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Oh gloriously upon the deep

The gallant vessel rides,

And she is mistress of the winds,

And mistress of the tides.

And never but for her tall shipes

Had England been so proud;

Or before the might of the Island Queen

The Kings of the earth had bowed.

But, alas! for the widow and orphan's tear,

When the death-flag sweeps the wave;

Alas, that the laurel of Victory

Must grow but upon the grave!

AN aged widow with one only child,

And even he was far away at sea:

Narrow and mean the street wherein she dwelt,

And low and small the room; but still it had

A look of comfort; on the white-washed walls

Were ranged her many ocean treasures--shells,

Some like the snow, and some pink, with a blush

Caught from the sunset on the waters; plumes

From the bright pinions of the Indian birds;

Long dark sea-weeds, and black and crimson berries,

Were treasured with the treasuring of the heart.

Her sailor brought them, when from his first voyage

He came so sunburnt and so tall, she scarce

Knew her fair stripling in that manly youth.

Like a memorial of far better days,

The large old Bible, with its silver clasps,

Lay on the table; and a fragrant air

Came from the window: there stood a rose-tree--

Lonely, but of luxuriant growth, and rich

With thousand buds and beautifully blown flowers:

It was a slip from that which grew beside

The cottage, once her own, which ever drew

Praise from each passer down the shadowy lane

Where her home stood--the home where yet she thought

To end her days in peace: that was the hope

That made life pleasant, and it had been fed

By teh so ardent spirits of her boy,

Who said that GOD would bless the efforts made

For his old mother.--Like a holiday

Each Sunday came, for then her patient way

She took to the white church of her own village,

A long five miles; and many marvelled one

So aged, so feeble, still should seek that church.

They knew not how delicious the fresh air,

How fair the green leaves and the fields, how glad

The sunshine of the country, to the eyes

That looked so seldom on them. She would sit

Long after service on a grave, and watch

The cattle as they grazed, the yellow corn,

The lane where yet her home might be; and then

Return with lightened heart to her dull street,

Refreshed with hope and pleasant memories,--

Listen with anxious ear to the conch shell,

Wherein they say the rolling of the sea

Is heard distinct, pray for her absent child,

Bless him, then dream of him. . . .

A shout awoke the sleeping town, the night

Rang with the fleet's return and victory!

Men that were slumbering quietly, rose up

And joined the shot; the windows gleamed with lights,

The bells rang forth rejoicingly, the paths

Were filled with people; even the lone street

Where the poor widow dwelt, was roused, and sleep

Was thought upon no more that night. Next day--

A bright and sunny day it was--high flags

Waved from each steeple, and green boughs were hung

In the gay market-place; music was heard,

Bands that struck up in triumph; and the sea

Was covered with proud vessels; and the boats

Went to and fro the shore, and waving hands

Beckoned from crowded decks to the glad strand

Where the wife waited for her husband,--maids

Threw the bright curls back from their glistening eyes

And looked their best,--and as the splashing oar

Brought dear ones to the land, how every voice

Grew musical with happiness! And there

Stood that old widow woman with the rest,

Watching the ship wherein had sailed her son.

A boat came from that vessel,--heavily

It toiled upon the waters, and the oars

Were dipp'd in slowly. As it neared the beach,

A moaning sound came from it, and a groan

Burst from the lips of all the anxious there,

When they looked on each ghastly countenance,

For that lone boat was filled with wounded men,

Bearing them to the hospital,--and then

That aged woman saw her son. She prayed,

And gained her prayer, that she might be his nurse,

And take him home. He lived for many days.

It soothed him so to hear his mother's voice,

To breathe the fragrant air sent from the roses--

The roses that were gathered one by one

For him by his fond parent nurse; the last

Was placed upon his pillow, and that night,

That very night, he died! And he was laid

In the same church-yard where his father lay,--

Through which his mother as a bride had pass'd.

The grave was closed: but still the widow sat

Upon a sod beside, and silently,

(Hers was not grief that words had comfort for.)

The funeral train pass'd on, and she was left

Alone amid the tombs; but once she looked

Towards the shadowy lane, then turned again,

As desolate and sick at heart, to where

Her help, her hope, her child, lay dead together!

She went home to her lonely room. Next morn

Some entered it, and there she sat,

Her white hair hanging o'er the withered hands

On which her pale face leant; the Bible lay

Open beside, but blistered were the leaves

With two or three large tears, which had dried in.

Oh, happy she had not survived her child!

And many pitied her, for she had spent

Her little savings, and she had no friends;

But strangers made her grave in that church-yard,

And where her sailor slept, there slept his mother!