Bell of the "Atlantic" by Mrs. Sigourney


   TOLL, toll, toll!

Thou bell by billows swung,

And, night and day, thy warning words

Repeat with mournful tongue!

Toll for the queenly boat,

Wrecked on yon rocky-shore!

Sea-weed is in her palace halls—

She rides the surge no more.

Toll for the master bold,

The high-souled and the brave,

Who ruled her like a thing of life

Amid the crested wave!

Toll for the hardy crew,

Sons of the storm and blast,

Who long the tyrant ocean dared;

But it vanquished them at last.

Toll for the man of God,

Whose hallowed voice of prayer

Rose calm above the stifled groan

Of that intense despair!

How precious were those tones,

On that sad verge of life,

Amid the fierce and freezing storm,

And the mountain billows strife!

Toll for the lover, lost

To the summoned bridal train

Bright glows a picture on his breast,

Beneath th' unfathomed main.

 

One from her casement gazeth

Long o'er the misty sea:

He cometh not, pale maiden—

His heart is cold to thee?

Toll for the absent sire,

Who to his home drew near,

To bless a glad, expecting group—

Fond wife, and children dear!

They heap the blazing hearth,

The festal board is spread,

But a fearful guest is at the gate:—

Room for the sheeted dead!

Toll for the loved and fair,

The whelmed beneath the tide—

The broken harps around whose strings

The dull sea-monsters glide!

Mother and nursling sweet,

Reft from the household throng;

There's bitter weeping in the nest

Where breathed their soul of song.

Toll for the hearts that bleed

'Neath misery's furrowing trace;

Toll for the hapless orphan left,

The last of all his race!

Yea, with thy heaviest knell,

From surge to rocky shore,

Toll for the living—not the dead,

Whose mortal woes are o'er.

Toll, toll, toll!

O'er breeze and billow free;

And with thy startling lore instruct

Each rover of the sea.

Tell how o'er proudest joys

May swift destruction sweep,

And bid him build his hopes on high—

Lone teacher of the deep!