Page:Poets of John Company.djvu/65

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JAMES SILK BUCKINGHAM.

1786-1855.

Starboard Watch, Ahoy!

I.

At midnight's dark and dreary hour,
Deserted e'en by Cynthia's beam,
When tempests beat, and torrents pour.
And twinkling stars no longer gleam,
The weary seaman, spent with toil,
Hangs on upon the weather shrouds,
And Time's slow progress to beguile.
Sings, as he views the gathering clouds,
"Starboard watch! ahoy!"

But who can speak the joy he feels,
While o'er the foam his vessel reels,
As his tired eyelids slumbering fall.
He rouses at the welcome call
Of "Starboard watch, ahoy!"

II.


With anxious care he eyes each wave.
That swelling threatens all to o'erwhelm,
And his storm-beaten bark to save
Directs with skill the faithful helm.
With joy he drinks the cheering grog
'Mid storms that bellow, loud and hoarse;
With joy he heaves the reeling log,
And marks the distance and the course.

But how much greater joy he feels,
While o'er the foam his vessel reels,
As his tired eyelids slumbering fall,
He rouses at the welcome call
Of "Starboard watch, ahoy!"

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