The Sailor's Grave

OUR BARK was out—far, far from land,
When the fairest of our gallant band
Grew sadly pale, and waned away
Like the twilight of an autumn day.
We watched him through long hours of pain;
But our cares were lost, our hopes were vain;
Death brought for him no coward alarm,
For he smiled as he died on a messmate's arm.

He had no costly winding sheet,
But we placed a round shot at his feet;
And he slept in his hammock as safe and sound
As a king in his lawn shroud, marble-bound.
We proudly decked his funeral vest
With the English flag upon his breast:
We gave him that as the badge of the brave,
And then he was fit for his sailor's grave.

Our voices broke—our hearts turned weak—
Hot tears were seen on the brownest cheek—
And a quiver played on the lips of pride,
As we lowered him down the ship's dark side.
A plunge—a splash—and our task was o'er;
The billows rolled as they rolled before;
But many a rude prayer hallowed the wave
That closed above the sailor's grave.
Rate this poem: 


No reviews yet.