Obrázky stránek
PDF
ePub

CHORUS:

I'll give my life for Dixie;

Away, away;
In Dixie's land I'll take my stand,
And live and die for Dixie.

Away, away,
Away down South in Dixie.

HATTERAS

By JOSEPH W. HOLDEN

[graphic]

[These lines were included by Longfellow in his edition of 'Poems of Places' (18761879). The author, Joseph W. Holden, a son of Governor William W. Holden, was born in Raleigh, North Carolina, in 1844. He was a student at the University of North Carolina for a short time, a Confederate soldier, Mayor of Raleigh, and Speaker of the House of Representatives.

He died in 1874.]

The Wind King from the North came down
Nor stopped by river, mount or town;
But, like a boisterous god at play,
Resistless, bounding on his way,
He shook the lake and tore the wood,
And flapped his wings in merry mood;
Nor furled them till he spied afar
The white caps flash on Hatteras Bar,
Where fierce Atlantic landward bowls,
O'er treacherous sands and hidden shoals.

He paused, then wreathed his horn of cloud,
And blew defiance long and loud:
"Come up, come up, thou torrid god
That rulest the Southern sea!
Ho! lightning-eyed and thunder-shod,
Come, wrestle here with me!
As tossest thou the tangled cane,
I'll hurl thee o'er the boiling main!"

The angry heavens hung dark and still,
Like Arctic night on Hecla's hill;
The mermaids sporting on the waves,
Affrighted, fled to coral caves;

The billow checked its curling crest,
And trembling, sank to sudden rest;
All ocean stilled its heaving breast.

Reflected darkness weird and dread,
An inky plain the waters spread
So motionless, since life was fled.
Amid this elemental lull,
When nature died, and death lay dull

As though itself was sleeping there-
Becalmed upon that dismal flood,
Ten fated vessels idly stood,

And not a timber creaked!
Dim silence held each hollow hull,
Save when some sailor in that night,

Oppressed with darkness and despair,
Some seaman, groping for the light,

Rose up and shrieked!

They cried like children lost and lorn,
“O Lord deliver while you may !
Sweet Jesus, drive this gloom away!
Forever fled, O lovely day!
I would that I were never born!"
For stoutest souls were terror-thrilled,
And warmest hearts with horror chilled.

"Come up, come up, thou torrid god,
Thou lightning-eyed and thunder-shod,
And wrestle here with me!"
'T was heard and answered: “Lo! I come from azure

Carribee,
To drive thee cowering to thy home,
And melt its walls of frozen foam !"
From every isle and mountain dell,
From plains of pathless chaparral,
From tide-built bars, where sea birds dwell,
He drew his lurid legions forth,
And sprang to meet the white-plumed North.

Can mortal tongue in song convey
The fury of that fatal fray?
How ships were splintered at a blow,
Sails shivered into shreds of snow,
And seamen hurled to death below!
Two gods commingling bolt and blast,
The huge waves at each other cast,
And bellowed o'er the raging waste;
Then sped like harnessed steeds afar
That drag a shattered battle-car
Amid the midnight din of war!

False Hatteras, when the cyclone came,
Thy waves leapt up with hoarse acclaim,

And ran and wrecked yon argosy! Fore'er nine sank! That lone hulk stands Embedded in thy yellow sands.

A hundred hearts in death are stilled,
And yet its ribs, with corpses filled,

Are now caressed by thee!
Smile on, smile on, thou watery hell,

And toss those skulls upon thy shore;
The sailor's widow knows thee well;

His children beg from door to door, And shiver while they strive to tell

How thou hast robbed the wretched poor!

Yon lipless skull shall speak for me :
“This is Golgotha of the sea,
And its keen hunger is the same
In winter's frost or summer flame.
When life was young-adventure sweet-
I came with Walter Raleigh's fleet,
But here my scattered bones have lain
And bleached for ages by the main.
Though lonely once, strange folk have come,
Till peopled is my barren home.

"Enough are here. O heed the cry,
Ye white-winged strangers sailing by!
The bark that lingers on this wave
Will find its smiling but a grave.
Then, tardy mariner, turn and flee;
A myriad wrecks are on thy lee!
With swelling sail and sloping mast,
Accept kind Heaven's propitious blast!
Oh, ship, sail on! Oh, ship, sail fast,
Until, Golgotha's quicksands passed,
Thou gainest the open sea at last!"

"I'M CONSCRIPTED, SMITH, CONSCRIPTED"

By ALBERT ROBERTS

[Albert Roberts, whose pseudonym was "John Happy," was formerly president of the American Newspaper and Publishing Company, of Nashville, Tennessee. “Twenty years ago," said Colonel Watterson in 1882, "he was the liveliest of the young journalists of the South; and did more to brighten the camp-fires of both armies than any of his contemporaries.". The poem is, of course, a parody, and a very clever one, of General William Haines Lytle's "Antony and Cleopatra.”]

I'm conscripted, Smith, conscripted.

Ebb the subterfuges fast,
And the sub-enrolling marshals

Gather with the evening blast.
Let thine arms, O! Smith, support me,

Hush your gab and close your ear,
Conscript-grabbers close upon you,

Hunting for you—far and near.

Though my scarred, rheumatic “trotters"

Bear me limping short no more,
And my shattered constitution

Won't exempt me as before;
Though the Provost Guard surround me,

Prompt to do their master's will,
I must to the "front" to perish,

Die the great conscripted still.

Let not the seizer's servile minions

Mock the lion thus laid low!
'Twas no fancy drink that "slewed" him

Whiskey straight-out struck the blow.
Here, then, pillowed on thy bosom,

Ere he's hurried quite away,
He, who, drunk with bust-head whiskey,

Madly threw himself away.

Should the base, plebeian rabble
Dare assail me as I

roam,
Seek
my
noble

squaw Octavia,
Weeping in her widowed home;
Seek her, say the guards have got me

Under their protecting wings,
Going to make me join the army,

Where the shell and Minie sings.

I'm conscripted, Smith--conscripted

Hark! you hear that grabber's cry-
Run, old Smith, my boy, they'll catch you!

Take you to the front to die.
Fare thee well! I go to battle,

There to die, decay, and swell;
Lockhart and Dick Taylor guard thee,

Sweet Octavia-Smith ! farewell!

THE ISLE OF LONG AGO

['This poem has been described as "a wind-driven waif upon the great sea of American newspapers,” It has been the subject of numerous newspaper controversies, the authorship being ascribed with equal confidence to Philo Henderson, of North Carolina, and to Benjamin Franklin Taylor, of Lowville, N.Y.].

Oh, a wonderful stream is the River of Time,

As it flows through the realm of tears, With a faultless rhythm and a musical rhyme, And a broad'ning sweep and a surge sublime

As it blends with the Ocean of Years.

« PředchozíPokračovat »