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.

  Oh, the wild November wind,
    How it blew! 
How the dead leaves rasped and rustled,
Soared and sank and buzzed and bustled
    As they flew;
While above the empty square,
Seeming skeletons in air,
Battered branches, brown and bare,
    Gauntly grinned;
And the frightened dust-clouds, flying. 
Heard the calling and the crying
    Of the wind,—­
  The wild November wind.

  Oh, the wild November wind,
    How it screamed! 
How it moaned and mocked and muttered
At the cottage window, shuttered,
    Whence there streamed
Fitful flecks of firelight mild: 
And within, a mother smiled,
Singing softly to her child
    As there dinned
Round the gabled roof and rafter
Long and loud the shout and laughter
    Of the wind,—­
  The wild November wind.

  Oh, the wild November wind,
    How it rang
Through the rigging of a vessel
Rocking where the great waves wrestle! 
    And it sang,
Light and low, that mother’s song;
And the master, staunch and strong,
Heard the sweet strain drift along—­
    Softened, thinned,—­
Heard the tightened cordage ringing
Till it seemed a loved voice singing
    In the wind,—­
  The wild November wind.

* * * * *


(Dedicated to the Men in the United States Life-saving Service.)

When the Lord breathes his wrath above the bosom of the waters,
  When the rollers are a-poundin’ on the shore,
When the mariner’s a-thinkin’ of his wife and sons and daughters,
  And the little home he’ll, maybe, see no more;
When the bars are white and yeasty and the shoals are all a-frothin’,
  When the wild no’theaster’s cuttin’ like a knife;
Through the seethin’ roar and screech he’s patrollin’ on the beach,—­
  The Gov’ment’s hired man fer savin’ life.

He’s strugglin’ with the gusts that strike and bruise him like a hammer,
  He’s fightin’ sand that stings like swarmin’ bees,
He’s list’nin’ through the whirlwind and the thunder and the clamor—­
  A-list’nin’ fer the signal from the seas;
He’s breakin’ ribs and muscles launchin’ life-boats in the surges,
  He’s drippin’ wet and chilled in every bone,
He’s bringin’ men from death back ter flesh and blood and breath,
  And he never stops ter think about his own;

He’s a-pullin’ at an oar that is freezin’ to his fingers,
  He’s a-clingin’ in the riggin’ of a wreck,
He knows destruction’s nearer every minute that he lingers,
  But it do’n’t appear ter worry him a speck: 
He’s draggin’ draggled corpses from the clutches of the combers—­
  The kind of job a common chap would shirk—­
But he takes ’em from the wave and he fits ’em fer the grave,
  And he thinks it’s all included in his work.

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