Part 5 out of 7
Already British coasts appear to rise,
The chalky cliffs salute their longing eyes;
Each to his breast, where floods of rapture roll,
Embracing strains the mistress of his soul; 40
Nor less o'erjoy'd, with sympathetic truth,
Each faithful maid expects the approaching youth.
In distant souls congenial passions glow,
And mutual feelings mutual bliss bestow:
Such shadowy happiness their thoughts employ,
Illusion all, and visionary joy!
Thus time elapsed, while o'er the pathless tide
Their ship through Grecian seas the pilots guide.
Occasion call'd to touch at Candia's shore,
Which, blest with favouring winds, they soon explore;
The haven enter, borne before the gale, 50
Despatch their commerce, and prepare to sail.
Eternal powers! what ruins from afar
Mark the fell track of desolating war:
Here arts and commerce with auspicious reign
Once breathed sweet influence on the happy plain:
While o'er the lawn, with dance and festive song,
Young Pleasure led the jocund hours along:
In gay luxuriance Ceres too was seen
To crown the valleys with eternal green: 60
For wealth, for valour, courted and revered,
What Albion is, fair Candia then appear'd.
Ah! who the flight of ages can revoke?
The free-born spirit of her sons is broke,
They bow to Ottoman's imperious yoke.
No longer fame their drooping heart inspires,
For stern oppression quench'd its genial fires:
Though still her fields, with golden harvests crown'd,
Supply the barren shores of Greece around,
Sharp penury afflicts these wretched isles, 70
There hope ne'er dawns, and pleasure never smiles:
The vassal wretch contented drags his chain,
And hears his famish'd babes lament in vain.
These eyes have seen the dull reluctant soil
A seventh year mock the weary labourer's toil.
No blooming Venus, on the desert shore,
Now views with triumph captive gods adore;
No lovely Helens now with fatal charms
Excite the avenging chiefs of Greece to arms;
No fair Penelopes enchant the eye, 80
For whom contending kings were proud to die:
Here sullen beauty sheds a twilight ray,
While sorrow bids her vernal bloom decay:
Those charms, so long renown'd in classic strains,
Had dimly shone on Albion's happier plains!
Now in the southern hemisphere the sun
Through the bright Virgin, and the Scales, had run,
And on the Ecliptic wheel'd his winding way,
Till the fierce Scorpion felt his flaming ray.
Four days becalm'd the vessel here remains, 90
And yet no hopes of aiding wind obtains;
For sickening vapours lull the air to sleep,
And not a breeze awakes the silent deep:
This, when the autumnal equinox is o'er,
And Phoebus in the north declines no more,
The watchful mariner, whom Heaven informs,
Oft deems the prelude of approaching storms.
No dread of storms the master's soul restrain,
A captive fetter'd to the oar of gain:
His anxious heart, impatient of delay, 100
Expects the winds to sail from Candia's bay,
Determined, from whatever point they rise,
To trust his fortune to the seas and skies.
Thou living ray of intellectual fire,
Whose voluntary gleams my verse inspire,
Ere yet the deepening incidents prevail,
Till roused attention feel our plaintive tale;
Record whom chief among the gallant crew
The unblest pursuit of fortune hither drew!
Can sons of Neptune, generous, brave, and bold, 110
In pain and hazard toil for sordid gold?
They can! for gold too oft with magic art
Can rule the passions, and corrupt the heart:
This crowns the prosperous villain with applause,
To whom in vain sad merit pleads her cause;
This strews with roses life's perplexing road,
And leads the way to pleasure's soft abode;
This spreads with slaughter'd heaps the bloody plain,
And pours adventurous thousands o'er the main.
II. The stately ship with all her daring band 120
To skilful Albert own'd the chief command:
Though train'd in boisterous elements, his mind
Was yet by soft humanity refined;
Each joy of wedded love at home he knew;
Aboard, confest the father of his crew!
Brave, liberal, just, the calm domestic scene
Had o'er his temper breathed a gay serene:
Him Science taught by mystic lore to trace
The planets wheeling in eternal race;
To mark the ship in floating balance held, 130
By earth attracted, and by seas repell'd;
Or point her devious track through climes unknown
That leads to every shore and every zone.
