Verse > Anthologies > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. > Poems of Places > America
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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed.  Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
America: Vols. XXV–XXIX.  1876–79.
 
Southern States: Hatteras, the Cape, N. C.
The Wreck
T. H. M’Naughton
 
THEY were off Cape Hatteras
  On a dark night of September,—
  Long, ah! long shall we remember!
On the ship were souls six hundred
Ere the God of Tempests thundered.        5
  Long we ’ll mourn the night—alas!—
  They were off Cape Hatteras.
 
O’er the billows came the storm;
  On the sea were demons prowling;
  O’er the wave came Horror howling;        10
Looking on the dread commotion
Lay dark spirits of the ocean;
  In its terrors multiform
  O’er the billows came the storm.
 
Comes the sound of boding doom.—        15
  Hark! the spars and boom a-creaking!
  Hark! the dole of victims shrieking!
Louder comes the tempest’s thunder,
Bursting rope and bar asunder!
  From the bellow and the gloom        20
  Comes the sound of boding doom.
 
With the blare of bellowing storm
  Comes the shout of seamen daring:
  “Courage, brothers! God us sparing,
We shall conquer, though the thunder        25
Crushes our good ship asunder!”
  Lightning showed each sailor form
  Battling with the bellowing storm.
 
Hark, on high! ’t is God who speaks!
  Thunders ruinous are booming;        30
  Storm-cloud in the lightning looming;
Fiercer, louder, wilder, higher,
Howls the darkling blast and nigher….
  From the heaven the thunder breaks—
  Hark, on high! ’t is God who speaks!        35
 
Now there comes a spirit prone
  O’er the deck from prow to rudder,
  Making e’en the seamen shudder!…
Now the gallant Herndon ’s speaking
With his trumpet o’er the shrieking:        40
  “Now to God and Him alone!”
  Then there came that spirit prone.
 
Wild the answer: groan and prayer!
  Wild the answer: tempest thundered!
  Wild the answer of six hundred!        45
O’er the deck came billows breaking—
Vessel sinking—hope forsaking!
  “Look to God—for death prepare!”—
  Wild the answer: groan and prayer!
 
Down in caverns wild and dark        50
  Are the daring victims lying—
  Loud the land with wail and sighing.
With the God of Tempests leave them—
Jesus, Saviour, now receive them.
  The good ship lies grim and stark        55
  Down in caverns wild and dark;
 
It is off Cape Hatteras—
  Sunk that dark night of September—
  Long, ah! long shall we remember.
There were on the ship six hundred        60
Ere the God of Tempests thundered!
  Long we ’ll mourn the night—alas!—
  They were off Cape Hatteras!
 
 
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