Wild! wild was the storm,
and loud was its roar,
And strange were the sights that I hovered o’er:
I saw the babe with its mother die;
I listened to catch its parting sigh;
And I laughed to see the black billows play
With the sleeping child in their gambols gay.
I saw a girl whose arms were white,
As the foam that flashed on the billows’ height;
And the ripples played with her glossy curls,
And her cheek was kissed by the dancing whirls;
But her bosom was dead to hope and fear,
For she shuddered not as the shark came near.
I poised my foot on the forehead fair
Of a lovely boy that floated there;
I looked in the eyes of the drowning brave,
As they upward gazed through the glassy wave;
I screamed o’er the bubbles that told of death,
And stooped as the last gave up his breath.
I flapped my wing, for the work was done—
The storm was hushed, and the laughing sun
Sent his gushing light o’er the sullen seas—
And I tell my tale to the fainting breeze,
Of the hidden things which the waves conceal,
And the sea-bird’s song can alone reveal!
The King of Terrors.
[Illustration: The King of Terrors]
As a shadow He
flew, but sorrow and wail
Came up from his path, like the moan of the gale.
His quiver was full, though his arrows fell fast
As the sharp hail of winter when urged by the blast.
He smiled on each shaft as it flew from the string,
Though feathered by fate, and the lightning its wing.
Unerring, unsparing, it sped to its mark,
As the mandate of destiny, certain and dark.
The mail of the warrior it severed in twain,—
The wall of the castle it shivered amain:
No shield could shelter, no prayer could save,
And Love’s holy shrine no immunity gave.
A babe in the cradle—its mother bent o’er,—
The arrow is sped,—and that babe is no more!
At the faith-plighting altar, a lovely one bows,—
The gem on her finger,—in Heaven her vows;
Unseen is the blow, but she sinks in the crowd,
And her bright wedding-garment is turned to a shroud!
On flew the Destroyer,
o’er mountain and main,—
And where there was life, there, there are the slain!
No valley so deep, no islet so lone,
But his shadow is cast, and his victims are known.
He paused not, though years rolled weary and slow,
And Time’s hoary pinion drooped languid and low:
He paused not till Man from his birth-place was swept,
And the sea and the land in solitude slept.