[Editor: This poem by William Blocksidge (also known as William Baylebridge) was published in Songs o’ the South (1908).]
To the Memory of Captain N. M. Schmidt,
Who Perished in the Pacific Ocean While Gallantly Attempting the Rescue of His Crew
Thou Captain brave, whose heart from tempests bold
Had learned the mighty pulse so lately proved,
We mourn thy passing; but thou art removed
Among the nobler seed to be enrolled!
Thy bones may bleach in ocean caverns cold;
But who shall find his life is not approved;
And he that loseth it, compassion-moved,
Shall find, as David’s Son hath whilom told.
A stranger here, perchance we little dream
The paths in this world, even, thou hast trod.
What matters, when this deed would all redeem,
Wherein thou leant’st upon that staff and rod
Which brought thee to the pure immortal stream —
To sleep within the bosom of thy God!
William Blocksidge, Songs o’ the South, London: Watts, 1908, p. 54
art = (archaic) are
hast = (archaic) have
thee = (archaic) you
thou = (archaic) you
thy = (archaic) your
whilom = formerly; former; erstwhile; in the past
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