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“Come hither! come hither! my little daughter,
And do not tremble so;

For I can weather the roughest gale
That ever wind did blow.”

He wrapped her warm in his seaman's coat
Against the stinging blast;

He cut a rope from a broken spar,
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?”

But the father answered never a word,
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 savéd 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;

It was the sound of the trampling surf
On the rocks and the hard sea-sand.

The breakers were right beneath her bows,
She drifted a dreary wreck,

And a whooping billow swept the crew
Like icicles from her deck.

She struck where the white and fleecy waves
Looked soft as carded wool,

But the cruel rocks, they gored her side
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,

To see the form of a maiden fair,
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!

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THE shades of night were falling fast,

As through an Alpine village passed

A youth, who bore, 'mid snow and ice,

A banner with the strange device,
Excelsior'

His brow was sad; his eye beneath

Flashed like a falchion from its sheath,

And like a silver clarion rung

The accents of that unknown tongue,
Excelsior

In happy homes he saw the light
Of household fires gleam warm and bright;

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Above, the spectral glaciers shone,
And from his lips escaped a groan,
Excelsior'

“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,
Excelsior'

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“O stay,” the maiden said, “and rest

Thy weary head upon this breast!”

A tear stood in his bright blue eye,

But still he answered, with a sigh,
Excelsior'

“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,
Excelsior |

At break of day, as heavenward

The pious monks of Saint Bernard

Uttered the oft-repeated prayer,

A voice cried through the startled air,
Excelsior

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