Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

85

Pour all the husband, all the father forth
In unavailing anguish, stretch'd along
The naked beach, or fiv'ring on the cliff,
Smote with the wint'ry pole in bitter storm,

80 Hail, snow, and show'r, dark-drifting round his head!

Such were his hours, till time, the wretch's friend,
Life's great physician, fkill'd alone to close,
Where sorrow long has wak’d, the weeping eye,
And from the brain, with baleful vapours black,
Each fullen spectre chase, his balm at length,
Lenient of pain, thro' every fever'd pulse
With gentleft hand infus'd. A pensive calm
Arose, but unassur'd, as after winds
Of rufling wing the sea subsiding flow

go
Still trembles from the storm. Now Reason first
Her throne resuming, bid Devotion raise
To heav’n his eye, and thro’ the turbid milts,
By sense dark-drawn between, adormg own,
Sole arbiter of fate, one Cause Supreme,

95
All-juft, All-wise, who bids what still is beft
In cloud or sunshine ; whose severeft hand
Wounds but to heal, and chaftens to amend.

Thus in his bosom, ev'ry weak excess,
The rage of grief, the fellnefs of revenge,
To healthful measure temper'd and reduc'd
By Virtue's hand, and in her brightning beam
Each error clear'd away, as fen-born fogs
Before th' ascending sun ; thro' faith he lives
Beyond Time's bounded continent, the walks

Jor
Of Sin and Death : anticipating heav'n
In pious hope, he seems already there,
Safe on her facred fhore; and fees beyond,
In radiant view, the world of light and love,
Where Peace delights to dwell ; where one fair morn 110
Still orient smiles, and one diffusivę spring,
That fears no storm, and shall no winter know,

Th’im

100

[ocr errors]

115

120

125

Th’immortal year empurples. "If a figh
Yet murmurs from his breast, 'tis for the

pangs
Those dearest names, a wife, a child, must feel,
Still fuff'ring in his fate ; 'tis for a foe,
Who, deaf himself to mercy, may of Heav'n
That

mercy, when most wanted, alk in vain.
The fun, now station'd with the lucid Twins,
O'er ev'ry fouthern clime had pour'd profuse
The rosy year, and in each pleasing hue
That greens the leaf, or thro' the blossom glows
With florid light, his fairelt month array'd ;
While Zephyr, while the silver-footed dews,
Her soft attendants, wide o'er field and grove
Fresh spirit breathe, and shed perfuning balm :
Nor here, in this chill region, on the brow
Of winter's waste dominion, is unfelt
The ray ethereal, or unhail'd the rise
Of her mild reign. From warbling vale and hill,
With wild thyme flow'ring, betony and balm,
Blue lavender, and carmel's fpicy root *,
Song, fragrance, health, ambrosiate ev'ry breeze.

But high above, the season full exerts
It's vernant force in yonder peopled rocks,
To whose wild folitude, from worlds unknown,
The birds of passage transmigrating come,
Unnumber'd colonies of foreign wing,
At Nature's fummons, their aerial state
Annual to found, and in bold voyage steer
O'er this wide ocean, thro' yon pathless ky,
One certain flight to one appointed shore,
By Heav'n's directive spirit here to raise
Their temporary realm, and form secure,

130

135

140 145

* The root of this plant, otherwise named argatilis sylvaticus, is aromatick, and by the natives reckoned cordial to the stomach. See Mare tin's Weftern Ines of Scotland, p. 180.

Where 180 Deaf.

150

195

160

Where food awaits them copious from the wave,
And shelter from the rock, their nuptial leagues ;
Each tribe apart, and all on talks of love,
To hatch the pregnant egg, to rear and guard
Their helpless infants, piously intent.

