We read, until
the vision dims
And drowns; but, ere the pang be past,
A tide of triumph overbrims
And breaks with light from heaven at last.
Through all the
blackness of that night
A glory streams from out the gloom;
His steadfast spirit lifts the light
That shines till Night is overcome.
The sea will do
its worst, and life
Be sobbed out in a bubbling breath;
But firmly in the coward strife
There stands a man who has conquered Death!
A soul that masters
wind and wave,
And towers above a sinking deck;
A bridge across the gaping grave;
A rainbow rising o’er the wreck.
Others he saved;
he saved the name
Unsullied that he gave his wife:
And dying with so pure an aim,
He had no need to save his life!
Lord! how they
shame the life we live,
These sailors of our sea-girt isle,
Who cheerily take what Thou mayst give,
And go down with a heavenward smile!
The men who sow
their lives to yield
A glorious crop in lives to be:
Who turn to England’s harvest-field
The unfruitful furrows of the sea.
With such a breed
of men so brave,
The Old Land has not had her day;
But long her strength, with crested wave,
Shall ride the Seas, the proud old way.
THE HAPPIEST LAND.
BY HENRY W. LONGFELLOW.
sat one day in quiet,
By an alehouse on the Rhine,
Four hale and hearty fellows,
And drank the precious wine.
landlord’s daughter filled their cups
Around the rustic board;
Then sat they all so calm and still,
And spake not one rude word.
when the maid departed,
A Swabian raised his hand,
And cried, all hot and flushed with wine,
“Long live the Swabian land!
greatest kingdom upon earth
Cannot with that compare;
With all the stout and hardy men
And the nut-brown maidens there.”
cried a Saxon, laughing,—
And dashed his beard with wine;
“I had rather live in Lapland,
Than that Swabian land of thine!
goodliest land on all this earth
It is the Saxon land!
There have I as many maidens
As fingers on this hand!”
your tongues! both Swabian and Saxon!”
A bold Bohemian cries;
“If there’s a heaven upon this earth,
In Bohemia it lies:
the tailor blows the flute,
And the cobbler blows the horn,
And the miner blows the bugle,
Over mountain gorge and bourn!”