By Charles Swain
In the west a line of silver
Seemed from darkness to emerge,
Like the gleaming sword of Azrael,
On the dim horizon’s verge:
Deep and deeper frowned the darkness,
Whiter grew that line of fear:
All that gazed knew well the omen,—
Knew the Hurricane was near!
Bowsprit high the billows mounted,
E’en the firmest held their breath;
Thundering onward swept the ocean,
With a darkness grim as death:
Shrouds and stays were rent asunder,
Masts and spars were snapped in twain,
Black’ning downwards rushed the heavens—
Roaring upwards rolled the main.
O’er her bows the foremast splintered,
Blocks and cordage strewed the air;
Headlong down the vessel foundered—
All was shrieking and despair!
‘Mid a wild and whirling chaos,
All above me and around,—
Struggling arms and gasping faces,
And the drowning, and the drowned!