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The Mermaid Of Margate
by [?]

Each flounder and plaice lay cold at his heart,
As cold as his marble slab;
And he thought he felt, in every part,
The pincers of scalded crab.

The squealing lobsters that he had boiled,
And the little potted shrimps,
All the horny prawns he had ever spoiled,
Gnawed into his soul, like imps!

And the billows were wandering to and fro,
And the glorious sun was sunk,
And Day, getting black in the face, as though
Of the nightshade she had drunk!

Had there been but a smuggler’s cargo adrift,
One tub, or keg, to be seen,
It might have given his spirits a lift
Or an anker where Hope might lean!

But there was not a box or a beam afloat,
To raft him from that sad place;
Not a skiff, not a yawl, or a mackerel boat,
Nor a smack upon Neptune’s face.

At last, his lingering hopes to buoy,
He saw a sail and a mast,
And called “Ahoy!”–but it was not a hoy,
And so the vessel went past.

And with saucy wing that flapped in his face,
The wild bird about him flew,
With a shrilly scream, that twitted his case,
“Why, thou art a sea-gull too!”

And lo! the tide was over his feet;
Oh! his heart began to freeze,
And slowly to pulse:–in another beat
The wave was up to his knees!

He was deafened amidst the mountain tops,
And the salt spray blinded his eyes,
And washed away the other salt drops
That grief had caused to arise:–

But just as his body was all afloat,
And the surges above him broke,
He was saved from the hungry deep by a boat
Of Deal–(but builded of oak).

The skipper gave him a dram, as he lay,
And chafed his shivering skin;
And the Angel returned that was flying away
With the spirit of Peter Fin!