He saw the moon through heaven's blue concave glide,
And into motion charm the expanding tide,
While earth impetuous round her axle rolls,
Exalts her watery zone, and sinks the poles;
Light and attraction, from their genial source,
He saw still wandering with diminish'd force;
While on the margin of declining day 140
Night's shadowy cone reluctant melts away--
Inured to peril, with unconquer'd soul,
The chief beheld tempestuous oceans roll:
O'er the wild surge when dismal shades preside,
His equal skill the lonely bark could guide;
His genius, ever for the event prepared,
Rose with the storm, and all its dangers shared.
Rodmond the next degree to Albert bore,
A hardy son of England's farthest shore,
Where bleak Northumbria pours her savage train 150
In sable squadrons o'er the northern main;
That, with her pitchy entrails stored, resort,
A sooty tribe, to fair Augusta's port:
Where'er in ambush lurk the fatal sands,
They claim the danger, proud of skilful bands;
For while with darkling course their vessels sweep
The winding shore, or plough the faithless deep,
O'er bar and shelf the watery path they sound
With dexterous arm, sagacious of the ground:
Fearless they combat every hostile wind, 160
Wheeling in mazy tracks, with course inclined:
Expert to moor where terrors line the road,
Or win the anchor from its dark abode;
But drooping, and relax'd, in climes afar,
Tumultuous and undisciplined in war.
Such Rodmond was; by learning unrefined,
That oft enlightens to corrupt the mind--
Boisterous of manners; train'd in early youth
To scenes that shame the conscious cheek of truth;
To scenes that nature's struggling voice control, 170
And freeze compassion rising in the soul:
Where the grim hell-hounds, prowling round the shore,
With foul intent the stranded bark explore:
Deaf to the voice of woe, her decks they board,
While tardy justice slumbers o'er her sword.
The indignant Muse, severely taught to feel,
Shrinks from a theme she blushes to reveal.
Too oft example, arm'd with poisons fell,
Pollutes the shrine where mercy loves to dwell:
Thus Rodmond, train'd by this unhallow'd crew, 180
The sacred social passions never knew.
Unskill'd to argue, in dispute yet loud,
Bold without caution, without honours proud;
In art unschool'd, each veteran rule he prized,
And all improvement haughtily despised.
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,
When midnight shades involve the raging tide.
To Rodmond, next in order of command, 190
Succeeds the youngest  of our naval band:
But what avails it to record a name
That courts no rank among the sons of fame;
Whose vital spring had just begun to bloom,
When o'er it sorrow spread her sickening gloom?
While yet a stripling, oft with fond alarms
His bosom danced to nature's boundless charms;
On him fair science dawn'd in happier hour,
Awakening into bloom young fancy's flower
But soon adversity, with freezing blast, 200
The blossom wither'd, and the dawn o'ercast.
Forlorn of heart, and by severe decree
Condemn'd reluctant to the faithless sea,
With long farewell he left the laurel grove,
Where science and the tuneful sisters rove--
Hither he wander'd, anxious to explore
Antiquities of nations now no more;
To penetrate each distant realm unknown,
And range excursive o'er the untravell'd zone.
In vain--for rude adversity's command 210
Still on the margin of each famous land,
With unrelenting ire his steps opposed,
And every gate of hope against him closed.
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:
Both, in lamenting numbers, o'er the deep
With conscious anguish taught the harp to weep;
And both the raging surge in safety bore 220
Amid destruction, panting to the shore:
This last, our tragic story from the wave
Of dark oblivion haply yet may save;
With genuine sympathy may yet complain,
While sad remembrance bleeds at every vein.
These, chief among the ship's conducting train,
Her path explored along the deep domain;
Train'd to command, and range the swelling sail,
Whose varying force conforms to every gale.
Charged with the commerce, hither also came 230
A gallant youth, Palemon was his name:
A father's stern resentment doom'd to prove,
He came the victim of unhappy love!
