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When, steadily steering landward,
A ship was seen below, And they knew it was Lamberton, Master,
Who sailed so long ago.
On she came, with a cloud of canvas,
Right against the wind that blew, Until the eye could distinguish
The faces of the crew.
Then fell her straining topmasts,
Hanging tangled in the shrouds, And her sails were loosened and lifted,
And blown away like clouds.
And the masts, with all their rigging,
Fell slowly, one by one,
As a sea-mist in the sun!
And the people who saw this marvel
Each said unto his friend,
And thus her tragic end.
And the pastor of the village
Gave thanks to God in prayer, That, to quiet their troubled spirits,
He had sent this Ship of Air.
THE WARDEN OF THE CINQUE PORTS.
A Mist was driving down the British Channel,
The day was just begun,
Streamed the red autumn sun.
It glanced on flowing flag and rippling pennon,
And the white sails of ships;
Hailed it with feverish lips.
Sandwich, and Romney, Hastings, Hithe, and Dover
Were all alert that day,
When the fog cleared away.
Sullen and silent, and like couchant lions,
Their cannon, through the night, Holding their breath, had watched, in grim defiance,
The sea.coast opposite.
And now they roared at drum-beat from their stations On every
citadel; Each answering each, with morniny salutations,
That all was well.
And down the coast, all taking up the burden,
Replied the distant forts,
And Lord of the Cinque Ports.
Him shall no sunshine from the fields of azure,
No drum-beat from the wall, No morning gun from the black fort's embrasure,
Awaken with its call!
No more, surveying with an eye impartial
The long line of the coast,
Be seen upon his post!
For in the night, unseen, a single warrior,
In sombre harness mailed,
The rampart wall has scaled.
He passed into the chamber of the sleeper,
The dark and silent room,
The silence and the gloom.
He did not pause to parley or dissemble,
But smote the Warden hoar; Ah! what a blow! that made all England tremble
And groan from shore to shore.
Meanwhile, without, the surly cannon waited,
The sun rose bright o’erhead ; Nothing in Nature's aspect intimated
That a great man was dead.
ALL houses wherein men have lived and died
Are haunted houses. Through the open doors The harmless phantoms on their errands glide,
With feet that make no sound upon the floors.
We ineet them at the doorway, on the stair,
Along the passages they come and go, Iinpalpable impressions on the air,
A sense of something moving to and fro.
There are more guests at table than the hosts
Invited; the illuminated hall
As silent as the pictures on the wall.
The stranger at my fireside cannot see
The forms I see, nor hear the sounds I hear; He but perceives what is ; while unto me
All that has been is visible and clear.
We have no title-deeds to house or lands;
Owners and occupants of lier dates
And hold in mortmain still their old estates.
The spirit-world around this world of sense
Floats like an atmosphere, and everywhere Wafts through these earthly mists and vapours dense
A vital breath of more ethereal air.
Our little lives are kept in equipoise
By opposite attractions and desires ; The struggle of the instinct that enjoys,
And the more noble instinct that aspires.
These perturbations, this perpetual jar
Of earthly wants and aspirations high, Come from the influence of an unseen star,
An undiscovered planet in our sky.
And as the moon from some dark gate of cloud
Throws o'er the sea a floating bridge of light, Across whose trembling planks our fancies crowd
Into the realm of mystery and night,
So from the world of spirits there descends
A bridge of light, connecting it with this, O'er whose unsteady floor, that sways and bends,
Wander our thoughts above the dark abyss.