Page:All quiet along the Potomac and other poems.djvu/324

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OFF BARNEGAT.

��Hoarse voices shouted ; swinging low Great sails, ice-mailed, flapped to and fro ; White faces showed when through the night Shone rocket s flash and Coston-light, And strong men shuddered as the sea Broke o er the stern relentlessly.

��" Men, save yourselves !" the captain said ; " My place is here, alive or dead.

Save wife and child !"

Strong helpers drew

Mother and child the stairway through

Lashed to the mast with tender care

The captain s wife.

Pale, calm, and fair,

She wrapped her child in scarf and shawl,

Then whispered to the first mate tall, " Save her for me, Ben. I will bide

Through peril at the captain s side."

��Across the sullen ocean s roar Came voices nearer on the shore, Till in the morning s early light They saw, beyond the breakers white, A score of men with helpful hands Dragging in haste along the sands Life-car and buoy, line and gun. Up through the air the life-line spun,

�� �