صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

course.

see

They cry for aid, and long contend with Hie thee aloft, my gallant friend! he cries; death.

Thy only succour on the mast relies ! High o'er their heads the rolling billows The helm, berest of half its vital force, sweep,

Now scarce subdu'd the wild unbridl'd And down they sink in everlasting sleep. Bereft of power to help, their comrades Quick to th' abandon'd wheel Arion came,

The ship's tempestuous sallies to reclaim: The wretched victims die beneath the lee; Amaz'd he saw her, o'er the sounding foam With fruitless sorrow their lost state be- Upborne, to right and left distracted moan;

roam. Perhaps a fatal prelude to their own! So gaz'd young Phæton, with pale dis

may, CAPE COLONNA IN SIGHT.

When mounted on the flaming car of day.

With rash and impious hand, the stripBut now Athenian mountains they de

ling tried scry,

Th' immortal coursers of the sun to guide. And o'er the surge Colonna frowns on

The vessel, while the dread event draws high.

nigh, Beside the cape's projecting verge is seems more impatient o'er the waves to plac'd

fly : A range of columns, long by time defac’d; Fate spurs her on. Thus issuing from First planted by devotion, to sustain,

afar, In elder times, Tritonia's sacred fane.

Advances to the sun some blazing star ; Foams the wild beach below with madd'n- And as it feels attraction's kindling force, ing rage,

Springs onward with accelerated course. Where waves and rocks a dreadful com

THE VESSEL ON THE ROCKS. The sickly heav'n, fermenting with its With mournful look the seamen ey'd freight,

the strand, Still vomit, o'er the main the feverish Where death's inexorable jaws expand. weight :

Swift from their minds elaps'd all dangers And now, while wing'd with ruin from on

past, high,

As, dumb with terror, they beheld the Thro' the rent cloud the raging lightnings last. fly,

Now, on the trembling shrouds, before, A flash, quick-glancing on the nerves of behind, light,

In mute suspense they mount into the Struck the pale helmsman with eternal wind. night :

The Genius of the deep, on rapid wing, Rodmond, who heard a piteous groan be- The black eventful moment seemed to hind,

bring. Touch'd with compassion, gaz'd upon the The fatal Sisters, on the surge before, blind ;

Yok'd their infernal horses to the prore. And, while around his sad companions The steersmen now receiv'd their last crowd,

command Heguides th' unhappy victim to the shroud. | To wheel the vessel sidelong to the strand:

bat wage.

Twelve sailors, on the foremast who de- Such torments agonize the damned breast, pend,

While fancy views the mansions of the High on the platform of the top ascend ; blest.! Fatal retreat ! for while the plunging prow For Heaven's sweet help their suppliant Immerges headlong in the wave below, cries implore; Down-prest by wat'ry weight, the bow- But Heaven, relentless, deigns to help no sprit bends,

more ! And from above the stem deep crashing And now lash'd on by destiny severe, rends.

With horror fraught, the dreadful scene Beneath her bow the floating ruins lie;

drew near! The foremast totters, unsustain'd on high: The ship hangs hovering on the verge of And now the ship, forlifted by the sea,

death; Hurls the tall fabric backward o'er her lee; Hell yawns, rocks rise, and breakers roar While, in the general wreck, the faithful stay beneath ! Drags the main-topmast from its post In vain, alas! the sacred shades of yore away.

Would arm the mind with philosophic Flung from the mast, the seamen strive in

lore; vain

In vain they'd teach us, at the latest Thro' hostile floods their vessel to regain. breath, The waves they buffet, till bereft of To smile serene amid the pangs of death. strength,

E'en Zeno's self, and Epictetus old, O'erpower'd they yield to cruel fate at This fell abyss had shudder'd to behold. length;

Had Socrates, for godlike virtue famed, The hostile waters close around their head; And wisest of the sons of men proclaim'd, They sink for ever, number'd with the Beheld this scene of frenzy and distress, dead!

His soul had trembled to its last recess! Those who remain their fearful doom O yet confirm my heart, ye powers above! await,

This last tremendous shock of fate to Nor longer mourn their lost companions' prove. fate.