His heart for Albert's beauteous daughter bled,
For her a sacred flame his bosom fed:
Nor let the wretched slaves of folly scorn
This genuine passion, nature's eldest born!
'Twas his with lasting anguish to complain,
While blooming Anna mourn'd the cause in vain.
Graceful of form, by nature taught to please, 240
Of power to melt the female breast with ease;
To her Palemon told his tender tale,
Soft as the voice of summer's evening gale:
His soul, where moral truth spontaneous grew,
No guilty wish, no cruel passion knew:
Though tremblingly alive to nature's laws,
Yet ever firm to honour's sacred cause;
O'erjoy'd he saw her lovely eyes relent,
The blushing maiden smiled with sweet consent.
Oft in the mazes of a neighbouring grove 250
Unheard they breathed alternate vows of love:
By fond society their passion grew,
Like the young blossom fed with vernal dew;
While their chaste souls possess'd the pleasing pains
That truth improves, and virtue ne'er restrains.
In evil hour the officious tongue of fame
Betray'd the secret of their mutual flame.
With grief and anger struggling in his breast,
Palemon's father heard the tale confest:
Long had he listen'd with suspicion's ear, 260
And learn'd, sagacious, this event to fear.
Too well, fair youth! thy liberal heart he knew,
A heart to nature's warm impressions true:
Full oft his wisdom strove with fruitless toil
With avarice to pollute that generous soil:
That soil, impregnated with nobler seed,
Refused the culture of so rank a weed.
Elate with wealth in active commerce won,
And basking in the smile of fortune's sun;
For many freighted ships from shore to shore, 270
Their wealthy charge by his appointment bore:
With scorn the parent eyed the lowly shade
That veil'd the beauties of this charming maid.
He, by the lust of riches only moved,
Such mean connexions haughtily reproved:
Indignant he rebuked the enamour'd boy,
The flattering promise of his future joy:
He soothed and menaced, anxious to reclaim
This hopeless passion, or divert its aim:
Oft led the youth where circling joys delight 280
The ravish'd sense, or beauty charms the sight.
With all her powers enchanting music fail'd,
And pleasure's syren voice no more prevail'd:
Long with unequal art, in vain he strove
To quench the ethereal flame of ardent love.
The merchant, kindling then with proud disdain,
In look and voice assumed a harsher strain.
In absence now his only hope remain'd;
And such the stern decree his will ordain'd:
Deep anguish, while Palemon heard his doom, 290
Drew o'er his lovely face a saddening gloom;
High beat his heart, fast flow'd the unbidden tear,
His bosom heaved with agony severe:
In vain with bitter sorrow he repined,
No tender pity touch'd that sordid mind--
To thee, brave Albert! was the charge consign'd.
The stately ship, forsaking England's shore,
To regions far remote Palemon bore.
Incapable of change, the unhappy youth
Still loved fair Anna with eternal truth; 300
Still Anna's image swims before his sight
In fleeting vision through the restless night;
From clime to clime an exile doom'd to roam,
His heart still panted for its secret home.
The moon had circled twice her wayward zone,
To him since young Arion first was known;
Who, wandering here through many a scene renown'd,
In Alexandria's port the vessel found;
Where, anxious to review his native shore,
He on the roaring wave embark'd once more. 310
Oft by pale Cynthia's melancholy light
With him Palemon kept the watch of night,
In whose sad bosom many a sigh suppress'd
Some painful secret of the soul confess'd:
Perhaps Arion soon the cause divined,
Though shunning still to probe a wounded mind;
He felt the chastity of silent woe,
Though glad the balm of comfort to bestow.
He with Palemon oft recounted o'er
The tales of hapless love in ancient lore, 320
Recall'd to memory by the adjacent shore:
The scene thus present, and its story known,
The lover sigh'd for sorrows not his own.
Thus, though a recent date their friendship bore,
Soon the ripe metal own'd the quickening ore;
For in one tide their passions seem'd to roll,
By kindred age and sympathy of soul.
These o'er the inferior naval train preside,
The course determine, or the commerce guide:
O'er all the rest an undistinguished crew, 330
Her wing of deepest shade oblivion drew.
