In slumbers of midnight the sailor-boy lay;
His hammock swung loose at the sport of the wind;
But watch-worn and weary, his cares flew away
And visions of happiness danced o'er his mind.
He dreamed of his home and dear native bowers
And pleasures that waited on life's merry mom;
While memory each scene gaily covered with flowers,
And restored every rose, but secreted its thorn.
Then fancy her magical pinions spread wide,
And bade the young dreamer in ecstasy rise;
Now far, far behind him the green waters glide
And the cot of his forefathers blesses his eyes.
The jessamine clambers in flower o'er the thatch,
And the swallow chirps sweet from her nest in the waIl:
All trembling with transport he raises the latch
And the voices of loved ones reply to his call.
A father bends o'er him with looks of delight,
His cheek is bedewed with Ii mother's warm tear,
And the lips of the boy in a love-kiss unite
I With the lips of the maid whom his bosom holds dear.
The heart of the sleeper beats high in his breast;
Joy q)1ickens his pulses, his hardships seem o'er;
And a murmur of happiness steals through his rest
"0 God! Thou hast blest me; I ask for no more."
Ah! whence is that flame that now glares on his eye?
Ah! what is that sound that bursts on his ear?
'Tis the lightning's gleam painting hell on the sky,
'Tis the crashing of thunder, the groan of. the sphere.
He springs from his hammock, he flees to the deck;
Amazement confronts him with images dire,
Wild winds and mad waves drive the vessel, a wreck;
The masts fly in splinters, the shrouds are on fire.
Like mountains the billows tremendously swell,
In vain the lost wreck calls on mercy to save.
Unseen hands of spirits are ringing his knell,
And the death-angel flaps his broad wing o'er the wave.
0 sailor-boy! woe to thy dream of delight,
In darkness dissolves the gay frostwork of bliss;
Where now is the picture that fancy touched bright,
Thy parents' fond pressure, thy love's honeyed kiss?
0 sailor-boy! sailor-boy! never again
Shall love, home or kindred thy wishes repay;
. Unblessed and unhonored, down deep in the main,
Full many a fathom, thy fame shall decay.
No tomb shall e'er plead in remembrance for thee,
Or redeem form or fame from the merciless surge;
But the white foam of waves shall thy winding-sheet be,
And the winds of midnight shall winter thy dirge.
On a bed of green sea-flowers thy limbs shall be laid~
Around thy white bones the red coral shall grow;
Of thy fair yellow locks threads of amber be made,
And every part suit to thy mansions below.
Days, months, years and ages shall circle away,
And still the vast waters above thee shall roll;
Frail, short-sighted mortals their doom must obey
0 sailor-boy, sailor-boy! peace to thy soul.