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 And the preacher heard his dear ones, nestled round him, weeping sore:
“Never heed, my little children! Christ is walking on before
To the pleasant land of heaven, where the sea shall be no more.”
All at once the great cloud parted, like a curtain drawn aside,
To let down the torch of lightning on the terror far and wide;
And the thunder and the whirlwind together smote the tide.
There was wailing in the shallop, woman's wail and man's despair,
A crash of breaking timbers on the rocks so sharp and bare,
And, through it all, the murmur of Father Avery's prayer.
From his struggle in the darkness with the wild waves and the blast,
On a rock, where every billow broke above him as it passed,
Alone, of all his household, the man of God was cast.
There a comrade heard him praying, in the pause of wave and wind:
“All my own have gone before me, and I linger just behind;
Not for life I ask, but only for the rest Thy ransomed find!
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