Verse > Anthologies > Samuel Kettell, ed. > Specimens of American Poetry
Samuel Kettell, ed.  Specimens of American Poetry.  1829.
The Sailor
By Selleck Osborn (1783–1826)
THE WARY sea-bird screams afar—
  Along the wave dire omens sweep—
From the veil’d sky no friendly star
  Beams on the undulating deep.
Hark! from the cliffs of distant shores,        5
  The Lom emits his dismal cry—
The wave portentous warning roars,
  And speaks the threatening tempest nigh.
What guardian angel’s watchful power
  Shall snatch me from the angry deep,        10
Or bid, in that tremendous hour,
  The demon of the waters sleep?
Or who, if on some desert wild
  I drift, weak, famished and distrest,
Shall hush the sorrows of my child,        15
  Or soothe Lavinia’s wounded breast?
Sweet objects of my early love,
  For you with aching heart I mourn;
Far from your peaceful vale I rove,
  Ah! hopeless ever to return!        20
Yet, should it be my happy lot
  To hail again my native shore,
Secure within my humble cot,
  I ’ll brave the restless deep no more.”
His prayer was heard—the rolling bark        25
  Rode through the storm with stubborn pride;
And William, blithe as morning lark,
  Flew to his sweet enraptured bride.
Yet Will, with love and liquor warm,
  Ere yet a month had pass’d in glee,        30
Forgot the terrors of the storm,
  And, singing, squared away for sea!

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