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Stedman and Hutchinson, comps. A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes. 1891.
Vols. IX–XI: Literature of the Republic, Part IV., 1861–1889

Bos’n Hill

By John Albee (1833–1915)

[From Poems. 1888.]

(A New Castle, N. H., legend)

THE WIND blows wild on Bos’n Hill,

Far off is heard the ocean’s rote;

Low overhead the gulls scream shrill,

And homeward scuds each little boat.

Then the dead Bos’n wakes in glee

To hear the storm-king’s song;

And from the top of mast-pine tree

He blows his whistle loud and long.

The village sailors hear the call,

Lips pale and eyes grow dim;

Well know they, though he pipes them all,

He means but one shall answer him.

He pipes the dead up from their graves,

Whose bones the tansy hides;

He pipes the dead beneath the waves,

They hear and cleave the rising tides.

But sailors know when next they sail

Beyond the Hilltop’s view,

There’s one amongst them shall not fail

To join the Bos’n’s Crew.