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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
America: Vols. XXV–XXIX. 1876–79.

New England: Marblehead, Mass.

Captain Morrow’s Thanksgiving

By Lillie E. Barr

OVER the waves the Petrel sped,

(Captain Morrow of Marblehead,)

And one fine day the sailors said,

“Thanksgiving, sir, to-morrow.”

“Well, lads, we owe the Lord our lives,

Our happy homes and loving wives,

And we ’ll win home, if each one strives,

And tell him so, to-morrow.”

Then all the day was sound of song,

Work with laughter went along,

Every heart held promise strong

Of Thanksgiving on the morrow.

The daylight faded into night,

The trig ship was a pleasant sight;

On the horizon burst a light:

“What ’s that?” said Captain Morrow.

A moment’s space of silence dire,

And then the cry, “A ship on fire!”

“Set sails, my lads, we must go nigher

Though we should lose to-morrow!”

He scarce had spoke when, sound of fear,

The minute-gun smote every ear;

Then broke the men into a cheer,

“Good boys!” said Captain Morrow.

They turned the Petrel round about;

They backward turned with prayer and shout;

That pleading gun had driven out

All thoughts of their to-morrow.

And forty souls, with weary pain,

The Petrel brought to life again,

From out of whelming wave and flame.

“Thank God!” said Captain Morrow.

“Good comrades, we have made no slip

Between the promised cup and lip;

We ’ll hold ‘Thanksgiving’ in the ship,

And then again to-morrow.”

Be sure the Petrel’s half-fed throng

Kept good Thanksgiving all day long,

In grateful prayer and happy song,

Well led by Captain Morrow.