The Day of Wailing.

Though the low winds blow from the soft south-
Over the beautiful bay ;2
Though the seagulls hover, and swoop, and cry,3
Where the shoal lies rank ’neath the quiet sky ;4
Though the crescent moon shows clear and pale,5
With never a sign of a coming gale6
Launch not a boat to-day.7
Though the women among their hungry bairns,8
Look wistfully where they play ;9
Though stalwart and strong the fishermen wait,10
With nets all fit for the precious freight,11
Laid where the blue waves dimple and smile,12
As they surge and swell round Saint Patrick’s
Launch not a boat to-day,14
It is fifty changing years ago,15
Since, as our old men say,16
The wild September tempest broke,17
Where no lighthouse flare from the Headland
spoke ;
And the whole of the fishing fleet were lost :19
Driven in heaps on the rocky coast20
Launch not a boat to-day.21
Eighty and one brave barks went down22
That noontide, in Douglas Bay ;23
Eighty and one, with their crews, drove in24
Before the wild storm’s thundering din,25
Amid scud, and haze, and raging foam,26
To die, close under the lights of home27
Launch not a boat to-day.28
Not a cot in the length and breadth of Man,29
But felt Death’s terrible sway ;30
From farm and hamlet from thorpe and town,31
From seaboard glen and from mountain crown,32
The cry went up for husband and son,33
Ere the black autumnal day was done34
Launch not a boat to-day.35
But, in memory of that hour of doom,36
Let the fisher his labour stay37
And, for sake of all who tremble and weep,38
When their men go out on the perilous deep,39
Seek His altar, who holds the sea and land40
In the hollow of His mighty hand,41
Upon Mona’s “ Wailing Day.”42