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John Gardiner Calkins Brainard

(1796-1828 / the United States)

The Sea-Bird's Song

On the deep is the mariner's danger,
On the deep is the mariner's death;
Who, to fear of the tempest a stranger,
Sees the last bubble burst of his breath?
'T is the sea-bird, sea-bird, sea-bird,
Lone looker on despair;
The sea-bird, sea-bird, sea-bird,
The only witness there.

Who watches their course, who so mildly
Careen to the kiss of the breeze?
Who lists to their shrieks, who so wildly
Are clasped in the arms of the seas?
'T is the sea-bird, &c.

Who hovers on high o'er the lover,
And her who has clung to his neck?
Whose wing is the wing that can cover,
With its shadow, the foundering wreck?
'T is the sea-bird, &c.

My eye in the light of the billow,
My wing on the wake of the wave;
I shall take to my breast for a pillow,
The shroud of the fair and the brave.
I'm a sea-bird, &c.

My foot on the iceberg has lighted,
When hoarse the wild winds veer about;
My eye, when the bark is benighted,
Sees the lamp of the Light-House go out.
I'm the sea-bird, sea-bird, sea-bird,
Lone looker on despair;
The sea-bird, sea-bird, sea-bird,
The only witness there.

Submitted: Saturday, September 18, 2010

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