Captain's Adventure (Poem by James McIntyre)

Suggested Poem

Captain's Adventure

By James McIntyre


Three years ago my vessel lay
In a port of Hudson Bay,
I started off for the trading post,
But on the way back I then got lost.

And the thought soon gave me the blues,
Trudging along on my snow shoes,
Over the wastes of drifting snow,
While the wind it did fiercely blow.

I feared that I would be froze hard,
For it was a fearful blizzard,
I was growing faint and weary,
Not the slightest hopes to cheer me.

Without compass to bearing,
My yells were beyond crews' hearing,
But at last to my loud halloo
There came a mournful ho, ho.

From creature white I thought 'twas ghost,
And that I was forever lost,
I heard horrid creature flutter,
As it those strange sounds did utter.

At last I found that all this howl
Was from a noble large white owl,
And a happy apparition,
So runs the Indian tradition.

It guides the lost one in distress
And leads him out of wilderness,
This strange bird I soon follow,
And it still kept up its halloo.

It seem'd that it cried to cheer me,
I thought the ship was now near me,
As I walked o'er the banks of snow
I kept up a feeble halloo.

And but a little ways beyond
From my own crew I got respond,
With joy I was received by crew,
So happy all at my rescue.

It must be that some gentle soul
Did then inhabit that strange fowl,
But O to me 'twas wondrous fair,
For it thus saved me from despair.

The man's my foe who now doth growl
At the strange sounds made by the owl,
The sailors all they took delight
To feed this bird so pure and white.

But soon the poor bird was o'erfed,
Early one morn we found it dead,
And my breast it heaved with sighs,
And the tears poured from mine eyes.

But precious relic in glass case
I oft gaze on its kindly face,
And grateful memories it brings,
When I behold its glorious wings.

To stuff such birds I knew the art
On it I worked with my whole heart,
To preserve each grace and feature
Full of charms to me is creature.

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