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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Americas: Vol. XXX. 1876–79.

British America: St. Lawrence, the Gulf

On Passing Deadman’s Island

By Thomas Moore (1779–1852)

SEE you, beneath yon cloud so dark,

Fast gliding along a gloomy bark?

Her sails are full,—though the wind is still,

And there blows not a breath her sails to fill!

Say, what doth that vessel of darkness bear?

The silent calm of the grave is there,

Save now and again a death-knell rung,

And the flap of the sails with night-fog hung.

There lieth a wreck on the dismal shore

Of cold and pitiless Labrador;

Where, under the moon, upon mounts of frost,

Full many a mariner’s bones are tost.

Yon shadowy bark hath been to that wreck,

And the dim blue fire, that lights her deck,

Doth play on as pale and livid a crew

As ever yet drank the churchyard dew.

To Deadman’s Isle, in the eye of the blast,

To Deadman’s Isle, she speeds her fast;

By skeleton shapes her sails are furled,

And the hand that steers is not of this world!

Oh! hurry thee on,—oh! hurry thee on,

Thou terrible bark, ere the night be gone,

Nor let morning look on so foul a sight

As would blanch forever her rosy light!