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!


THOU too sail on, O Ship of State !
Sail on, O Union, strong and great!
Humanity, with all its fears,

With all the hopes of future years,
Is hanging breathless on thy fate!
We know what Master laid thy keel,
What Workmen wrought thy ribs of steel,
Who made each mast, and sail, and rope,
What anvils rang, what hammers beat,
In what a forge and what a heat
Were shaped the anchors of thy hope!
Fear not each sudden sound and shock,
Tis of the wave and not the rock;
"Tis but the flapping of the sail,
And not a rent made by the gale!
In spite of rock and tempest's roar,
In spite of false lights on the shore,
Sail on, nor fear to breast the sea!

Our hearts, our hopes, are all with thee;
Our hearts, our hopes, our prayers, our tears,

Our faith triumphant o'er our fears,
Are all with thee, are all with thee!

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ALL is finished! and at length
Has come the bridal day
Of beauty and of strength.
To-day the vessel shall be launched!
With fleecy clouds the sky is blanched,
And o'er the bay,

Slowly, in all his splendors dight,

The great Sun rises to behold the sight.

The Ocean old,

Centuries old,

Strong as youth, and as uncontrolled,
Paces restless to and fro,

Up and down the sands of gold.

His beating heart is not at rest;
And far and wide,
With ceaseless flow,
His beard of snow

Heaves with the heaving of his breast.

He waits impatient for his bride.
There she stands,

With her foot upon the sands,

Decked with flags and streamers gay,
In honor of her marriage day,

Her snow-white signals, fluttering, blending,

Round her like a veil descending,
Ready to be

The bride of the gray old Sea.

Then the master,

With a gesture of command,

Waved his hand;

And at the word,

Loud and sudden there was heard,

All around them and below,

The sound of hammers, blow on blow,
Knocking away the shores and spurs.
And see! she stirs !

She starts, she moves,

The thrill of life along her keel,

And, spurning with her foot the ground,
With one exulting, joyous bound,
She leaps into the Ocean's arms!


she seems to feel

NEVER stoops the soaring vulture
On his quarry in the desert,
On the sick or wounded bison,
But another vulture, watching
From his high aerial lookout,
Sees the downward plunge, and follows;
And a third pursues the second,
Coming from the invisible ether,
First a speck, and then a vulture,
Till the air is dark with pinions.

So disasters come not singly;
But as if they watched and waited,
Scanning one another's motions,
When the first descends, the others
Follow, follow, gathering flock-wise
Round their victim, sick and wounded,
First a shadow, then a sorrow,
Till the air is dark with anguish.

THOUGH the mills of God grind slowly,
Yet they grind exceeding small;
Though with patience he stands waiting,
With exactness grinds he all.



JOHN GREENLEAF WHITTIER, the Quaker poet, was born in Haverhill, Massachusetts, in 1808. His youth was spent on the paternal farm, and his educational opportunities were not first-rate. He possessed a keen appetite for knowledge, however, and at the age of twenty-one had so enriched and disciplined his mind that he was thought competent to fill the editorial chair of a Boston paper. One year later he went to Hartford, where he edited the New England Weekly. In 1831 he returned to Haverhill, where he remained five years, engaged in agriculture, and serving the State as Representative in the Legislature through two terms. From boyhood he had been deeply interested in the subject of slavery, and his convictions of the sinfulness of that institution were strengthened with his growth. He was one of the original members of the American Antislavery Society, and having been appointed one of its secretaries, he took up his residence at Philadelphia in 1836, and for four years wrote constantly for antislavery periodicals. In 1840 he established himself at Amesbury, Massachusetts, which has ever since been his home. His first volume, Legends of New England in Prose and Verse, was published in 1831. This has been followed at frequent intervals by nearly thirty volumes, mostly of verse. During the late war he poured forth a multitude of strong and stirring lyrics which helped not a little to sustain and energize public sentiment; and the literature of the antislavery struggle, from its beginning to its end, had in him an active and efficient contributor. Mr. Whittier's earlier poems deal largely with the colonial annals of New England, and some of the most interesting traditions of that region have been preserved for remote posterity in his graphic and vigorous lines. Two of Mr. Whittier's poems have enjoyed an exceptional popularity, Maud Muller and Snow-Bound; the first, telling the story of a universal experience, appeals to every heart, while the second affords the most faithful and finished pictures of winter life in rural New England that have ever been drawn by a poet. No American poet, it may be said, is so free as Mr. Whittier from obligations to English writers; his poems show no evidence of appropriation, or even of a study of masterpieces so assiduous and appreciative as almost inevitably to entail a general resemblance. He is eminently original, and eminently American. One principal charm of his poetry consists in its catholicity; he sings not of himself, but for humanity, and his voice is heeded as if it bore a special call to all who heard it. The moral tone of his writings is uncompromisingly high; his highest inspiration is found in the thought of elevating or helping his fellow-man, or widening the bounds of his freedom. The sentiment of Mr. Whittier's verse is generally elevated, and is expressed with mingled tenderness and dignity. His style lacks elegance, and is sometimes marred by positive faults; but these are more than balanced by the vigor of his lyrics and the intensity of his didactic passages.


MAUD MULLER, on a summer's day,
Raked the meadow sweet with hay.

Beneath her torn hat glowed the wealth
Of simple beauty and rustic health.

Singing, she wrought, and her merry glee
The mock-bird echoed from his tree.

But, when she glanced to the far-off town,
White from its hill-slope looking down,

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