A sullen languor still the skies oppress'd,
And held the unwilling ship in strong arrest:
High in his chariot glow'd the lamp of day,
O'er Ida flaming with meridian ray;
Relax'd from toil the sailors range the shore,
Where famine, war, and storm are felt no more;
The hour to social pleasure they resign,
And black remembrance drown in generous wine.
On deck, beneath the shading canvas spread, 340
Rodmond a rueful tale of wonders read
Of dragons roaring on the enchanted coast;
The hideous goblin, and the yelling ghost:
But with Arion, from the sultry heat
Of noon, Palemon sought a cool retreat.
And, lo! the shore with mournful prospects crown'd, 
The rampart torn with many a fatal wound,
The ruin'd bulwark tottering o'er the strand,
Bewail the stroke of war's tremendous hand:
What scenes of woe this hapless isle o'erspread! 350
Where late thrice fifty thousand warriors bled.
Full twice twelve summers were yon towers assail'd,
Till barbarous Ottoman at last prevail'd;
While thundering mines the lovely plains o'erturn'd,
While heroes fell, and domes and temples burn'd.
III. But now before them happier scenes arise,
Elysian vales salute their ravish'd eyes;
Olive and cedar form'd a grateful shade,
Where light with gay romantic error stray'd:
The myrtles here with fond caresses twine, 360
There, rich with nectar, melts the pregnant vine
And, lo! the stream renown'd in classic song,
Sad Lethe, glides the silent vale along.
On mossy banks, beneath the citron grove,
The youthful wanderers found a wild alcove;
Soft o'er the fairy region languor stole,
And with sweet melancholy charm'd the soul.
Here first Palemon, while his pensive mind
For consolation on his friend reclined,
In pity's bleeding bosom pour'd the stream 370
Of love's soft anguish, and of grief supreme:
"Too true thy words! by sweet remembrance taught,
My heart in secret bleeds with tender thought;
In vain it courts the solitary shade,
By every action, every look betray'd:
The pride of generous woe disdains appeal
To hearts that unrelenting frosts congeal;
Yet sure, if right Palemon can divine,
The sense of gentle pity dwells in thine:
Yes! all his cares thy sympathy shall know, 380
And prove the kind companion of his woe.
"Albert thou know'st with skill and science graced,
In humble station though by fortune placed,
Yet never seaman more serenely brave
Led Britain's conquering squadrons o'er the wave:
Where full in view Augusta's spires are seen,
With flowery lawns and waving woods between,
An humble habitation rose, beside
Where Thames meandering rolls his ample tide:
There live the hope and pleasure of his life, 390
A pious daughter, and a faithful wife:
For his return with fond officious care,
Still every grateful object these prepare:
Whatever can allure the smell or sight,
Or wake the drooping spirits to delight.
"This blooming maid in virtue's path to guide
The admiring parents all their care applied;
Her spotless soul to soft affection train'd,
No voice untuned, no sickening folly stain'd!
Not fairer grows the lily of the vale, 400
Whose bosom opens to the vernal gale:
Her eyes, unconscious of their fatal charms,
Thrill'd every heart with exquisite alarms:
Her face, in beauty's sweet attraction dress'd,
The smile of maiden innocence express'd;
While health, that rises with the new-born day,
Breathed o'er her cheek the softest blush of May:
Still in her look complacence smiled serene;
She moved the charmer of the rural scene!
"'Twas at that season when the fields resume 410
Their loveliest hues, array'd in vernal bloom:
Yon ship, rich freighted from the Italian shore,
To Thames' fair banks her costly tribute bore:
While thus my father saw his ample hoard,
From this return, with recent treasures stored,
Me, with affairs of commerce charged, he sent
To Albert's humble mansion--soon I went!
Too soon, alas! unconscious of the event.
