The Ocean Burial

1.

“Oh, bury me not in the deep, deep sea,”
These words came low and mournfully
From the pallid lips of a youth who lay
On his cabin couch at the close of day.
He had wasted and pined till o'er his brow
Death's shades had slowly passed, and now,
When the land of his own loved home drew nigh,
They had gathered round to see him die.
“It matters not, I've oft been told,
Where the body lies when the heart is cold,
Yet grant, oh grant this boon to me,
Oh, bury me not in the deep, deep sea!

2.

“Let my death slumbers be where a mother's prayer
And a sister's tear will be mingled there.
'Twill be sweet ere the heart's gentle throb is o'er
To know that its fountain will gush no more.
I had even hoped to be laid when I died
In the little churchyard on the green hillside.
By the home of my father my grave should be—
Oh, bury me not in the deep, deep sea!

3.

And there is another whose tears shall be shed
O'er him who lies low in his ocean bed.
In hours when it grieves me to think of now,
She could wreathe these locks, she could press this brow.
In the hair she twined shall the sea serpents hiss
And the brow she hath pressed shall the cold waves kiss.
For the sake of that loved one that's waiting for me,
Oh, bury me not in the deep, deep sea!

4.

“She hath been in my dreams . . .” His voice failed there.
They paid no heed to his dying prayer.
They lowered him low o'er the vessel's side,
Above him rolled the cold, dark tide.
For to dip their light wings the sea birds rest,
And the blue waves dance o'er the ocean's crest.
Where the billows bound and the waves sport free,
We buried him there in the cold, deep sea.


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