By Mrs. Fletcher.
THE HAVEN GAINED.
Inscribed to Captain C. Biden, Commander of the ship Victory.
And we are parting, glorious Sea!
And thou art anchored, gallant ship!
Strange, that the hour which makes me free,
Should be the one that tempts to weep;
Strange, strange that through my heart should flow
Regrets, I never dreamed to know.
How often, in a wayward mood,
Upon our thronged and sultry deck,
I've sat and longed for solitude
And silence—fondly tracing back
The fresh and stilly evening air,
All that made England dear and fair.
How often have I looked with scorn
On what I deemed my prison home;
Sick of the vastness daily born
In ocean's circle, heaven's high dome,—
Turned from the sun with evil eye,
Nay, greeted moonlight with a sigh!
But this is over: long relieved,
I have rejoiced in Night and Day;
Loved our sea-life, and only grieved
That Time, like waters, lapsed away;
Not lately, Discontent, old Sea,
Hath bent a wrinkled brow on thee.
My cabin, that I thought a tomb,
Despite its neat and bright array,
Seems now a smiling summer room
Where only Peace hath leave to stay;
And Occupation's Eden-state,
Light, mirthful, earnest, and elate.
And I have learned to read the face
Of many a rude yet kindly tar;
So loves the human eye to trace
The lines of brotherhood afar;
So longs the human heart to love
Something, beneath, around, above.
But hark, that sound!—the boat is lowered,
I never thought 'twould vex mine ear;
I thought not when I came on board
To leave at last with sigh and tear;—
But then, I did not dream to find
Such friendship as I leave behind.
March 2nd, 1833.