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East and West: Poems by Bret Harte

Produced by Curtis A. Weyant and The Online Distributed Proofreading Team




Bret Harte.



A Greyport Legend A Newport Romance The Hawk's Nest In the Mission Garden The Old Major Explains "Seventy-Nine" Truthful James's Answer to "Her Letter" Further Language from Truthful James The Wonderful Spring of San Joaquin On a Cone of the Big Trees A Sanitary Message The Copperhead On a Pen of Thomas Starr King Lone Mountain California's Greeting to Seward The Two Ships The Goddess Address The Lost Galleon The Second Review of the Grand Army


Before the Curtain The Stage-Driver's Story Aspiring Miss de Laine California Madrigal St. Thomas Ballad of Mr. Cooke Legends of the Rhine Mrs. Judge Jenkins: Sequel to Maud Muller Avitor A White Pine Ballad Little Red Riding-Hood The Ritualist A Moral Vindicator Songs without Sense

Part I.

East and West Poems.

A Greyport Legend.


They ran through the streets of the seaport town; They peered from the decks of the ships that lay: The cold sea-fog that came whitening down Was never as cold or white as they. "Ho, Starbuck and Pinckney and Tenterden! Run for your shallops, gather your men, Scatter your boats on the lower bay."

Good cause for fear! In the thick midday The hulk that lay by the rotting pier, Filled with the children in happy play, Parted its moorings, and drifted clear,-- Drifted clear beyond the reach or call,-- Thirteen children they were in all,-- All adrift in the lower bay!

Said a hard-faced skipper, "God help us all! She will not float till the turning tide!" Said his wife, "My darling will hear _my_ call, Whether in sea or heaven she bide:" And she lifted a quavering voice and high, Wild and strange as a sea-bird's cry, Till they shuddered and wondered at her side.

The fog drove down on each laboring crew, Veiled each from each and the sky and shore: There was not a sound but the breath they drew, And the lap of water and creak of oar; And they felt the breath of the downs, fresh blown O'er leagues of clover and cold gray stone, But not from the lips that had gone before.

They come no more. But they tell the tale, That, when fogs are thick on the harbor reef, The mackerel fishers shorten sail; For the signal they know will bring relief: For the voices of children, still at play In a phantom hulk that drifts alway Through channels whose waters never fail.

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