THE SAILORS GRAVE.
Our bark was far, far from the land,
When the fairest of our gallant band
Grew deadly pale, and weaned away,
Like the twilight of an Autumn-day,
We had watched him through long hours of pain;
Our cares were great, our hopes in vain:
Death's stroke he gave no coward's alarm;
But he smiled, and died in his messmates arms.
We had no costly winding-sheet;
We placed two round shots at his feet;
He lays in his hammock, as snug and as sound
As a king in his long shroud, marble-bound;
We proudly decked his funeral vest
With the Starry Flag upon his breast!
We gave him this, as a badge of the brave,
And then he was fit for a sailor's grave.
Our voices broke, and hearts turned weak;
Oft tears were seen on the brownest cheek;
The quiver played on the lips of pride,
As we lowered him down the ship's dark side;
Then a splash and a plunge, and our task was o'er,
And the billows rolled as they rolled before,
And many wild prayers hallow'd the waves,
And he sank beneath a sailor's grave.