صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

Thus Rodmond, train'd by this unhallow'd And every gate of hope against him clos'd.


The sacred social passions never knew: Unskill'd to argue; in dispute yet loud; Bold without caution; without honours


Permit my verse, ye blest Pierian train, To call Arion this ill-fated swain !

For, like that bard unhappy, on his head Malignant stars their hostile influence shed.

In art unschool'd, each veteran rule he Both, in lamenting numbers o'er the deep, priz'd, With conscious anguish taught the harp

And all improvement haughtily despis'd. Yet though full oft to future perils blind, With skill superior glow'd his daring mind, Through snares of death the reeling bark to guide,

to weep;

And both the raging surge in safety bore Amid destruction panting to the shore. This last our tragic story from the wave Of dark oblivion haply yet may save;

When midnight shades involve the raging With genuine sympathy may yet complain While sad remembrance bleeds at every vein.



To Rodmond next, in order of command,

Succeeds the youngest of our naval band. But what avails it to record a name



The sun's bright orb declining, all


Now glanc'd obliquely o'er the woodland


That courts no rank among the sons of Creation smiles around, on every spray The warbling birds exalt their evening lay, Blithe skipping o'er yon hill, the fleecy

While yet a stripling, oft with fond alarms His bosom danc'd to nature's boundless charms;


Join the deep chorus of the lowing plain :

On him fair science dawn'd, in happier The golden lime and orange there were hour,


Awakening into bloom young fancy's On fragrant branches of perpetual green. The crystal streams, that velvet meadows


[blocks in formation]

While yet the songsters of the vocal grove With dying numbers tune the soul to love; With joyful eyes the attentive master sees Th' auspicious omens of the eastern breeze.

Now radiant Hesper leads the starry train, And night slow draws her veil o'er land and main.

Round the charg'd bowl the sailors form a ring,

By turns recount the wondrous tale, or sing,

As love or battle, hardships of the main, Or genial wine, awake the homely strain; Then some the watch of night alternate keep,

The rest lie buried in oblivious sleep.


The natives, while the ship departs their land,

Ashore with admiration gazing stand.
Majestically slow, before the breeze,
She moved triumphant o'er the yielding


Her milk-white bottom cast a softer gleam While trembling thro' the green translucent stream.

The wales, that close above in contrast shone,

Clasp the long fabric with a jetty zone. Britannia, riding awful on the prow, Gaz'd o'er the vassal-wave that roll'd be


Where'er she mov'd, the vassal-waves

were seen

Her left propitious bore a mystic shield, Around whose margin rolls the wat'ry field.

There her bold Genius, in his floating car, O'er the wild billows hurls the storm of


And lo! the beasts, that oft with jealous rage

In bloody combat met, from age to age, Tam'd into Union, yok'd in friendship's chain,

Draw his proud chariot round the vanquish'd main,

From the broad margin to the centre grew Shelves, rocks, and whirlpools, hideous to the view!

Th' immortal shield from Neptune she receiv'd,

When first her head above the waters heav'd.

Loose floated o'er her limbs an azure vest; A figur'd scutcheon glitter'd on her breast: There, from one parent-soil, for ever


The blooming rose and hardy thistle sprung.

Around her head an oaken wreath was


Inwove with laurels of unfading green. Such was the sculptur'd prow-from van

to rear,

Th' artillery frown'd, a black tremendous tier!

Enbalm'd with orient gum, above the


The swelling sides a yellow radiance gave.

To yield obsequious, and confess their On the broad stern a pencil warm and



Th' imperial trident grac'd her dexter That never servile rules of art controll'd, hand, An allegoric tale on high portray'd;

Of power to rule the surge, like Moses' There a young hero; here a royal maid: Fair England's Genius, in the youth ex


Th' eternal empire of the main to keep,

And guide her squadrons o'er the trembling deep.


Her ancient foe, but now her friend, confest,

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

The scourge of tyrants! glitter'd by his Like some fair virgin on her bridal day.

[blocks in formation]

The songs of heaven! the music of the In curling wreaths they wanton on the spheres!


Borne on Newtonian wing, thro' air she Now bound aloft, now downward swiftly glide;


[blocks in formation]

Than from his sides in bright suffusion The ship no longer can her topsails flow,

That now with gold empyreal seem to glow;

Now in pellucid sapphires meet the view, And emulate the soft celestial hue;

Now beam a flaming crimson on the eye, And now assume the purple's deeper dye. But here description clouds each shining ray;


And every hope of fairer skies is fled. Bowlines and halliards are relax'd again; Clewlines haul'd down, and sheets let fly amain;

Clued up each topsail, and by braces squar'd;

The seamen climb aloft and man each yard.

What terms of art can nature's power dis- They furl the sail, and pointed to the wind The yard, by rolling tackles then confin'd.


While o'er the ship the gallant boatswain Till deep immerg'd the sick'ning orb deflies, clines, Like a hoarse mastiff, thro' the storm he And now to cheerless night the sky recries: signs! Prompt to direct the unskilful still ap- Sad evening's hour, how different from the past!



Th' expert he praises, and the fearful No flaming pomp, no blushing glories cast. No ray of friendly light is seen around: The moon and stars in hopeless shade are drown'd.

Now some to strike top-gallant yards attend;

Some travellers up the weather backstays


At each masthead the top-ropes others bend.


Hadst thou, Arion! held the leeward post,

The youngest sailors from the yards While on the yard by mountain billows


Their parrels lifts, and braces soon re


Then topped an end, and to the travellers tied,


Perhaps oblivion o'er our tragic tale
Had then for ever drawn her dusky veil;
But ruling Heaven prolong'd thy vital

Charg'd with their sails, they down the Severer ills to suffer and relate!

backstays slide.

The yards secure along the booms re


While some the flying cords aloft confin'd.
Their sails reduc'd, and all their rigging

Awhile the crew relax from toils severe,
Awhile their spirits, with fatigue opprest,
In vain expect th' alternate hour of rest;
But with redoubling force the tempests

And watery hills in dread succession flow.
A dismal shade o'ercasts the frowning

New troubles grow; new difficulties rise.
No season this from duty to descend!
All hands on deck, th' eventful hour at-

For, while their orders those aloft at-

To furl the mainsail, or on deck descend,
A sea, up-surging with tremendous roll,
To instant ruin seems to doom the whole.
O friends, secure your hold! Arion cries;
It comes all-dreadful, stooping from the

Uplifted on its horrid edge, she feels
The shock, and on her side half-buried

The sail, half-buried in the whelming


A fearful warning to the seamen gave :
While from its margin, terrible to tell!
Three sailors with their gallant boatswain

Torn with resistless fury from their hold, His race perform'd, the sacred lamp of In vain their struggling arms the yard enday

Now dipt in western clouds his parting ray. His languid fires, half lost in ambient haze,

Refract along the dusk a crimson blaze;


In vain to grapple flying cords they try;
The cords, alas! a solid gripe deny?
Prone on the midnight surge, with pant-
ing breath

« السابقةمتابعة »