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BRYAN AND PEREENE; A WEST INDIAN BALLAD, by                     Poet's Biography
First Line: The north-east [or, -west] wind did briskly blow
Last Line: Her hapless fate 'scape you.
Subject(s): Love

THE north-west wind did briskly blow,
The ship was safely moor'd,
Young Bryan thought the boat's crew slow,
And so leap'd over board.

Pereene, the pride of Indian dames,
His heart did long enthral;
And whose his impatience blames,
I wot ne'er lov'd at all.

A long, long year, one month and day,
He dwelt on English land,
Nor once in thought would ever stray,
Though ladies sought his hand.

For Bryan he was tall and strong,
Right blithesome roll'd his een,
Sweet was his voice whene'er he sang,
He scant had twenty seen.

But who the countless charms can draw,
That grac'd his mistress true?
Such charms the old world never saw,
Nor oft I ween the new.

Her raven hair plays round her neck,
Like tendrils of the vine;
Her cheek red dewy rose-buds deck,
Her eyes like diamonds shine.

Soon as his well-known ship she spied,
She cast her weeds away,
And to the palmy shore she hied,
All in her best array.

In sea-green silk so neatly clad,
She there impatient stood;
The crew with wonder saw the lad
Repel the foaming flood.

Her hands a handkerchief display'd,
Which he at parting gave;
Well pleas'd, the token he survey'd,
And manlier beat the wave.

Her fair companions one and all
Rejoicing crowd the strand;
For now her lover swam in call,
And almost touch'd the land.

Then through the white surf did she haste
To clasp her lovely swain;
When, ah! a shark bit through his waist;
His heart's blood dy'd the main!

He shriek'd! his half sprung from the wave,
Streaming with purple gore,
And soon it found a living grave,
And, ah! was seen no more.

Now haste, now haste, ye maids, I pray,
Fetch water from the spring:
She falls, she falls, she dies away,
And soon her knell they ring.

Now each May morning round her tomb,
Ye fair, fresh flow'rets strew,
So may your lovers 'scape his doom,
Her hapless fate 'scape you.

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