Ballad of the Tempest

 

WE were crowded in the cabin,

  Not a soul would dare to sleep,--

It was midnight on the waters,

  And a storm was on the deep.

'Tis a fearful thing in winter

  To be shattered by the blast,

And to hear the rattling trumpet

  Thunder, "Cut away the mast!"

So we shuddered there in silence,--

  For the stoutest held his breath,

While the hungry sea was roaring

  And the breakers talked with death.

As thus we sat in darkness

  Each one busy with his prayers,

"We are lost!" the captain shouted,

  As he staggered down the stairs.

But his little daughter whispered,

  As she took his icy hand,

"Isn't God upon the ocean,

  Just the same as on the land?"

Then we kissed the little maiden,

  And we spake in better cheer,

And we anchored safe in harbor

  When the morn was shining clear.

James T. Fields