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High on the masts, with pale and livid rays,
Amid the gloom portentous meteors blaze.
Th' aetherial dome, in mournful pomp array'd,
pur-Now, flashing round intolerable light,
Now lurks behind impenetrable shade;
Redoubles all the terrors of the night.
Such terror Sinai's quaking hill o'erspread,
When heaven's loud trumpet sounded o'er his
XXXI. . Mean while the faithful herald of the day The village cock crows loud with trumpet shrill,
The warbling lark soars high, and morning grey Lifts her glad forehead 6'er the cloud-wrapt
So they direct the flying bark before
Th' impelling floods that lash her to the shore.)
As some benighted traveller, thro' the shade,
Explores the devious path with heart dismay'd;
While prowling savages behind him roar,
And yawning pits and quagmires lurk before➡
High o'er the poop th' audacious seas aspire,
Uproll'd in hills of fluctuating fire.
As some fell conqueror, frantic with success,
Sheds o'er the nations ruin and distress;
So while the wat'ry wilderness he roams,
Incens'd to sevenfold rage the teinpest foams;
Shrill thro' the cordage howls, with notes of
And o'er the trembling pines, above, below,
Nature's wild music fills the vocal vale;
The bleating flocks that bite the dewy ground, The lowing herds that graze the woodland dale, And cavern'd echo, swell the cheerful sound; Homeward I bend with clear unclouded mind, Mix with the busy world, and leave each care
$158. From the Shipwreck. FALCONER. Now, borne impetuous o'er the boiling deeps,
Her course to Attic shores the vessel keeps :
The pilots, as the waves behind her swell,
Still with the wheeling stern their force repel.)
For this assault should either quarter feel,
Again to flank the tempest she might reel.
The steersmen every bidden turn apply;
To right and left the spokes alternate fly.
Thus when some conquer'd host retreats in fear,
The bravest leaders guard the broken rear;
Indignant they retire, and long oppose
Superior armies that around them close;
Still shield the flauks; the routed squadrons
And guide the flight in one embodied line :
Now thunders, wafted from the burning zone,
Growl, from afar, a deaf and hollow groan!
The ship's high battlements, to either side
Her joints unhing'd, in palsied languors play,
For ever rocking, drink the briny tide:
As ice dissolves beneath the noon-tide ray.
The skies, asunder torn, a deluge pour;
The impetuous hail descends in whirling
It seem'd, the wrathful Angel of the wind
Had all the horrors of the skies combin'd;
And here to one ill-fated ship oppos'd,
At once the dreadful magazine disclos'd.
And lo! tremendous o'er the deep he springs,
Th' inflaming sulphur flashing from his
Hark! his strong voice the dismal silence breaks!
Mad chaos from the chains of death awakes!) Loud and more loud the rolling peals enlarge, And blue on deck their blazing sides dis charge:
There, all aghast, the shivering wretehes stood, While chill suspense and fear congeal'd their blood.
Now in a deluge bursts the living flame,
And dread concussion rends th' æti.erial frame;
Sick earth convulsive groans from shore to
And nature shuddering feels the horrid roar.)
Still the sad prospect rises on my sight,
Reveal'd in all its mournful shade and light,)
Swift thro' my pulses glides the kindling fire,
As lightning glances on th' electric wire.
But ah! the force of numbers strives in vain,
The glowing scene unequal to sustain.)
But lo! at last, from tenfold darkness born, Forth issues o'er the wave the weeping morn. Hail, sacred vision! who, on orient wing, The cheering dawn of light propitious bring!!
All nature smilling hail'd the vivid ray,
That gave her beauties to returning day:
All but our ship, that, groauing on the tide,
No kind relief, uo gleam of hope descry'd.
For now in front, her trembling inmates see
The hills of Greece emerging on the lee.
So the lost lover views that fatal morn,
On which, for ever from his bosom torn,
The nymph ador'd resigns her blooming
To bless with love some happier rival's arms.
So to Eliza dawn'd that cruel day,
That tore neas from her arms away;
That saw him parting, never to return,
Herself in funeral flames decreed to burn.
O yet in clouds thou genial source of light,
Conceal thy radiant glories from our sight!
Go, with thy smile adorn the happy plain,
And gild the scenes where health and pleasure
But let not here, in scorn, thy wanton beam
Insult the dreadful grandeur of my theme!
