Studies In Folk-song And Popular Poetry

An Extensive Investigation Into The Sources And Inspiration Of National Folk Song

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32
AMERICAN SEA SONGS.
Stern all, stern all God damn it, heave
Your other iron through her ! We 're fast, we 're fast stern out her way !
Here, let me come ahead, men. There, peak your oars wet line wet line
Why, bloody zounds, you 're dead, men ! "
The rush of the whale towing the boat, his sounding to the uttermost length of the line, his reappearance, the lancing, the mad dash at the boats, and the death flurry are all described with great vividness, but there is room only for the verses in which the monster comes up from his long dive, and obliges the poet to appeal to the enemy of sea songs, the steam boiler:
Till from the deep, with mighty leap,
Full length the monster breaches, So strongly sped, his scarred gray head
High as our topmast reaches ; And, like a rock, with startling shock,
From mountain height descending, Down thunders he upon the sea,
Ocean with ether blending.
And, hark ! once more that lengthened roar,
As from his spout-hole gushing, His breath, long spent, now finds a vent,
Like steam from boiler rushing.
It does not seem that a poet who could write so vividly and forcefully as this ought to be without
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