There, struck with sweet surprise and silent awe,
The gentle mistress of my hopes I saw; 420
There, wounded first by love's resistless arms,
My glowing bosom throbb'd with strange alarms:
My ever charming Anna! who alone
Can all the frowns of cruel fate atone;
Oh! while all-conscious memory holds her power,
Can I forget that sweetly-painful hour,
When from those eyes, with lovely lightning fraught,
My fluttering spirits first the infection caught?
When as I gazed, my faltering tongue betray'd
The heart's quick tumults, or refused its aid; 430
While the dim light my ravish'd eyes forsook,
And every limb, unstrung with terror, shook;
With all her powers dissenting reason strove
To tame at first the kindling flame of love:
She strove in vain; subdued by charms divine,
My soul a victim fell at beauty's shrine.
Oft from the din of bustling life I stray'd,
In happier scenes to see my lovely maid;
Full oft, where Thames his wandering current leads,
We roved at evening hour through flowery meads; 440
There, while my heart's soft anguish I reveal'd,
To her with tender sighs my hope appeal'd.
While the sweet nymph my faithful tale believed,
Her snowy breast with secret tumult heaved;
For, train'd in rural scenes from earliest youth,
Nature was hers, and innocence and truth:
She never knew the city damsel's art,
Whose frothy pertness charms the vacant heart.
My suit prevail'd! for love inform'd my tongue,
And on his votary's lips persuasion hung. 450
Her eyes with conscious sympathy withdrew,
And o'er her cheek the rosy current flew.
Thrice happy hours! where with no dark allay
Life's fairest sunshine gilds the vernal day;
For here the sigh that soft affection heaves,
From stings of sharper woe the soul relieves:
Elysian scenes! too happy long to last,
Too soon a storm the smiling dawn o'ercast;
Too soon some demon to my father bore
The tidings that his heart with anguish tore. 460
My pride to kindle, with dissuasive voice
Awhile he labour'd to degrade my choice:
Then, in the whirling wave of pleasure, sought
From its loved object to divert my thought.
With equal hope he might attempt to bind
In chains of adamant the lawless wind;
For love had aim'd the fatal shaft too sure,
Hope fed the wound, and absence knew no cure.
With alienated look, each art he saw
Still baffled by superior nature's law. 470
His anxious mind on various schemes revolved,
At last on cruel exile he resolved;
The rigorous doom was fix'd; alas, how vain
To him of tender anguish to complain!
His soul, that never love's sweet influence felt,
By social sympathy could never melt:
With stern command to Albert's charge he gave
To waft Palemon o'er the distant wave.
"The ship was laden and prepared to sail,
And only waited now the leading gale: 480
'Twas ours, in that sad period, first to prove
The poignant torments of despairing love,
The impatient wish that never feels repose,
Desire that with perpetual current flows,
The fluctuating pangs of hope and fear,
Joy distant still, and sorrow ever near.
Thus, while the pangs of thought severer grew,
The western breezes inauspicious blew,
Hastening the moment of our last adieu.
The vessel parted on the falling tide, 490
Yet time one sacred hour to love supplied:
The night was silent, and advancing fast,
The moon o'er Thames her silver mantle cast;
Impatient hope the midnight path explored,
And led me to the nymph my soul adored.
Soon her quick footsteps struck my listening ear;
She came confest! the lovely maid drew near!
But, ah! what force of language can impart
The impetuous joy that glow'd in either heart?
O ye! whose melting hearts are form'd to prove 500
The trembling ecstasies of genuine love;
When, with delicious agony, the thought
Is to the verge of high delirium wrought:
Your secret sympathy alone can tell
What raptures then the throbbing bosom swell:
O'er all the nerves what tender tumults roll,
While love with sweet enchantment melts the soul.
"In transport lost, by trembling hope imprest,
The blushing virgin sunk upon my breast,
While hers congenial beat with fond alarms; 510
Dissolving softness! Paradise of charms!
Flash'd from our eyes, in warm transfusion flew
Our blending spirits that each other drew!
O bliss supreme! where virtue's self can melt
With joys that guilty pleasure never felt;
Form'd to refine the thought with chaste desire,
And kindle sweet affection's purest fire.