While shoreward now the bounding vessel
Full in her van St. George's cliffs arise:
High o'er the rest a pointed crag is seen,
That hung projecting o'er a mossy green.
Nearer and nearer now the danger grows,
And all their skill relentless fates oppose.
For, while more eastward they direct
Enormous waves the quivering deck o'erflow.
While, as she wheels, unable to subdue
Her sallies, still they dread her broaching-to.
Alarming thought! for now no more a-lce
Her riven side could bear th' invading sea;
And if the following surge she scuds before,
Headlong she runs upon the dreadful shore;
A shore where shelves and hidden rocks
Where death in secret ambush lurks around.
Far less dismay'd, Anchises' wandering son
Was seen the straits of Sicily to shun:
When Palinurus, from the helm, descry'd
The rocks of Scylla on his eastern side;
While in the west, with hideous yawn dis-
And forward leaping with tumultuous haste,
As on the tempest's wing the isle she past.
With longing eyes, and agony of mind,
The sailors view this refuge left behind';
Happy to bribe, with India's richest ore,
A safe accession to that barren shore!
His onward path Charybdis' gulph oppos'd;
The double danger as by turns he view'd,
His wheeling bark her arduous track pursu'd.
Thus, while to right and left destruction lies,
Between th' extremnes the daring vessel flies.
With boundless involution, bursting o'er
The marble-cliffs, loud-dashing surges roar.
Hoarse thro' each winding creek the tempest
And hollow rocks repeat the groan of waves. Destruction round th' insatiate coast prepares, To crush the trembling ship, unnumber'd
But haply now she 'scapes the fatal strand,
Tho' scarce ten fathoms distant from the land.
Swift as the weapon issuing from the bow,
She cleaves the burning waters with her prow;
When in the dark Peruvian mine confin'd, Lost to the cheerful commerce of mankind, The groaning captive wastes his life away, For ever exiled from the realms of day; Not equal pangs his bosom agonise, When far above the sacred light he eyes, While, all forlorn, the victim pines in vain, For scenes he never shall possess again.
But now Athenian mountains they descry, And o'er the surge Colonna frowns on high. Beside the cape's projecting verge is plac'd A range of coluinns, long by time defac'd ; First planted by devotion to sustain, In elder times, Tritonia's sacred fane. Foams the wild beach below with
Thro' the rent cloud the ragged lightnings fly,
A flash, quick-glancing on the nerves of
Struck the pale helmsman with eternal night:
Rodmond, who heard a piteous groan behind,
Touch'd with compassion gaz'd upon the
Where wayes and rocks a dreadful combat '
The sickly heaven, fermenting with its freight, Still vomits o'er the main the feverish weight: And now, while wing'd with ruin from on
And while around his sad companions crowd,
He guides th' unhappy victim to the shroud.
Hie thee aloft, my gallant friend! he cries;
Thy only succour on the mast relies!-
The helm, bereft of half its vital force,
Now scarce subdu'd the wild unbridled course:
Quick to th' aliandon'd wheel Arion came,
The ship's tempestuous sallies to reclaim.
Amaz'd he saw her, o'er the sounding foam
Upborn, to right and left distracted roam.
So gaz'd young Phaeton, with pale dismay,
When mounted on the flaming car of day,
With rash and impious hand the stripling
Th' immortal coursers of the sun to guide.-
The vessel, while the dread event draws nigh,
Seems more impatient o'er the waves to fly :
Fate spurs her on.-Thus issuing from afar,
Advances to the sun some blazing star;
And, as it feels th' attraction's kindling force,
Springs onward with accelerated course.
With mournful look the seamen ey'd the strand, Where death's inexorable jaws expand: Swift from their minds elaps'd all dangers past, As, dumb with terror, they beheld the last. Now on the trembling shrouds, before, be hind,
In mute suspense they mount into the wind.
The Genius of the deep, on rapid wing,
The black eventful moment seem'd to bring.
The fatal Sisters on the surge before,
Yok'd their infernal horses to the prore.-
The steermen now receiv'd their last com-
To wheel the vessel sidelong to the strand.
Twelve sailors, on the foremast who depend,
High on the platform of the top ascend;
Fatal retreat! for while the plunging prow
Immerges headlong in the wave below,
Down-prest by wat'ry weight the bowsprit
And from above the stem deep crashing rends.
