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Gone-gone. Uncounted æons have rolled by,

And still my ghost sits by its corpse of stone,
And still the blue smile of the new-formed sky

Finds me unchanged. Slow centuries crawling on
Bring myriads happy death :- I cannot die;
Can only mock the dead man's peaceful face,

And straightened arm that will not labour more;
Yearning for e'en the meanest six-foot space

To moulder in, with daisies growing o'er, Rather than this unearthly resting-place; Where pinnacled, my silent effigy

Against the sunset rising clear and cold, Startles the musing stranger sailing by,

And calls up thoughts that never can be told, Of life, and death, and immortality.

While I ?-I watch this after world that creeps

Nearer and nearer to the feet of God:
Ay, though it labours, struggles, sins, and weeps,

Yet, love-drawn, follows ever Him who trod
Through dim Gethsemane to Calvary's steeps.

O glorious shame! O royal servitude !

High lowliness, and ignorance all wise!
Pure life with death, and death with life imbued ;

My centuried splendours crumble 'neath Thine eyes, Thou Holy One who died upon the rood !

Therefore, face upward to the Christian heaven,

I, Fergus, lie : expectant, humble, calm i Dumb emblem of the faith to me not given;

The clouds drop chrism, the stars their midnight psalm Chant over me, who passed away unshriven.

I am the Resurrection and the Life."

So from yon mountain grave-yard cries the dust
Of child to parent, husband unto wife,

Consoling, and believing in the Just :-
He lives, though all the universe sank in strife.

Therefore my granite lips for ever pray,

“O rains, wash out my sin of self abhorred: O sun, melt thou my heart of stone away,

Out of thy plenteous mercy save me, Lord.” And so I wait till resurrection day.

A MIDDLE-WATCH CONFESSION.

BY ROBERT PATON.

ment.

cons ?

“EIGHT bells, sir.”

ticeship been great chums: and I had “Strike it, quartermaster, and call longed for an opportunity to have a Mr. Treweeke."

quiet chat, and hear what had happened On being struck the bell told that it to caus3 such an alteration and improvewas midnight, and a lovely night it was ; clear, starry sky o'erhead, and calm, Quick reliefs as a rule he always gave, grey, sleeping sea around.

We were

and soon appeared on deck; and, after half-way over the Atlantic, and our some talk about the watches, I transship's ponderous engines revolving cease- ferred the night order book to him, relessly with a monotonous sound and un- marking that I had taken an observation tiring power, the paddles sending a long of “Procyon," and that he would find line of gleaming water astern, while a the latitude on the log slate. streamer of black smoke, unrolling itself “Indeed !” he muttered, “by Profrom the funnel, broadened gradually, cyon," adding aloud, after a while, “A till it formed a thick murky cloud- lovely night! This is a middle-watch island on the eastern horizon behind us. for reflection ! What quartermaster

Pacing up and down the white decks, from the helmsman to the look-outs, I “Danaford,” I answered, “a trustmused on a sailor's life, and on the worthy old fellow. He's been a long singular chance which had brought my time in the service. I'm afraid, though, old chum and shipmate, Fred Treweeke, some quiet evening, he'll spoil the and myself together again, after so many beauty,' as he calls it, of our new tellyears' knocking about in different direc- tale compass, for he hates it from the tions.

bottom of his heart; its machinery is a We had parted with no hope or ex- perfect puzzle to him, and he terms it pectation of further companionship in a . a blessed spy."" ship-board life, and yet here we were, Yes,” said Fred, “these old fellows relieving each other this night as officers like to have full faith reposed on them, of the same steamer !

or they are apt to become rusty, and Then, what a happy-go-lucky mortal' creak on their hinges. I don't blame he was, with a wild and unchecked love of them. I always make a point now of pleasure ; no relation left in the world studying each man's character, and to care for, full of fun and practical trusting him as much as I possibly can. jokes. Now, I had found him in every I find it raises them in their own estirespect changed. He was thoughtful, mation to be thought well of by us, and hard-working and steady; it seemed as I am seldom deceived. But what's our if he had gained some settled convictions latest rule now?that gave him self-reliance and self- “ The officer of the watch shall keep respect, and one thing was particularly his watch on the forecastle, going aft noticeable in him-a continual discou- occasionally to look at the compass.'” (I ragement of the silly banter and light quoted this glibly from our regulation talk amongst the rest of our mess. book.) Many new incidents in his career I had “Ah! so it is,” he replied, laughing. already learnt from him, but I felt cer- “How quickly we are getting hedged in tain there was something he had not by rules and injunctions ! Soon, we told me of; something which in a pecu- shall not require to think at all ; but liar mood of mind he would reveal, as this last is not a bad one, especially we had always throughout our appren- now-a-days, when one may have a few

into us.

about me.