The tottering frame of reason yet sustain ! The heart that bleeds with sorrows all its | Nor let this total ruin whirl my brain ! own,

In vain the cords and axes were preForgets the pangsof friendship to bemoan.

pared, Albert, and Rodmond, and Palemon here, For every wave now smites the quivering With young Arion, on the mast appear ; yard ; E'en they, amid th' unspeakable distress, High o'er the ship they throw a horrid In every look distracting thoughts con- shade,

And o'er her burst in terrible cascade. In every vein the refluent blood congeals, Uplifted on the surge, to heaven she flies, And every bosom fatal terror feels. Her shatter'd top half buried in the skies; Enclosed with all the demons of the main, Borne o'er a latent reef, the hull impends, They view'd th'adjacent shore, but view'd Then thundering on the marble crags in vain.

descends! Such torments in the drear abodes of hell, Her giant bulk the dread concussion feels, Where sad despair laments with rueful yell, And o'er upheaving surges wounded reels, (9)

2 L

fess;

So reels, convulsed with agonizing throws, Now on the mountain-wave on high they The bleeding bull beneath the murd'rer's ride, blows.

Then downward plunge beneath th' involvAgain she plunges ! hark! a second shock ing tide; Tears her strong bottom on the marble Till one, who seems in agony to strive, rock!

The whirling breakers heaves on shore Down on the vale of death, with dismal

alive ; cries,

The rest a speedier end of anguish knew, The fated victims shuddering cast their And prest the stony beach, a lifeless crew! eyes

Next, o unhappy Chief! th' eternal In wild despair ; while yet another stroke, doom With strong convulsion,rends the solid oak; Of Heaven decreed thee to the briny tomb; Till, like the mine, in whose infernal cell What scenes of misery torment thy view! The lurking demons of destruction dwell, What painful struggles of thy dying crew! At length asunder torn her frame divides, | Thy perish'd hopes all buried in the flood, And crashing spreads in ruins o'er the O'erspread with corses ! red with human tides.

blood ! O were it mine with tuneful Maro's art So pierced with anguish hoary Priam To wake to sympathy the feeling heart; gazed, Like him the smooth and mournful verse When Troy's imperial domes in ruin to dress

blazed, In all the pomp of exquisite distress ! While he, severest sorrow doom'd to feel, Then, too severely taught by cruel fate Expired beneath the victor's murdering To share in all the perils I relate,

steel. Then might I with unrivall'd strains de- Thus with his helpless partners till the last, plore

Sad refuge! Albert hugs the floating mast; Th' impervious horrors of a leeward shore. His soul could yet sustain the mortal As o'er the surge the stooping mainmast blow, hung,

But droops, alas ! beneath superior woe; Still on the rigging thirty seamen clung : For now soft nature's sympathetic chain Some, struggling, on a broken crag were Tugs at his yearning heart with powerful cast,

strain ; And there by oozy tangles grappled fast : His faithful wife for ever doom'd to mourn Awhile they bore th' o'erwhelming billows' For him, alas ! who never shall return; rage,

To black adversity's approach exposed, Unequal combat with their fate to wage; With want and hardships unforeseen enTill, all benumb'd and feeble, they forego closed ; Their slippery hold, and sink to shades His lovely daughter left without a friend below.

Her innocence to succour and defend ; Some, from the main-yard-arm impetuous By youth and indigence set forth a prey thrown

To lawless guilt, that flatters to betray. On marble ridges, die without a groan. While these reflections rack his feeling Three with Palemon on their skill depend, mind And from the wreck on oars and rafts de- Rodmond, who hung beside, his grasp scend.

resign'd;

And, as the tumbling waters o'er him And, groaning, cling upon th' elusive roll’d,

weed ! His outstretch'd arms the master's legs Another billow bursts in boundless roar! enfold.

Arion sinks! and Memory views no more! Sad Albert feels the dissolution near, Ha! total night and horror here preside! And strives in vain his fetter'd limbs to My stunn'd ear tingles to the whizzing clear ;

tide ! Fordeath bids every clinching joint adhere, It is the funeral knell ! and, gliding near, All-faint to Heaven he throws his dying Methinks the phantoms of the dead eyes,

appear! And “O protect my wife and child !" he But lo! emerging from the watery cries :

grave, The gushing streams roll back th' un- | Again they float incumbent on the wave ! finish'd sound !

