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OUR FAMILIAR SONGS.
What hid'st thou in thy treasure-caves and cells ? Thou hollow-sounding and mysterious main!
— Pale glistening pearls, and rainbow-colored
shells, Bright things which gleam unrecked of, and in vain;
— Keep, keep thy riches, melancholy sea 1 We ask not such from thee.
Yet more, the depths have more! —what wealth untold,
Far down,and shining through their stillness lies! Thou hast the starry gems, the burning gold,
Won from ten thousand royal argosies! Sweep o'er thy spoils, thou wild and wrathful main:
Earth claims not these again.
Yet more, the depths have more! thy waves have rolled
Above the cities of a world gone by! Sand hath filled up the palaces of old.
Sea-weed o'ergrown the halls of revelry.
— Dash o'er them, ocean! in thy scornful play, Man yields them to decay.
Yet more ! the billows and the depths have more !
High hearts and brave, are gathered to thy breast! They hear not now the booming waters roar,
The battle-thunders will not break their rest. — Keep thy red gold and gems, thou stormy grave!
Give back the true and brave !
Give back the lost and lovely! — those for whom The place was kept at board and hearth so long,
The prayer went up through midnight's breathless gloom, And the vain yearning woke 'midst festal song.
Hold fast thy buried isles, thy towers o'crth rown, But all is not thine own
To thee the love of woman hath gone down, Dark flew thy tides o'er manhood's noble head,
O'er youth's bright locks, and beauty's riowery crown, —Yet must thou hear a voice—restore the dead!
Earth shall reclaim her precious things from thee ! — Restore the dead, thou sea!
ROCKED IN THE CRADLE OF THE DEEP.
Mrs. Emma Willakd was an eminent teacher, and author of several well-known school-books. But everything she wrote seems already antiquated, except this noble song. Mrs. Willard's maiden name was Hart. She was born in Berlin, Connecticut, February 25, 1787, and died in Troy, New York, April 15,1870. Dr. John Lord has written her biography, "which is accompanied by two fine presentations of her striking face.
"Rocked in the Cradle of the Deep" was written during Mrs. Willard's passage home from Europe, in 1832. The Duke de Choiseul was on board the vessel, and hearing hei repeat the first two fines, urged her to finish the song. He composed music for it, but his air has been supplanted by the more appropriate melody of Joseph Philip Knight, with which alone it is now associated. Mr. Knight is an Englishman, and has composed many fine songs, especially those that relate to the sea. He taught music in Mrs. Willard'a school, and also in New York city, but fled the country in disgrace.