Ah! wherefore should my hopeless love, she cries,--
While sorrow bursts with interrupting sighs,--
For ever destined to lament in vain, 520
Such nattering, fond ideas entertain?
My heart through scenes of fair illusion stray'd,
To joys decreed for some superior maid.
'Tis mine, abandon'd to severe distress,
Still to complain, and never hope redress--
Go then, dear youth! thy father's rage atone,
And let this tortured bosom beat alone.
The hovering anger yet thou mayst appease:
Go then, dear youth! nor tempt the faithless seas.
Find out some happier maid, whose equal charms 530
With fortune's fairer joys may bless thy arms:
Where, smiling o'er thee with indulgent ray,
Prosperity shall hail each new-born day:
Too well thou know'st good Albert's niggard fate
Ill fitted to sustain thy father's hate.
Go then, I charge thee by thy generous love,
That fatal to my father thus may prove;
On me alone let dark affliction fall,
Whose heart for thee will gladly suffer all.
Then haste thee hence, Palemon, ere too late, 540
Nor rashly hope to brave opposing fate.
"She ceased: while anguish in her angel-face
O'er all her beauties shower'd celestial grace:
Not Helen, in her bridal charms array'd,
Was half so lovely as this gentle maid.--
O soul of all my wishes! I replied,
Can that soft fabric stem affliction's tide?
Canst thou, bright pattern of exalted truth,
To sorrow doom the summer of thy youth,
And I, ingrateful! all that sweetness see 550
Consign'd to lasting misery for me?
Sooner this moment may the eternal doom
Palemon in the silent earth entomb:
Attest, thou moon, fair regent of the night!
Whose lustre sickens at this mournful sight:
By all the pangs divided lovers feel,
Which sweet possession only knows to heal;
By all the horrors brooding o'er the deep,
Where fate, and ruin, sad dominion keep;
Though tyrant duty o'er me threatening stands, 560
And claims obedience to her stern commands,
Should fortune cruel or auspicious prove,
Her smile or frown shall never change my love:
My heart, that now must every joy resign,
Incapable of change, is only thine.
"Oh, cease to weep, this storm will yet decay,
And the sad clouds of sorrow melt away:
While through the rugged path of life we go,
All mortals taste the bitter draught of woe:
The famed and great, decreed to equal pain, 570
Full oft in splendid wretchedness complain:
For this, prosperity, with brighter ray,
In smiling contrast gilds our vital day,
Thou, too, sweet maid! ere twice ten months are o'er,
Shalt hail Palemon to his native shore,
Where never interest shall divide us more.--
"Her struggling soul, o'erwhelm'd with tender grief,
Now found an interval of short relief:
So melts the surface of the frozen stream
Beneath the wintry sun's departing beam. 580
With cruel haste the shades of night withdrew,
And gave the signal of a sad adieu.
As on my neck the afflicted maiden hung,
A thousand racking doubts her spirit wrung:
She wept the terrors of the fearful wave,
Too oft, alas! the wandering lover's grave:
With soft persuasion I dispell'd her fear,
And from her cheek beguiled the falling tear,
While dying fondness languished in her eyes,
She pour'd her soul to heaven in suppliant sighs! 590
'Look down with pity, O ye powers above!
Who hear the sad complaint of bleeding love;
Ye, who the secret laws of fate explore,
Alone can tell if he returns no more;
Or if the hour of future joy remain,
Long-wish'd atonement of long-suffer'd pain;
Bid every guardian minister attend,
And from all ill the much-loved youth defend!'
With grief o'erwhelm'd we parted twice in vain,
And, urged by strong attraction, met again. 600
At last, by cruel fortune torn apart,
While tender passion beat in either heart,
Our eyes transfix'd with agonizing look,
One sad farewell, one last embrace, we took.
Forlorn of hope the lovely maid I left,
Pensive and pale, of every joy bereft:
She to her silent couch retired to weep,
Whilst I embark'd, in sadness, on the deep."
His tale thus closed, from sympathy of grief
Palemon's bosom felt a sweet relief: 610
To mutual friendship thus sincerely true,
No secret wish, or fear their bosoms knew;
In mutual hazards oft severely tried,
Nor hope, nor danger, could their love divide.
