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 For still, on many a moonless night,
From Kingston Head and from Montauk light
The spectre kindles and burns in sight.
Now low and dim, now clear and higher,
Leaps up the terrible Ghost of Fire,
Then, slowly sinking, the flames expire.
And the wise Sound skippers, though skies be fine,
Reef their sails when they see the sign
Of the blazing wreck of the Palatine!
1867. ‘A fitter tale to scream than sing,’
The Book-man said. ‘Well, fancy, then,’
The Reader answered, “on the wing
The sea-birds shriek it, not for men,
But in the ear of wave and breeze!”
The Traveller mused: “Your Manisees
Is fairy-land: off Narragansett shore
Who ever saw the isle or heard its name before?
Tis some strange land of Flyaway,
Whose dreamy shore the ship beguiles,
St. Brandan's in its sea-mist gray,
Or sunset loom of Fortunate Isles! “
” No ghost, but solid turf and rock
Is the good island known as Block, “
The Reader said.” For beauty and for ease
I chose its Indian name, soft-flowing Manisees!
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