Verse > Anthologies > Samuel Kettell, ed. > Specimens of American Poetry
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Samuel Kettell, ed.  Specimens of American Poetry.  1829.
 
The Landsend
By Samuel Woodworth (1784–1842)
 
THE GALE was propitious, all canvas was spread,
  As swift through the water we glided,
And the tear drop yet glisten’d which friendship had shed,
  Though the pang whence it sprang had subsided.
Fast faded in distance each object we knew,        5
  As the shores which we loved were retiring,
And the last grateful object which linger’d in view,
  Was the beacon on landsend aspiring.
 
Ah! here, I exclaim’d, is an emblem of life,
  For ’t is but a turbulent ocean,        10
Where passion with reason is ever at strife,
  While our frail little barks are in motion.
The haven of infancy, calm and serene,
  We leave in the distance retiring,
While memory lingers to gaze on some scene,        15
  Like the beacon on landsend aspiring.
 
O may I be careful to steer by that chart,
  Which wisdom in mercy has given,
And true like the needle, this tremulous heart,
  Be constantly pointing to heaven.        20
Thus safely with tempests and billows I ’ll cope,
  And find, when at last they ’re subsiding,
On the landsend of life there ’s a beacon of hope,
  To the harbor of happiness guiding.
 
 
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