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On the Erie Canal it was All on a summer s

On the Erie Canal it was
All on a summer""s day
I sailed forth with my parents
Far away to Albany.

From out the clouds at noon that day
There came a dreadful storm
That piled the billows high about
And filled us with alarm.

A man came rushing from a house
Saying "Snub up your boat I pray
Snub up your boat snub up alas
Snub up while yet you may."

Our captain cast one glance astern
Then forward glanced he
And said "My wife and little ones
I never more shall see."

Said Dollinger the pilot man
In noble words but few
"Fear not but lean on Dollinger
And he will fetch you through."

The boat drove on the frightened mules
Tore through the rain and wind
And bravely still in danger""s post
The whip boy strode behind.

"Come ""board come ""board " the captain cried
"Nor tempt so wild a storm "
But still the raging mules advanced
And still the boy strode on.

Then said the captain to us all
"Alas ""tis plain to me
The greater danger is not there
But here upon the sea.

So let us strive while life remains
To save all souls on board
And then if die at last we must
Let . . . . I cannot speak the word!"

Said Dollinger the pilot man
Tow""ring above the crew
"Fear not but trust in Dollinger
And he will fetch you through."

"Low bridge! low bridge!" all heads went down
The laboring bark sped on
A mill we passed we passed church
Hamlets and fields of corn
And all the world came out to see
And chased along the shore
Crying "Alas alas the sheeted rain
The wind the tempest""s roar!
Alas the gallant ship and crew
Can nothing help them more?"

And from our deck sad eyes looked out
Across the stormy scene
The tossing wake of billows aft
The bending forests green
The chickens sheltered under carts
In lee of barn the cows
The skurrying swine with straw in mouth
The wild spray from our bows!

"She balances!
She wavers!
Now let her go about!
If she misses stays and broaches to
We""re all" then with a shout ]
"Huray! huray!
Avast! belay!
Take in more sail!
Lord what a gale!
Ho boy haul taut on the hind mule""s tail!"
"Ho! lighten ship! ho! man the pump!
Ho hostler heave the lead!

"A quarter three! ""tis shoaling fast!
Three feet large! t h r e e feet!
Three feet scant!" I cried in fright
"Oh is there no retreat?"

Said Dollinger the pilot man
As on the vessel flew
"Fear not but trust in Dollinger
And he will fetch you through."

A panic struck the bravest hearts
The boldest cheek turned pale
For plain to all this shoaling said
A leak had burst the ditch""s bed!
And straight as bolt from crossbow sped
Our ship swept on with shoaling lead
Before the fearful gale!

"Sever the tow line! Cripple the mules!"
Too late! There comes a shock!
Another length and the fated craft
Would have swum in the saving lock!

Then gathered together the shipwrecked crew
And took one last embrace
While sorrowful tears from despairing eyes
Ran down each hopeless face
And some did think of their little ones
Whom they never more might see
And others of waiting wives at home
And mothers that grieved would be.

But of all the children of misery there
On that poor sinking frame
But one spake words of hope and faith
And I worshipped as they came
Said Dollinger the pilot man
O brave heart strong and true!
"Fear not but trust in Dollinger
For he will fetch you through."

Lo! scarce the words have passed his lips
The dauntless prophet say""th
When every soul about him seeth
A wonder crown his faith!

And count ye all both great and small
As numbered with the dead
For mariner for forty year
On Erie boy and man
I never yet saw such a storm
Or one""t with it began!"

So overboard a keg of nails
And anvils three we threw
Likewise four bales of gunny sacks
Two hundred pounds of glue
Two sacks of corn four ditto wheat
A box of books a cow
A violin Lord Byron""s works
A rip saw and a sow.

A curve! a curve! the dangers grow!
"Labbord! stabbord! s t e a d y! so!
Hard a port Dol! hellum a lee!
Haw the head mule! the aft one gee!
Luff! bring her to the wind!"

For straight a farmer brought a plank
Mysteriously inspired
And laying it unto the ship
In silent awe retired.

Then every sufferer stood amazed
That pilot man before
A moment stood. Then wondering turned
And speechless walked ashore.
.

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by:- admin posted in:- mark twain

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