Beneath her beak the floating ruins lie;
The foremast totters, unsustain'd on high:
And now the ship, fore-lifted by the sea,
Hurls the tall fabric backward o'er her lee
While, in the general wreck, the faithful stay
Drags the main-topmast from its post away.
Flung from the mast the seamen strive in vain
Thro' hostile floods their vessel to regain.
The waves they buffet, till, bereft of strength,
O'erpower'd they yield to cruel fate at length.
The hostile waters close around their head,
They sink for ever, number'd with the dead!
Those who remain their fearful doom await,
Nor longer mourn their lost companions' fate.
The heart that bleeds with sorrows all its own,
Forgets the pangs of friendship to bemoan.-
Albert and Rodinond and Palemon here,
With young Arion, on the mast appear;
Even they, amid th' unspeakable distress,
In every look distracting thoughts confess;
In every vein the refluent blood congeals,
And every bosom fatal terror feels.
Inclos'd with all the demons of the main,
They view'd th' adjacent shore, but view'd in
The tottering frame of reason yet sustain!
Nor let this total ruin whirl niy brain!
(In vain the cords and axes were prepar'd,
For now th' audacious seas insult the yard;
High o'er the ship they throw a horrid shade,
And o'er her burst, in terrible cascade.
Uplifted on the surge, to heaven she flies,
Her shatter'd top half buried in the skies,
Then headlong plunging thunder
on the Earth groans! air trembles! and the deeps
Her giant bulk the dread concussion feels, And quivering with the wound, in torment, reels..
In vain, alas! the sacred shades of yore
Would arm the mind with philosophic lore;
In vain they'd teach us, at the latest breath,
To smile serene amid the pangs of death.
Even-Zeno's self, and Epictetus old,
This fell abyss had shudder'd to behold.
Had Socrates, for godlike virtue fam'd,
And wisest of the sons of men proclaim'd,
Beheld this scene of phrenzy and distress,
His soul had trembled to its last recess !
O yet confirm my heart, ye powers above,
This last tremendous shock of fate to prove.
So reels, convuls'd with agonising throes, The bleeding bull beneath the murd'rer's blows.
Again she plunges! hark! a second shock
Tears her strong bottom on the marble rock!
Down on the vale of death, with dismal cries,
The fated victims shuddering roll their eyes
In wild despair; while yet another stroke,
With deep convulsion, rends the solid oak:
Till like the mine, in whose infernal cell
The lurking deurons of destruction dwell,
At length asunder torn her frame divides,
And crashing spreads in ruin o'er the tides.)
O were it mine with tuneful Maro's art
To wake to sympathy the feeling heart ;
Like him to smooth and mournful verse to
In all the pomp of exquisite distress!
Then, too severely taught by cruel fate
To share in all the perils I relate,
Then might I with unrivall'd strains deplore
Th' impervious horrors of a leeward shore.
As o'er the surge the stooping main-mast hung,
Still on the rigging thirty seamen clung:
Some, struggling, on a broken crag were cast,
And there by oozy tangles grappled fast:
Awhile they bore o'erwhelming billows rage,
Unequal combat with their fate to wage;
Till all benumb'd and feeble they forego
Their slippery hold, and sink to shades below.
Some, from the main-yard-arm impetuous
On marble ridges, die without a groan.
Three with Palemon on their skill depend,
And from the wreck on oars and rafts descend.
Now on the mountain-wave on high they ride,
Then downward plunge beneath th' involving
tide; Till one, who seems in agony to strive, The whirling breakers heave on shore alive; The rest a speedier end of anguish knew, And prest the stony beach, a lifeless crew!
Next, O unhappy chief! th' eternal doom Of heaven decreed thee to the briny tomb! What scenes of misery torment thy view! What painful struggles of thy dying crew! Thy perish'd hopes all buried in the flood, O'erspread with 'corses! red with human blood!
So pierc'd with anguish hoary Priam gaz'd,
When Troy's imperial domes in ruin blaz'd;
While he, severest sorrow doom'd to feel,
Expir'd beneath the victor's murdering steel.
