I wrote some lines once on a time
In wondrous merry mood,
And though, as usual, men would say
They were exceeding good.
They were so queer, so very queer,
I laughed as I would die;
Albeit, in the general way,
A sober man am I.
I called my servant, and he came;
|How kind it was of him||10|
He of the might limb!
"These to the printer," I exclaimed,
And, in my humorous way,
I added (as a trifling jest),
"There'll be the devil to pay."
He took the paper, and I watched,
And saw him peep within;
At the first line he read, his face
|Was all upon the grin.||20|
He read the next; the grin grew broad,
And shot from ear to ear;
He read the third; a chuckling noise
I now began to hear.
The fourth; he broke into a roar;
The fifth; his waistband split;
The sixth; he burst five buttons off,
And tumbled in a fit.
Ten days and nights, with sleepless eye,
|I watched that wretched man,||30|
As funny as I can.
Ay, tear her tattered ensign down!
Long has it waved on high,
And many an eye has danced to see
That banner in the sky;
Beneath it rung the battle shout,
And burst the cannon's roar;—
The meteor of the ocean air
Shall sweep the clouds no more.
Her deck, once red with heroes blood,
|Where knelt the vanquished foe,||10|
And waves were white below,
No more shall feel the victor's tread,
Or know the conquered knee;—
The harpies of the shore shall pluck
The eagle of the sea!
Oh, better that her shattered hulk
Should sink beneath the wave;
Her thunders shook the mighty deep,
|And there should be her grave;||20|
Set every threadbare sail,
And give her to the god of storms,
The lightning and the gale!
It was a tall young oysterman lived by the
His shop was just upon the bank, his boat was on the tide;
The daughter of a fisherman, that was so straight and slim,
Lived over on the other bank, right opposite to him.
It was the pensive oysterman that saw a
Upon a moonlight evening, a-sitting in the
He saw her wave her handkerchief, as much
as if to say,
"I'm wide awake, young oysterman, and all
the folks away."
Then up arose the oysterman, and to himself
"I guess, I'll leave the skiff at home, for fear
|that folks should see;||10|