And heaped it high on the hearth,
For the snow, outside, was falling fast,
And the winter wind was wroth.
I watched the bright flames leaping upward,
As the drift-wood flashed and burned,
And I mused on the fate of those who sailed
In the ship, that ne'er returned.
My fancy then wrought out two stories,
And one was sad and drear:
Of lashing waves and struggling souls,
And piercing cries of fear.
The other was bright and hopeful:
For the wild waves lost their prey,
When a stately ship came gliding by,
And bore the crew away.
Then, musing on my fancies,
I wondered which one bore
The truer tale of the good ship, cast
As drift-wood, on the shore.