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Wreck of the Hesperus


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Literary ballad by Longfellow, published in Ballads and Other Poems (1841).

Based on the actual wreck of the Hesperus, in which one body Was found lashed to a piece of wreckage, the poem tells of the ill-fated voyage of the schooner, whose skipper refuses to head for port despite an approaching hurricane. When the gale descends, he wraps his little daughter in a seaman's coat, lashes her to the mast, and remains at the helm until he is overcome by the cold. The ship is shattered upon the reef of Norman's Woe near Gloucester, and at dawn a fisherman finds the child's body near the shore, still lashed to the mast.

Subjects: Literature.


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