Led by the day abroad, with lonely step,
And ruminating sweet and bitter thought,
Aurelius, from the western bay, his eye
Now rais’d to this amusive scene in air,
With wonder mark'd; now cast with level ray
Wide o'er the moving wilderness of waves,
From pole to pole thro' boundless space diffus’d,
Magnificently dreadful! where at large
Leviathan, with each inferior name
Of sea-born kinds, ten thousand thousand tribes,
Finds endless range for pasture and for sport.
Amaz'd he gazes, and adoring owns
The Hand Almighty, who it's channell’d bed
Immeasurable sunk, and pour'd abroad,
Fenc'd with eternal mounds the fluid sphere,
With ev'ry wind to waft large commerce on,
Join pole to pole, consociate sever'd worlds,
And link in bonds of intercourse and love
Earth's universal family. Now rose
Sweet ev’ning's folemn hour : the fun declin'd
Hung golden o'er this nether firmament,
Whose broad cerulean mirror, calmly bright,
Gave back his beamy visage to the sky
With splendour undiminish'd, and each cloud,
White, azure, purple, glowing round his throne
In fair aerial landscape. Here, alone,
On earth's remoteft verge Aurelius breath'd
The healthful gale, and felt the smiling scene
With awe-mix'd pleasure musing as he hung
In filence o'er the billows huth'd beneath;
When, lo! a sound amid the wave-worn rocks,

165

170

175

[ocr errors]

185

190

11

195

Deaf-murmuring rose, and plaintive roll'd along
From cliff to cavern, as the breath of winds,
At twilight hour, remote and hollow heard
Thro' wintry pines high waving o'er the steep
Of sky-crown'd Apenine : the fea-pie ceas'd
At once to warble; screaming from his nest
The fulmar foar'd, and shot a westward flight
From shore to sea ; on came, before her hour,
Invading Night, and hung the troubled sky
With fearful blackness round * ; fad Ocean's face
A curling undulation shiv'ry swept
From wave to wave ; and now impetuous rose
Thick cloud and form, and ruin on his wing,
The raging South, and headlong o'er the deep

Fell horrible, with broad defcending blaft. (Aloft, and safe beneath a shelt'ring cliff,

Whose moss-grown summit on the distant flood
Projected frowns, Aurelius stood appall'a,
His stunn'd ear smote with all the thund'ring main,
His eye 'with mountains surging to the stars,
Commotion infinite! Where

yon

last wave
Blends with the sky it's foam, a ship in view
Shoots sudden forth, steep-falling from the clouds,
Yet diftant feen and dim, till onward borne
Before the blait, each growing fail expands,
Each mast aspires, and all th' advancing frame
Bounds on

his
eye

distinct : with sharpen'd ken
It's course he watches, and in awful thought
That Pow'r invokes whole voice the wild winds hear,
Whose nod the surge reveres, to look from heav'n,
And fave who else mult perish, wretched men,
In this dark hour, amid the dread abyss;
With fears amaz'd, by horrors compass'd round !
But, O! ill-omen'd, death-devoted heads!

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

* See Martin's Voyage to St. Kilda, p. 58.

For

215

220

225

230

For Death bestrides the billow, nor your own
Nor others offer'd vows can stay the flight
Of instant Fate. And, lo! his secret seat;
Where never sun-beam glimmerd, deep amidst
A cavern's jaws voraginous and vait,
The stormy Genius of the deep forsakes,
And o'er the waves, that roar beneath his frown,
Ascending baleful, bids the tempest spread,
Turbid and terrible with hail and rain,
It's blackest pinion, pour it's loud'ning blasts
In whirlwind forth, and from their lowest depth
Upturn the world of waters. Round and round
The tortur’d ship, at his imperious call,
Is wheeld in dizzy whirl; her guiding helm
Breaks fhort; her masts in crathing ruin fall,
And each rent fail flies loose in diftant air.
Now, fearful moment! o'er the found'ring hull
Half ocean heav’d, in one broad billowy curve
Steep from the clouds with horrid hade impends
Ah! save them, Heav'n! it bursts in deluge down
With boundless undulation! shore and sky
Rebellow to the roar: at once ingulph’d,
Vessel and crew beneath it's torrent sweep
Are funk, to rise no more! Aurelius wept ;
The tear unbidden dew'd his hoary cheek:
He turn’d his step; he fled the fatal scene,
And brooding in fad filence o'er the fight
To him alone disclofs’d, his wounded heart
Pour'd out to Heav'n in fighs: · Thy will be done,
• Not mine, Supreme Disposer of Events!
• But death demands a tear, and man must feel
• For human woes: the rest submission checks.'

Not distant far, where this receding bay
Looks northward on the pole, a rocky arch

235

240

245

*

See Martin's Voyage to St. Kilda, p. 203

Ff

Expands

« ZurückWeiter »