Verse > Anthologies > Samuel Kettell, ed. > Specimens of American Poetry
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Samuel Kettell, ed.  Specimens of American Poetry.  1829.
 
The Funeral at Sea
By Henry J. Finn (1787–1840)
 
DEEP mists hung over the Mariner’s grave
When the holy funeral rite was read;
And every breath on the dark blue wave
Seem’d hush’d, to hallow the friendless dead.
 
And heavily heaved on the gloomy sea,        5
The ship that shelter’d that homeless one—
As though, his funeral-hour should be,
When the waves were still, and the winds were gone.
 
And there he lay, in his coarse, cold shroud—
And strangers were round the coffinless:        10
Not a kinsman was seen among that crowd,
Not an eye to weep, nor a lip to bless.
 
No sound from the church’s passing-bell
Was echoed along the pathless deep,
The hearts that were far away, to tell        15
Where the Mariner lies, in his lasting sleep.
 
Not a whisper then linger’d upon the air—
O’er his body, one moment, his messmates bent;
But the plunging sound of the dead was there
And the ocean is now his monument!        20
 
But many a sigh, and many a tear,
Shall be breathed, and shed, in the hours to come—
When the widow and fatherless shall hear
How he died, far, far from his happy home!
 
 
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