Poems and Essays

by Joseph Howe




The knell of death is on the blast,
    The seas are wildly driven,
And those who cling around the mast,
    Look up with prayers to Heaven.

While every swelling dark-blue wave
    Strikes terror to the eye
Of men who think they see their grave,
    Yet feel ’tis hard to die. [Page 71]

And who, in such an awful hour,
    Will dare approach the wreck?
When He, who only has the power,
    The waters will not check.

For oh! the deep sea’s sullen roar,
    That sounds so fierce and loud,
And mountain waves, that lash the shore,
    Appal the shrinking crowd.

But who his little bark has launch’d,
    And to his oars has sprung?
His cheek by age seems yet unblanch’d,
    His brow is fair and young.

His light, and almost childish, form
    Seems far too weak to brave
The fearful howling of the storm,
    The terror of the wave.

But yet a high and fearless soul
    Is glancing in his eye,
Which tells that he will reach the goal,
    Or on the waters die.

His boat the billow proudly cleaves,
    While bounding from the shore,
And those who on the beach he leaves,
    Ne’er hope to see him more. [Page 72]

But mark the sacred freight he bears
    From off the troubled main,
Two human hearts—what bliss is theirs!
    Restored to life again.

And oh! what feelings swell the heart
    Of that undaunted Boy;
Could Roman triumphs e’er impart
    So sweet a throb of joy?

Acadia’s child—thy humble name
    The Muse will long revere.
The wreath you nobly won from Fame
    Shall bloom for many a year.

Long as the thoughts which swell’d thy breast,
    The flame that lit thy eye,
Shall in our Country’s bosom rest,
    Thy name shall never die! [Page 73]