Who would not brave the battle-fire—the wreck—
To move the monarch of her peopled deck?
Hoarse o'er her side the rustling cable rings;
The sails are furl'd; and anchoring round she swings:
And gathering loiterers on the land discern
Her boat descending from the latticed stern. 100
'Tis mann'd—the oars keep concert to the strand,
Till grates her keel upon the shallow sand.
Hail to the welcome shout!—the friendly speech!
When hand grasps hand uniting on the beach;
The smile, the question, and the quick reply,
And the heart's promise of festivity!
The tidings spread—and gathering grows the crowd:
The hum of voices—and the laughter loud,
And woman's gentler anxious tone is heard— 109
Friends'—husbands'—lovers' names in each dear word.
"Oh! are they safe? we ask not of success—
"But shall we see them? will their accents bless?