Ye tender maids! in whose pathetic souls
Compassion's sacred stream impetuous rolls,
Whose warm affections exquisitely feel
The secret wound you tremble to reveal;
Ah! may no wanderer of the stormy main
Pour through your breasts the soft delicious bane; 620
May never fatal tenderness approve
The fond effusions of their ardent love:
Oh! warn'd, avoid the path that leads to woe,
Where thorns and baneful weeds alternate grow:
Let them severer stoic nymphs possess,
Whose stubborn passions feel no soft distress.
Now, as the youths returning o'er the plain
Approach'd the lonely margin of the main,
First, with attention roused, Arion eyed
The graceful lover, form'd in nature's pride. 630
His frame the happiest symmetry display'd,
And locks of waving gold his neck array'd;
In every look the Paphian graces shine,
Soft breathing o'er his cheek their bloom divine;
With lighten'd heart he smiled serenely gay,
Like young Adonis, or the Son of May.
Not Cytherea from a fairer swain
Received her apple on the Trojan plain.
IV. The sun's bright orb, declining all serene,
Now glanced obliquely o'er the woodland scene; 640
Creation smiles around; on every spray
The warbling birds exalt their evening lay;
Blithe skipping o'er yon hill, the fleecy train
Join the deep chorus of the lowing plain;
The golden lime and orange there were seen
On fragrant branches of perpetual green;
The crystal streams that velvet meadows lave,
To the green ocean roll with chiding wave.
The glassy ocean, hush'd, forgets to roar,
But trembling murmurs on the sandy shore; 650
And, lo! his surface lovely to behold,
Glows in the west, a sea of living gold!
While all above a thousand liveries gay
The skies with pomp ineffable array.
Arabian sweets perfume the happy plains;
Above, beneath, around, enchantment reigns!
While glowing Vesper leads the starry train,
And night slow draws her veil o'er land and main,
Emerging clouds the azure east invade,
And wrap the lucid spheres in gradual shade; 660
While yet the songsters of the vocal grove,
With dying numbers tune the soul to love:
With joyful eyes the attentive master sees
The auspicious omens of an eastern breeze.
Round the charged 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. 670
Deep midnight now involves the livid skies,
When eastern breezes, yet enervate, rise:
The waning moon behind a watery shroud
Pale glimmer'd o'er the long protracted cloud;
A mighty halo round her silver throne,
With parting meteors cross'd, portentous shone:
This in the troubled sky full oft prevails,
Oft deem'd a signal of tempestuous gales.
While young Arion sleeps, before his sight
Tumultuous swim the visions of the night: 680
Now blooming Anna with her happy swain
Approach'd the sacred hymeneal fane;
Anon tremendous lightnings flash between,
And funeral pomp, and weeping loves are seen:
Now with Palemon, up a rocky steep,
Whose summit trembles o'er the roaring deep,
With painful step he climb'd; while far above
Sweet Anna charm'd them with the voice of love:
Then sudden from the slippery height they fell,
While dreadful yawn'd beneath the jaws of hell. 690
Amid this fearful trance, a thundering sound
He hears, and thrice the hollow decks rebound:
Upstarting from his couch, on deck he sprung,
Thrice with shrill note the boatswain's whistle rung:
All hands unmoor! proclaims a boisterous cry;
All hands unmoor! the cavern'd rocks reply.
Roused from repose, aloft the sailors swarm,
And with their levers soon the windlass arm:
The order given, up springing with a bound,
They fix the bars, and heave the windlass  round; 700
At every turn the clanging pauls resound:
Up-torn reluctant from its oozy cave,
The ponderous anchor rises o'er the wave.
High on the slippery masts the yards ascend,
And far abroad the canvas wings extend.
Along the glassy plain the vessel glides,
While azure radiance trembles on her sides;
The lunar rays in long reflection gleam,
With silver deluging the fluid stream.
Levant and Thracian gales alternate play, 710
Then in the Egyptian quarter die away.