Thus with his helpless partners till the last,
Sad refuge! Albert hugs the floating mast;
His soul could yet sustain the mortal blow,
But droops, alas! beneath superior woe :
For now soft nature's sympathetic chain
Tugs at his yearning heart with powerful strain;
His faithful wife for ever doom'd to mourn
For him, alas! who never shall return;
To black adversity's approach expos'd,
With want and hardships unforeseen enclos'd:
His lovely daughter left without a friend,
Her innocence to succour and defend ;
By youth and indigence set forth a prey
To lawless guilt, that flatters to betray-
While these reflections rack his feeling mind,
Rodmond, who hung beside, his grasp resign'd;
And, as the tumbling waters o'er hini roll'd,
His out-stretch'd arins the master's legs
Sad Albert feels his dissolution near,
And strives in vain his fetter'd limbs to clear;
All-faint, to heaven he throws his dying eyes,
And, "O protect my wife and child!" he cries:
The gushing streams roll back th' unfinish'd
To thee each soul the warm oblation pays, With trembling ardor of unequal praise; en-In every heart dismay with wonder strives,
And Hope the sicken'd spark of life revives;
Her magic powers their exil'd health restore,
Till horror and despair are felt no more.
A troop of Grecians who inhabit nigh,
And oft these perils of the deep descry,
Rous'd by the blustering tempest of the night,
Anxious had climb'd Colonna's neighbouring
When gazing downward on th' adjacent flood,
Full to their view the scene of ruin stood;
The surf with mangled bodies strew'd around,
And those yet breathing on the sea-wash'd
Tho' lost to science and the nobler arts,
Yet nature's lore inform'd their feeling hearts:
Strait down the vale with hast'ning steps they
Th' unhappy suff 'rers to assist and guide.
Mean while those three escap'd beneath ex-
The first advent'rous youth who reach'd the
He gasps! he dies! and tumbles to the ground!
Five only left of all the perish'd throng,
Yet ride the pine which shoreward drives along;
With these Arion still his hold secures,
And all the assaults of hostile waves endures.
O'er the dire prospect as for life he strives,
He looks if poor Palemon yet survives.
Ah wherefore, trusting to unequal art,
Didst thou, incautious! from the wreck de-
Alas! these rocks all human skill defy,
Who strikes them once beyond relief must die:
And now, sore wounded, thou perhaps art tost
On these, or in some oozy cavern lost.
Thus thought Arion, anxions gazing round
In vain, his eyes no more Palemon found.
The demons of destruction hover nigh,
And thick their mortal shafts commission'd fly.
And now a breaking surge, with forceful sway,
Two next Arion furious tears away.
Hurl'd on the crags, behold, they gasp! they
And see! enfeebled by repeated shocks,
Those two who scramble on th' adjacent rocks,
Their faithless hold no longer can retain,
They sink o'erwhelm'd and never rise again!
Two with Arion yet the mast upbore,
That now above the ridges reach'd the shore:
Still trembling to descend, they downward
And, groaning, cling upon th' elusive weed!
Another billow bursts in boundless roar !
Arion sinks! and Memory views no more!
Ha! total night and horror here preside!
My stunn'd ear tingles to the whizzing title!
It is the funeral knell! and, gliding near,
Methinks the phantoms of the dead appear!
But lo! emerging from the watery grave,
Again they float incumbent on the wave!
Again the dismal prospect opens round,
The wreck, the shores, the dying, and the
With horror pale, and torpid with amaze :
The floods recoil! the ground appears below!
And life's faint embers now rekindling glow :
Awhile they wait th' exhausted waves retreat,
Then climb slow up the beach with hands and
O Heaven! deliver'd by whose sovereign hand,
Still on the brink of hell they shuddering staud,
Receive the languid incense they bestow,
That damp with death appears not yet to
Panting, with eyes averted from the day,
Prone, helpless, on the tangly beach he lay -
It is Palemon: -oh! what tumults roll
With hope and terror in Arion's soul!
If yet unhurt he lives again to view
His friend and this sole remnant of our crew!
With us to travel thro' this foreign zone,
And share the future good or ill unknown.
Arion thus; but ah! sad doom of fate!
That bleeding Memory sorrows to relate,
While yet afloat on some resisting rock,
His ribs were dash'd and fractur'd with the
Heart-piercing sight! those cheeks so late ar-
In beauty's bloom, are pale with mortal shade!
Distilling blood his lovely breast o'erspread,
And clogg'd the golden tresses of his head!
