wander round, Amidst the grassy graves: But all I hear Is the north wind drear, And all I see are the waves.

The Northern Star Is set afar! Set in the Baltic Sea: And the waves have spread The sandy bed That holds my Love from me.

Unknown

THE FISHER'S WIDOW

The boats go out and the boats come in Under the wintry sky; And the rain and foam are white in the wind, And the white gulls cry.

She sees the sea when the wind is wild Swept by a windy rain; And her heart's a-weary of sea and land As the long days wane.

She sees the torn sails fly in the foam, Broad on the sky-line gray; And the boats go out and the boats come in, But there's one away.

Arthur Symons [1865-

CALLER HERRIN'

Wha'll buy my caller herrin'? They're bonny fish and halesome farin'; Wha'll buy my caller herrin', New drawn frae the Forth?

When ye were sleepin' on your pillows, Dreamed ye aught o' our puir fellows, Darkling as they faced the billows, A' to fill the woven willows? Buy my caller herrin', New drawn frae the Forth!

Wha'll buy my caller herrin'? They're no brought here without brave darin'; Buy my caller herrin', Hauled through wind and rain. Wha'll buy my caller herrin', New drawn frae the Forth?

Wha'll buy my caller herrin'? Oh, ye may ca' them vulgar farin'; Wives and mithers, maist despairin',


The Home Book of Verse, Volume 3 - 70/88

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