Cape Cod Ballads, and Other Verse eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 102 pages of information about Cape Cod Ballads, and Other Verse.

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 feels
  The tugging of a tightened line.

The grim white sea-fog o’er him throws
  Its 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 black
  A throbbing engine chanting death;
But with a calm, unwrinkled brow
  He 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 sea
  A 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 weep
  The 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.

* * * * *


  Oh, the song of the Sea—­
  The wonderful song of the Sea! 
Like the far-off hum of a throbbing drum
  It steals through the night to me: 
  And my fancy wanders free
  To a little seaport town,
And a spot I knew, where the roses grew
  By a cottage small and brown;
  And a child strayed up and down
  O’er hillock and beach and lea,
And crept at dark to his bed, to hark
  To 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 boy
  That music was wont to be! 
  And the night-wind through the tree
  Was a perfumed breath that told
Of the spicy gales that filled the sails
  Where the tropic billows rolled
  And the rovers hid their gold
  By the lone palm on the key,—­
But the whispering wave their secret gave
  In 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 flee
  With 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 bar
  The beautiful song of the Sea.

* * * * *


Project Gutenberg
Cape Cod Ballads, and Other Verse from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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