Nor yet the lungs by this pernicious stroke
Were wounded, or the vocal organs broke.
Down from his neck, with blazing gens ar-
Thy image, lovely Anua! hung portray'd;
Th' unconscious figure smiling all serene,
Suspended in a golden chain was seen.
Hadst thou, soft maiden! in this hour of woe,
Beheld him writhing from the deadly blow,
What force of art, what language could express
Thine agony thine exquisite distress?
But thou, alas! art doou'd to weep in vain
For him thine eyes shall never see again!
With dumb amazement pale, Arion gaz'd,
And cautiously the wounded youth uprais'd;
Palemon then, with cruel pangs opprest,
In faltering accents thus his friend address'd:
"O'rescu'd from destruction late so nigh,
"Beneath whose fatal influence doom'd I
"Are we then exil'd to this last retreat
Of life, unhappy! thus decreed to meet ? "Ah! how unlike what yester-morn enjoy'd, "Inchanting hopes, for ever now destroy'd! "For wounded far beyond all healing power, Palemon dies, and this his final hour:
By those fell breakers, where in vain I strove, "At once cut off from fortune, life and love! "Far other scenes must soon present my sight, "That lie deep-buried yet in tenfold night. "Ah! wretched father of a wretched son, "Whom thy paternal prudence has undone! "How will remembrance of this blinded care Bend down thy head with anguish and pair!
"Such dire effects from avarice arise,
"Nor give my dying moments keener pain! Since heaven may soon thy wandering steps restore,
"When parted hence, to England's distant
Should'st thou, th' unwilling messenger of
To him the fragic story first relate,
"Oh! friendship's generous ardor then
Nor hint the fatal cause of my distress; "Nor let each horrid incident sustain "The lengthen'd tale to aggravate his pain. "Ah! then remember well my last request "For her who reigns for ever in my breast; "Yet let him prove a father and a friend, "The helpless maid to succour and defend. Say, I this suit implor'd with parting breath, "So heaven befriend him at his hour of death!
Take it and say, when panting in the ware,
I struggled, life and this alone to save!
My soul that fluttering hastens to be free, "Would yet a train of thoughts impart to
"But strives in vain!—the chilling ice of death
"Congeals my blood, and choaks the stream of breath:
Resign'd she quits her comfortless abode, "To course that long, unknown, eternal road.—~ O sacred Source of ever-living light! "Conduct the weary wanderer in her flight! "Direct her onward to that peaceful shore, "Where peril, pain and death are felt no
That heal th' afflicted bosom they o'erflow, des-"While Memory dictates, this sad shipwreck
"And what distress the wretched friend befel!
Then, while in streams of soft compassion
"The swains lament, and maidens weep around;
"While lisping children, touch'd with infant
"With wonder gaze, and drop th' unconscious
Oh! then this moral bid their souls retain,
All thoughts of happiness on earth are vain.”
The last faint accents trembled on his tongue,
now inactive to the palate clung;
His bosom heaves a mortal groan- he dies!
And shades eternal sink upon his eyes!
As thus defac'd in death Palemon lay,
Arion gaz'd upon the lifeless clay;
Tranfix'd he stood, with awful terror fill'd,
While down his check the silent drops distill'd.
Oh, ill-starr'd vot'ry of unspotted truth!
Untimely perish'd in the bloom of youth,
Should e'er thy friend arrive on Albion's land,
sup-He will obey, tho' painful, thy demand :
"That, deaf to nature's voice, and vainly wise,"
"With force severe endeavours to control
"The noblest passions that inspire the soul.
“But O, thou sacred Power! 'whose law con-
"When thou some tale of hapless love shakt hear,
"That steals from pity's eye the melting tear, "Of two chaste hearts, by mutual passion join'ɖ, "To absence, sorrow, and despair consign'd; "Oh! then, to swell the tides of social woe,
His tongue the dreadful story shall display,
And all the horrors of this dismal day!
Disastrous day! what ruin hast thou bred!
What anguish to the living and the dead!
How hast thou left the widow all forlorn,
And ever doom'd the orphan child to mourn;
Thro' life's sad journey hopeless to complain!
Can sacred justice these events ordain ?
But, O my soul! avoid that wond'rous maze,
Where reason, lost in endless error, strays!