months' meditation rusticating in a jail, smile, and even a joke ready, when his or an order from Government to quit the former ways and success were mentioned. sea, and turn our hand to some other “ You know what a terrible mess a business, should a sleepy ship run sailing ship is generally in at leaving

dock, and what a time the poor mate “Why, Fred! you're quite a philo- has. Why ! our life here, in these sailsopher," I said. “What has happened ing kettles, is princely compared to it. since those rollicking days and nights What with the crimp-enslaved crew in the old town? You don't like to coming on board drunken and unfit for have them brought up again.'

work ; provisions and scraps of the cargo “You are right ; I don't like the arriving at the very last moment; the memory of our old days brought up, mind filled with fears of gear not having and if you are not longing for your been bent properly, of chains not being bunk, and will keep me company for a rightly shackled ; with some things perlittle, I'll let you know why. It won't haps that are required just starting into be a very bad mode to pass a watch, I one's mind when too late ; but little time think, provided we keep our senses has a mate to take note of anything save alive. It's a fine night, and but little his own duties ; and so we were round fear of ships hereabouts."

Holyhead, and fairly standing down Pleased with his proposal, and at Channel, before I had time to look having got him in so chatty a mood, I willingly followed him forward.

To my surprise, I then heard of our “Keep a bright look out there, my having A LADY ON BOARD, and naturally lads !” he cried.

wondered at not having been told by “Ay! ay, sir !" the men sent us the captain of her coming, nor of my back, and, taking a good glance round noticing any preparation made for her. the horizon ourselves, Fred and I settled “ It turned out to be a young relation near the capstan.

of the old man's, and she was accom“ You think I'm altered since the old panied by a nurse. We were some days times ?” he began. “I am, thank God ! out before I had an opportunity of seeing and I'll tell you how. It's short her. Our after cabin went right across and simple yarn. Don't think I have the stern, and was large, commodious, forgotten those days. By no means. I and nicely fitted up, and entering it imthink of them sometimes, but not with mediately on coming on board, she had pleasure ; other lines have crossed my not yet quitted it, but I learnt from the path, which are more grateful sources of

Ursy,” as the tars soon got into reflection.

the way of calling her, from her name “You remember when we parted, I of Ursula—that Miss Hay was a niece of went second mate in the old ship, but Captain Martin, that she had been long only for one voyage. On our return I in delicate health, and that only a day transferred my services to Old Martin, or two before sailing he had consented as he was called by every one who knew to take her with him, although she had him at home or abroad, as his mate in been for some time looking forward to, the Buda. What a good man I found and prepared for a voyage. him! Never a better. He had been “We were getting the ship into nice very unfortunate; the loss of two order, and settling down into the daily ships, and with them nearly all his routine of a sea-life, and I was rather own hard-won savings of a life-time, had proud of the whiteness and tidiness of changed him greatly, and he was chas- our poop-deck, (flattering myself she tened and softened down by his adversi- would admire it, as, somehow or other ties, from the blustering martinet that I began to find her in most of my few could sail two voyages with, into a thoughts, having, as you know, had quiet, kindly old man, carrying far too rather a leaning towards the fair sex,) many years for a sea-life, but with a when one beautiful, warm-breezy day in

a very

nurse

me.

was.

know now,

the trades, and while busy setting up Tut! I said, 'what's wrong with me, the jib guys forward, one of the tars said, that a pretty girl should unnerve me so The young lady's up, sir!'

and cause me to suffer this uneasiness ? “I looked aft, and at the break of They're all alike, these women, all alike. the poop—let me picture her with my I must conquer this, and have a chat mind's eye as then I saw her, in a with her. But no! I could not rid common black merino gown, simple and myself of her image ; her eyes haunted free of all outward ornament, high up on There was something about her her throat, small enough I thought for which I could not understand, and yet my big hand to clasp round, which a I felt certain that with one glance she little slip of white wound in the shape had read me through, and knew me, of a collar, with a black snake-brooch careless, unthinking, and unsteady as I coiled in the centre-stood a young girl, It did not strike me then, but I of what age I could scarcely guess, her

what gave me such sensafigure, in spite of the black by which it tions. My pride was roused, and I tried was clothed, was so light and graceful, back to get hold of some of my early so youthful and airy-like, and yet her thoughts and feelings before they had pale delicate face so full of thought become blurred and blunted by half-aand expression. From wide, drooping dozen years of a sailor's life. sleeves, fastened at the wrist by a “I had no opportunity of seeing her bracelet as 't were of pure white coral, again for some time, as she remained two small hands, not less white than nearly always in the after cabin, where the wristbands, came shyly out, and I never penetrated. Old Martin sumeheld back bunches of dark hair, while times messed with me and sometimes with large, lustrous, speaking-like eyes with her, and all I could learn from him she looked wonderingly out over the was that Miss Hay was an orphan niece, blue dancing sea, its bubbles of foam as and had taken a strong and unconquerthey leapt to the sky, and sparkled and able liking to get this voyage with him. vanished, seeming to be reflected in I found myself putting numerous questhem. Such eyes !—I fancy now that I tions to old Nurse, (how we

use that can reach beyond their outer porch, and word 'old' on board ship, for any one see the heaven that lay deep-hidden in we think of kindly disposition !) but them.

