Page:All quiet along the Potomac and other poems.djvu/273

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GARLAND OR HAWSER. 267

See ! along the track of its fearful way How the human hopes of a creature sway ! Heaven help thee, lad ! struggle on once more ; There are stretched-out hands on the friendly shore.

Battle on with w r ind, husband well thy breath; On a fraying rope trembles life or death ! For its strands are chafed in the rock-strewn sea, Until one is cut, and there were but three !

Tighten, field-bouquet that the dew has kissed,

Like a band of steel let thy fibres twist ;

Heaven give thee strength till the lad comes

through ! Ha ! another cord ! and there were but two !

��For your life, my lad ! but a boat s length more ! But a breast-high wave ! He has gained the shore Breathing thankful prayer. So its work was done. And the lone strand cut and there was but one !

��With a swift recoil to the depths below, Then the rope went out with the undertow, But a ripple sang through the sea-foam dim, " Garland fair or hawser can work for Him."

��� �