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All night the storm had raged, nor ceased, nor paused,
When, as day broke, the Maid, through misty air,
Espies far off a Wreck, amid the surf,
Beating on one of those disastrous isles-
Half of a Vessel, half-no more; the rest
Had vanished, swallowed up with all that there
Had for the common safety striven in vain,
Or thither thronged for refuge. With quick
Daughter and Sire through optic-glass discern,
Clinging about the remnant of this Ship,
Creatures-how precious in the Maiden's sight!
For whom, belike, the old Man grieves still more
Than for their fellow-sufferers engulfed
Where every parting agony is hushed,
And hope and fear mix not in further strife.
"But courage, Father! let us out to sea-
A few may yet be saved." The Daughter's
Her earnest tone, and look beaming with faith,
Dispel the Father's doubts: nor do they lack
The noble-minded Mother's helping hand
To launch the boat; and with her blessing
And inwardly sustained by silent prayer,
Together they put forth, Father and Child! 50
Each grasps an oar, and struggling on they go—
Rivals in effort; and, alike intent
Here to elude and there surmount, they watch
The billows lengthening, mutually crossed
And shattered, and re-gathering their might;
As if the tumult, by the Almighty's will
Were, in the conscious sea, roused and pro-
That woman's fortitude-so tried, so proved
May brighten more and more!
True to the mark, They stem the current of that perilous gorge, Their arms still strengthening with the strengthening heart,
Though danger, as the Wreck is neared, becomes
More imminent. Not unseen do they approach;
And rapture, with varieties of fear
Incessantly conflicting, thrills the frames
Of those who, in that dauntless energy,
Foretaste deliverance; but the least perturbed
Can scarcely trust his eyes, when he perceives
That of the pair-tossed on the waves to bring
Hope to the hopeless, to the dying, life-
One is a Woman, a poor earthly sister,
Or, be the Visitant other than she seems,
A guardian Spirit sent from pitying Heaven,
In woman's shape. But why prolong the tale,
Casting weak words amid a host of thoughts
Armed to repel them? Every hazard faced 76
And difficulty mastered, with resolve
That no one breathing should be left to perish, This last remainder of the crew are all
Placed in the little boat, then o'er the deep 80
Are safely borne, landed upon the beach,
And, in fulfilment of God's mercy, lodged
Within the sheltering Lighthouse.-Shout, ye
Send forth a song of triumph. Waves and Winds, 84
Exult in this deliverance wrought through faith In Him whose Providence your rage hath served!
Ye screaming Sea-mews, in the concert join! And would that some immortal Voice-a Voice
Fitly attuned to all that gratitude Breathes out from floor or couch, through pallid lips
Of the survivors to the clouds might bear— Blended with praise of that parental love, Beneath whose watchful eye the Maiden grew Pious and pure, modest and yet so brave, Though young so wise, though meek so resolute
Might carry to the clouds and to the stars,
Yea, to celestial Choirs, GRACE DARLING'S
THE RUSSIAN FUGITIVE.
ENOUGH of rose-bud lips, and eyes
Like harebells bathed in dew,
Of cheek that with carnation vies,
And veins of violet hue
Earth wants not beauty that may scorn
A likening to frail flowers;
Yea, to the stars, if they were born
For seasons and for hours.
Through Moscow's gates, with gold unbarred,
Stepped One at dead of night,
Whom such high beauty could not guard
From meditated blight;
By stealth she passed, and fled as fast
As doth the hunted fawn,
Nor stopped, till in the dappling east
Appeared unwelcome dawn.
Seven days she lurked in brake and field,
Seven nights her course renewed,
Sustained by what her scrip might yield,
Or berries of the wood;
At length, in darkness travelling on,
When lowly doors were shut,
The haven of her hope she won,
Her Foster-mother's hut.
"To put your love to dangerous proof
I come," said she, "from far;
For I have left my Father's roof,
In terror of the Czar."
No answer did the Matron give,
No second look she cast,
But hung upon the Fugitive,
Embracing and embraced.
She led the Lady to a seat
Beside the glimmering fire,
Bathed duteously her wayworn feet,
Prevented each desire:-
The cricket chirped, the house-dog dozed,
And on that simple bed,
Where she in childhood had reposed,
Now rests her weary head.
When she, whose couch had been the sod,
Whose curtain pine or thorn,
Had breathed a sigh of thanks to God,
Who comforts the forlorn;
While over her the Matron bent
Sleep sealed her eyes, and stole Feeling from limbs with travel spent, And trouble from the soul.
Refreshed, the Wanderer rose at morn,
And soon again was dight
In those unworthy vestments worn
Through long and perilous flight;
And "O beloved Nurse," she said,
My thanks with silent tears
Have unto Heaven and You been paid:
Now listen to my fears!
"Have you forgot"-and here she smiled-
"The babbling flatteries
You lavished on me when a child
Disporting round your knees?
I was your lambkin, and your bird,
Your star, your gem, your flower;
Light words, that were more lightly heard
In many a cloudless hour!
"The blossom you so fondly praised Is come to bitter fruit;
A mighty One upon me gazed ;
I spurned his lawless suit,
And must be hidden from his wrath :
You, Foster-father dear,
Will guide me in my forward path;
I may not tarry here!
Nay, nay, I come with semblance feigned
And cheek embrowned by art;
Yet, being inwardly unstained,
With courage will depart.”
"I cannot bring to utter woe Your proved fidelity."
“Dear Child, sweet Mistress, say not so! 75 For you we both would die."