Again the dismal prospect opens round, He gasps! and sinks amid the vast pro- | The wreck, the shores, the dying, and the found.

drown'd! Five only left of all the shipwrecked And see ! enfeebled by repeated shocks, throng,

Those two who scramble on th' adjacent Yet ride the mast which shoreward drives rocks, along ;

Their faithless hold no longer can retain, With these Arion still his hold secures, They sink o'erwhelm'd, and never rise And all th' assaults of hostile waves en- again!

dures. O'er the dire prospect as for life he strives,

THREE SEAMEN SAVED. He looks if poor Palemon yet survives. Two with Arion yet the mast upbore, Ah, wherefore, trusting to unequal art, That now above the ridges reach'd the Didst thou, incautious! from the wreck

shore : depart?

Still trembling to descend, they downward Alas ! these rocks all human skill defy,

gaze Who strikes them once beyond relief must With horror pale, and torpid with amaze:

The floods recoil ! the ground appears And now, sore wounded, thou perhaps below! art tost

And life's faint embers now rekindling On these, or in some oozy cavern lost.

glow : Thus thought Arion, anxious gazing Awhile they wait th' exhausted wave's reround

treat, In vain, his eyes no more Palemon found. Then climb slow up the beach with hands The demons of destruction hover nigh, and feet. And thick their mortal shafts commis- O Heaven ! deliver'd by whose sovereign sion'd fly.

hand, And now a breaking surge, with forceful Still on destruction's brink they shuddering sway,

stand, Two next Arion furious tears away. Receive the languid incense they bestow, Hurl'd on the crags, behold, they gasp! That damp with death appears yet not to they bleed!

glow.

die :

To thee each soul the warm oblation pays, Yet nature's lore inform'd their feeling
With trembling ardour, of unequal praise; hearts :
In every heart dismay with wonder strives, Straight down the vale with hast’ning steps
And Hope the sicken'd spark of life revives: they hied,
Her magic powers their exiled health re- Th’ unhappy sufferers to assist and guide.
store,

Now had the Grecians on the beach Till horror and despair are felt no more. arrived,

A troop‘of Grecians who inhabit nigh, To aid the helpless few who yet survived, And oft these perils of the deep descry, While passing they behold the waves o'erRoused by the blustering tempest of the spread night,

With shatter'd rafts and corses of the Anxious had climb'd Colonna's neigh- dead; bouring height;

Three still alive, benumb’d and faint they When gazing downward on th' adjacent find, flood,

In mournful silence on a rock reclined. Full to their view the scene of ruin stood; The generous natives, moved with social The surf with mangled bodies strew'd pain, around,

The feeble strangers in their arms sustain; And those yet breathing on the sea-wash'd With pitying sighs their hapless lot deground !

plore, Tho' lost to science and the nobler And lead them trembling from the fatal arts,

shore.

DOUGAL GRAH A M.

1724-1779.

One of the least known, but not the Books, that the keenness of his observaleast original, contributors to Scottish tion, and the point of his facetious wit, literature, was Dougal Graham, the are best displayed ; yet his Turnimspike, skellat bellman of Glasgow. He had and Metrical History of the Rebellion somewhat of the grotesque, both in his of 1745-6, entitle him to be noticed physical and mental structure ; but as a among Scottish poets. The former, delineator of life in the humble strata in which is here given, Scott considered which he moved, he was unsurpassed. “sufficient to entitle him toimmortality." His vein in poetry, as to its manner, It is one of the first specimens in Scottish hardly rises above doggerel; but it is literature of the kind of caricature in quite original, and in the wake of his which Shakespeare drew his Welshgenius, as an observer from his own men; and it was afterwards cleverly comical point of view.

applied by some of the Whistlebinkians It is as the writer of the raciest and of the west. broadest-humoured of Scottish Chap- Dougal was born about 1724, in the

« السابقةمتابعة »