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“Come hither! come hither! my little daughter,
And do not tremble so;
That ever wind did blow.”
He wrapped her warm in his seaman's coat
Against the stinging blast;
And bound her to the mast.
"O father! I hear the church-bells ring,
O say, what may it be?” “T is a fog-bell on a rock-bound coast!"
And he steered for the open sea.
“O father! I hear the sound of guns,
O say, what may it be?” "Some ship in distress, that cannot live
In such an angry sea!"
“O father! I see a gleaming light,
O say, what may it be?"
A frozen corpse was he.
Lashed to the helm, all stiff and stark,
With his face turned to the skies,
The lantern gleamed through the gleaming snow
On his fixed and glassy eyes.
Then the maiden clasped her hands and prayed
That saved she might be; And she thought of Christ, who stilled the wave,
On the Lake of Galilee.
And fast through the midnight dark and drear
Through the whistling sleet and snow, Like a sheeted ghost, the vessel swept
Tow'rds the Reef of Norman's Woe.
And ever the fitful gusts between
A sound came from the land;
On the rocks and the hard sea-sand.
The breakers were right beneath her bows,
She drifted a dreary wreck,
Like icicles from her deck.
She struck where the white and fleecy waves
Looked soft as carded wool,
Like the horns of an angry bull.
Her rattling shrouds, all sheathed in ice,
With the masts went by the board; Like a vessel of glass, she stove and sank,
Ho! ho! the breakers roared !
At daybreak, on the bleak sea-beach,
A fisherman stood aghast,
Lashed close to a drifting mast.
The salt sea was frozen on her breast,
The salt tears in her eyes; And he saw her hair, like the brown sea-weed,
On the billows fall and rise.
Such was the wreck of the Hesperus,
In the midnight and the snow! Christ save us all from a death like this,
On the reef of Norman's Woe!
The shades of night were falling fast,
His brow was sad; his eye beneath
In happy homes he saw the light
Above, the spectral glaciers shone,
"Try not the Pass !” the old man said; “Dark lowers the tempest overhead, The roaring torrent is deep and wide !" And loud that clarion voice replied,
"O stay," the maiden said, "and rest
“Beware the pine-tree's withered branch! "Beware the awful avalanche!" This was the peasant's last Good-night, A voice replied, far up the height,
At break of day, as heavenward