Nonfiction > E.C. Stedman & E.M. Hutchinson, eds. > A Library of American Literature > 1861–1889
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Stedman and Hutchinson, comps.  A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes.  1891.
Vols. IX–XI: Literature of the Republic, Part IV., 1861–1889
 
Alec. Dunham’s Boat
By Charles Henry Webb (1834–1905)
 
[Born in Rouse’s Point, N. Y., 1834. Died in New York, N. Y., 1905. From Vagrom Verse. 1889.]

THERE she lies at her moorings,
  The little two-master,
Answering not now
  The call of disaster.
Loose swings the rudder,        5
  Unshipped the tiller;
Crossing the Bar so
  One sea would fill her!
 
Foresail and mainsail
  In loose folds are lying;        10
Naked the mast-heads—
  No pennon flying;
Seaweed and wreck
  Alike may drift past her;
There lies the pilot-boat—        15
  Where is her master?
 
Lantern at Great Point,
  Brightly it burns;
Beacon on Brant Point
  The signal returns.        20
Far out to sea
  Sankoty flashes;
White on the shore
  The crested wave dashes.
 
Strident No’th-easter        25
  And smoky Sou’-wester
Call for the pilot-boat,
  Eager to test her.
And a ship on the Bar,
  Just where the waves cast her!        30
Moored lies the pilot-boat—
  Where is her master?
 
Oh, barque driving in,
  God send that you lee get,
Past Tuckernuck shoals,        35
  The reefs of Muskeget.
There go minute guns;
  Now faster and faster—
But no more to their aid
  Flies the little two-master.        40
 
For the pilot one night
  Left his boat as you see her—
Light moored, that at signal
  He ready might free her.
But not from her moorings        45
  Came the pilot to cast her,
Though a signal he answered—
  One set by the Master.
 
Gone, say you, and whither?
  Do you ask me which way        50
Went good pilot as ever
  Brought ship into bay?
Who shall say how he cast off,
  If to starboard or larboard?
But of one thing I’m sure—        55
  The pilot’s safe-harbored!
 
 
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