The Drowned Man

 The night was dark in all the sky,
 The wind blew quite a burst,
 When such a poor sad wretch as I
 Fell from the deck head first.
 His friends, all hope, he had let slip,
 And left his home on board the ship.

 No man more brave was in that land
 Than he with whom he went,
 Nor was there ship from that fair strand,
 With more kind words was sent.
 He loved them both, but would no more
 See man or ship, nor yet that shore.

 Not long he lay down in the sea,
 But made as if to swim;
 Nor soon did strength yet from him flee,
 Or heart soon fail for him;
 But waged with death a long hard fight
 In hope that he would live the night.

 He called; and nor did his friends fail
 To stay the ship's old course,
 But none could stop her in that gale,
 And they were made by force,
 To leave their friend in his poor state
 And lead the ship to its own fate.

 Some help was still at hand, they knew,
 And when the storm would calm,
 The cask, the coop, the rope they threw
 To save their friend from harm.
 But not with much real hope of cheer,
 For fate had made its aim too clear.

 Nor, harsh as it had seemed, could he
 Make plaint of them in turn,
 He knew that flight in such a sea,
 Was such they could not spurn;
 Yet still he felt it sad to die
 And all the while his friends so nigh.

 Who has to swim to live an hour
 Must feel he swims all day;
 And for that long he kept his power
 And kept his fate at bay;
 And all the time, as it went by
 He called for help, or cried out "Hi!"

 At length, this kind of thing gone past,
 His friends who, through the roar,
 Still heard his voice in each new blast,
 Could catch the sound no more.
 For then, by toil worn down, he drank
 The sharp salt wave, and then he sank.

 No bard has wept him; but the page
 That tells the tale we hear,
 And tells his name, his worth, his age,
 Is wet with one man's tear.
 And tears by bards or great men shed
 May both serve well to wake the dead.

 I thus have no real mind, or dream,
 When now I tell the tale
 To carve in stone this great sad theme
 So that it may not stale:
 But all the same my soul does tend
 In this one's fate to see a friend.

 No voice of God did end the storm
 No light came from the sky,
 When snatched from one life safe and warm,
 We both were doomed to die;
 But I was in more rough a sea
 And whelmed in gulfs more deep than he.

                                -- Will Who Cowps
                                   (done by cand)