Well that pleases me a lot Setanta - to learn that you remember it too. It must be a little known poem. It can't be found in the leading anthologies of Lowell's works today, but it is his. I still have the dog eared volume my Dad gave me when he had me memorize it.
On the opposite page of the volume was Longfellow's "Wreck of the Hesperus". I never figured out what the hell it meant, but the last lines always left me with a sombre sense of dread....
"Christ save us from a death like this
On the reef of Norman's woe"