Ursula shook her head much in answer“I find I can hardly describe her pro- ing them, and seemed doubtful as to the perly to you ; I am a bad hand at tally- voyage renewing her young mistress's ing women's gear, but, thank heaven! health. She was ever ready and willing it is not her outward form and sem- to dilate on Miss Hay's goodness and blance I love to recall, but the few words gentleness, and to tell how her 'sweet of truth and beauty I heard from her angel,' as she called her, was lips, that have been to me, throughout fitted for heaven than earth ; to all of my life since, an unceasing, ay, and which I was a curious listener, finding ever increasing source of pleasure. it interesting and making me think,

“Of course I went aft immediately, which I was never given much to, and when she smiled, and spoke my name, seldom indulged in, on any other subject but what came over me I do not know. but ship's duties. Stammering, blushing, and awkward in “ You remember how our last skipper every limb, I could not find a word to used to urge on us, that before coming utter, could not even muster courage, on deck to relieve it, we should get although I wished to ask her if I could ready a subject to employ our thoughts lead her to a seat. You smile! Well, I on, if not engaged in actual duties? myself hardly thought then that I could How, to pass time, we were to imagine be so taken a-back.

I went away

a ship in all manner of perilous and unforward to my work again, with a toward circumstances, and find out what

more

into us.

about me.

66

months' meditation rusticating in a jail, smile, and even a joke ready, when his or an order from Government to quit the former ways and success were mentioned. sea, and turn our hand to some other “You know what a terrible mess a business, should a sleepy ship run sailing ship is generally in at leaving

dock, and what a time the poor mate “Why, Fred! you're quite a philo- has. Why! our life here, in these sailsopher," I said.

“What has happened ing kettles, is princely compared to it. since those rollicking days and nights What with the crimp-enslaved crew in the old town? You don't like to coming on board drunken and unfit for have them brought up again.'

work; provisions and scraps of the cargo “You are right; I don't like the arriving at the very last moment; the memory of our old days brought up, mind filled with fears of gear not having and if you are not longing for your been bent properly, of chains not being bunk, and will keep me company for a rightly shackled ; with some things perlittle, I'll let you know why. It won't haps that are required just starting into be a very bad mode to pass a watch, I one's mind when too late ; but little time think, provided we keep our senses has a mate to take note of anything save alive. It's a fine night, and but little his own duties; and so we were round fear of ships hereabouts.”

Holyhead, and fairly standing down Pleased with his proposal, and at Channel, before I had time to look having got him in so chatty a mood, I willingly followed him forward.

“To my surprise, I then heard of our Keep a bright look out there, my having A LADY ON BOARD, and naturally lads !” he cried.

wondered at not having been told by “Ay! ay, sir !” the men sent us the captain of her coming, nor of my back, and, taking a good glance round noticing any preparation made for her.' the horizon ourselves, Fred and I settled “It turned out to be a young relation near the capstan.

of the old man's, and she was accom“You think I'm altered since the old panied by a nurse. We were some days times ?” he began. “I am, thank God ! out before I had an opportunity of seeing and I'll tell you how. It's a very short her. Our after cabin went right across and simple yarn. Don't think I have the stern, and was large, commodious, forgotten those days. By no means. I and nicely fitted up, and entering it imthink of them sometimes, but not with mediately on coming on board, she had pleasure ; other lines have crossed my not yet quitted it, but I learnt from the path, which are more grateful sources of -"Ursy,” as the tars soon got into reflection.

the way of calling her, from her name “You remember when we parted, I of Ursula—that Miss Hay was a niece of went second mate in the old ship, but Captain Martin, that she had been long only for one voyage. On our return I in delicate health, and that only a day transferred my services to Old Martin, or two before sailing he had consented as he was called by every one who knew to take her with him, although she had him at home or abroad, as his mate in been for some time looking forward to, the Buda. What a good man I found and prepared for a voyage. him! Never a better. He had been “We were getting the ship into nice very unfortunate; the loss of two order, and settling down into the daily ships, and with them nearly all his routine of a sea-life, and I was rather own hard-won savings of a life-time, had proud of the whiteness and tidiness of changed him greatly, and he was chas- our poop-deck, (flattering myself she tened and softened down by his adversi- would admire it, as, somehow or other ties, from the blustering martinet that I began to find her in most of my few could sail two voyages with, into a thoughts, having, as you know, had quiet, kindly old man, carrying far too rather a leaning towards the fair sex,) many years for a sea-life, but with a when one beautiful, warm-breezy day in

nurse

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