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And at last their prayers were answered:
It was in the month of June,
An hour before the sunset
Of a windy afternoon,
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,
Until the eye could distinguish
Then fell her straining topmasts,
And her sails were loosened and lifted,
And the masts, with all their rigging,
Fell slowly, one by one,
And the hulk dilated and vanished,
As a sea-mist in the sun!
And the people who saw this marvel
Each said unto his friend,
That this was the mould of their vessel, And thus her tragic end.
And the pastor of the village
THE WARDEN OF THE CINQUE PORTS.
A MIST was driving down the British Channel, The day was just begun,
And through the window-panes, on floor and panel,
Streamed the red autumn sun.
It glanced on flowing flag and rippling pennon, And the white sails of ships;
And, from the frowning rampart, the black
Hailed it with feverish lips.
Sandwich and Romney, Hastings, Hithe, and
Were all alert that day,
To see the French war-steamers speeding
When the fog cleared away.
Sullen and silent, and like couchant lions,
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 morning saluta
That all was well.
And down the coast, all taking up the burden,
Replied the distant forts,
As if to summon from his sleep the Warden 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
Shall the gaunt figure of the old Field Marshal
For in the night, unseen, a single warrior,
In sombre harness mailed,
Dreaded of man, and surnamed the Destroyer, The rampart wall has scaled.