Charles Dickens

              The Song of the Wreck


                   The wind blew high, the waters raved,
                     A ship drove on the land,
                   A hundred human creatures saved
                     Kneel'd down upon the sand.
                   Three-score were drown'd, three-score were thrown
                     Upon the black rocks wild,
                   And thus among them, left alone,
                     They found one helpless child.


                   A seaman rough, to shipwreck bred,
                     Stood out from all the rest,
                   And gently laid the lonely head
                     Upon his honest breast.
                   And travelling o'er the desert wide
                     It was a solemn joy,
                   To see them, ever side by side,
                     The sailor and the boy.


                   In famine, sickness, hunger, thirst,
                     The two were still but one,
                   Until the strong man droop'd the first
                     And felt his labours done.
                   Then to a trusty friend he spake,
                     "Across the desert wide,
                   O take this poor boy for my sake!"
                     And kiss'd the child and died.


                   Toiling along in weary plight
                     Through heavy jungle, mire,
                   These two came later every night
                     To warm them at the fire.
                   Until the captain said one day,
                     "O seaman good and kind,
                   To save thyself now come away,
                     And leave the boy behind!"


                   The child was slumbering near the blaze:
                     "O captain, let him rest
                   Until it sinks, when God's own ways
                     Shall teach us what is best!"
                   They watch'd the whiten'd ashy heap,
                     They touch'd the child in vain;
                   They did not leave him there asleep,
                     He never woke again.



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