Verse > Anthologies > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. > Poems of Places > England
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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed.  Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
England: Vols. I–IV.  1876–79.
 
Bude Haven
A Croon on Hennacliff
Robert Stephen Hawker (1803–1875)
 
THUS said the rushing raven
  Unto his hungry mate,—
“Ho! gossip! for Bude Haven:
  There be corpses six or eight.
Cawk! cawk! the crew and skipper        5
  Are wallowing in the sea:
So there ’s a savory supper
  For my old dame and me.”
 
“Cawk! gaffer! thou art dreaming,
  The shore hath wreckers bold;        10
Would rend the yelling seamen,
  From the clutching billows hold.
Cawk! cawk! they ’d bound for booty
  Into the dragon’s den:
And shout, for ‘death or duty,’        15
  If the prey were drowning men.”
 
Loud laughed the listening surges
  At the guess our grandame gave:
You might call them Boanerges,
  From the thunder of their wave.        20
And mockery followed after
  The sea-bird’s jeering brood:
That filled the skies with laughter,
  From Lundy Light to Bude.
 
“Cawk! cawk!” then said the raven,        25
  “I am fourscore years and ten,
Yet never in Bude Haven
  Did I croak for rescued men.—
They will save the captain’s girdle,
  And shirt, if shirt there be;        30
But leave their blood to curdle
  For my old dame and me.”
 
So said the rushing raven
  Unto his hungry mate,—
“Ho! gossip! for Bude Haven:        35
  There be corpses six or eight.
Cawk! cawk! the crew and skipper
  Are wallowing in the sea:
O, what a savory supper
  For my old dame and me.”        40
 
 
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