To thee, my darling Hattie, I dedicate the Sea-Flower would that this casket contained for such as thou, a purer gem.
In writing the following pages the author has spent pleasant hours, which perhaps might have been less profitably employed: if anything of interest be found among them, it is well,—and, should any be led to take up their Cross in meekness and humility, searching out the path that leads the wanderer home, it is indeed well.
“What was it that I loved so well
about my childhood’s home?
It was the wide and wave-lashed shore, the black rocks crowned with foam!
It was the sea-gull’s flapping wing, all trackless in its flight,
Its screaming note, that welcomed on the fierce and stormy night!
The wild heath had its flowers and moss, the forest had its trees,
Which, bending to the evening wind, made music in the breeze;
But earth,—ha! ha! I laugh e’en now,—earth had no charms for me,
Nor scene half bright enough to win my young heart from the sea.
No! ’t was the ocean, vast and deep, the fathomless, the free,—
The mighty rushing waters, that were ever dear to me!”
“But the goodly pearl which the
And for which his all he gave,
Was a purer pearl than will e’er be brought
From under the foaming wave.”
H. F. Gould.
“Massa Grobener! Massa Grobener! Please, sar, look here! De good Lord hab left his mitest ob angels here on de beach; and please, sar, step low or de wee bit will take to its wings and fly away. De good Lord be praised! but old Bingo hab found many a bright sea-weed in his day, but dis am de sweetest sea-flower ob de whole.”
And as he spoke, the little one stretched out its tiny arms toward the poor old black man and gave a faint moan. Captain Grosvenor, who had now come up with the negro, was no less surprised than had been old Vingo, at discovering, among the fresh, bright sea-weed, an infant some eight months old. The babe was carefully lashed into a large wooden trough or bowl, and a canvas firmly stretched over the top, permitting only the head and arms to remain exposed, and judging from the dripping condition of the worthy little sea-craft, it could not have been many moments since it had come to anchor on the smooth, hard beach; probably the now receding waves had borne the precious burden to this most welcome harbor—“whereby hangs a tale.”