A calm ensues; adjacent shores they dread;
The boats, with rowers mann'd, are sent ahead;
With cordage fasten'd to the lofty prow,
Aloof to sea the stately ship they tow; 
The nervous crew their sweeping oars extend,
And pealing shouts the shore of Candia rend:
Success attends their skill! the danger's o'er!
The port is doubled, and beheld no more.
Now morn with gradual pace advanced on high, 720
Whitening with orient beam the twilight sky:
She comes not in refulgent pomp array'd,
But frowning stern, and wrapt in sullen shade.
Above incumbent mists, tall Ida's height,
Tremendous rock! emerges on the sight;
North-east a league, the Isle of Standia bears,
And westward, Freschin's woody Cape appears.
In distant angles while the transient gales
Alternate blow, they trim the flagging sails;
The drowsy air attentive to retain, 730
As from unnumber'd points it sweeps the main.
Now swelling stud-sails  on each side extend,
Then stay-sails  sidelong to the breeze ascend;
While all to court the veering winds are placed
With yards alternate square, and sharply braced.
The dim horizon lowering vapours shroud,
And blot the sun yet struggling in the cloud;
Through the wide atmosphere, condensed with haze,
His glaring orb emits a sanguine blaze.
The pilots now their azimuth attend, 740
On which all courses duly form'd depend:
The compass placed to catch the rising ray, 
The quadrant's shadows studious they survey;
Along the arch the gradual index slides,
While Phoebus down the vertic-circle glides;
Now seen on ocean's utmost verge to swim,
He sweeps it vibrant with his nether limb.
Thus height and polar distance are obtain'd,
Then latitude and declination gain'd;
In chiliads next the analogy is sought, 750
And on the sinical triangle wrought:
By this magnetic variance is explored,
Just angles known, and polar truth restored.
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 seas;
Her bottom through translucent waters shone,
White as the clouds beneath the blaze of noon;
The bending wales  their contrast next display'd, 760
All fore and aft in polish'd jet array'd.
Britannia, riding awful on the prow,
Gazed o'er the vassal waves that roll'd below:
Where'er she moved the vassal waves were seen
To yield obsequious, and confess their queen.
The imperial trident graced her dexter hand,
Of power to rule the surge, like Moses' wand;
The eternal empire of the main to keep,
And guide her squadrons o'er the trembling deep.
Her left, propitious, bore a mystic shield, 770
Around whose margin rolls the watery field;
There her bold genius in his floating car
O'er the wild billow, hurls the storm of war:
And, lo! the beasts  that oft with jealous rage
In bloody combat met, from age to age,
Tamed into union, yoked in friendship's chain,
Draw his proud chariot round the vanquish'd main;
From the proud margin to the centre grew
Shelves, rocks, and whirlpools, hideous to the view.
The immortal shield from Neptune she received, 780
When first her head above the waters heaved;
Loose floated o'er her limbs an azure vest,
A figured 'scutcheon glitter'd on her breast;
There from one parent soil for ever young,
The blooming rose and hardy thistle sprung:
Around her head an oaken wreath was seen,
Inwove with laurels of unfading green.
Such was the sculptured prow; from van to rear
The artillery frown'd, a black tremendous tier!
Embalm'd with orient gum, above the wave 790
The swelling sides a yellow radiance gave.
On the broad stern, a pencil warm and bold,
That never servile rules of art controll'd,
An allegoric tale on high portray'd;
There a young hero, here a royal maid:
Fair England's genius in the youth express'd,
Her ancient foe, but now her friend confess'd,
The warlike nymph with fond regard survey'd;
No more his hostile frown her heart dismay'd:
His look, that once shot terror from afar, 800
Like young Alcides, or the god of war,
Serene as summer's evening skies she saw;
Serene, yet firm; though mild, impressing awe:
Her nervous arm, inured to toils severe,
Brandish'd the unconquer'd Caledonian spear:
The dreadful falchion of the hills she wore,
Sung to the harp in many a tale of yore,
That oft her rivers dyed with hostile gore.
Blue was her rocky shield; her piercing eye
Flash'd like the meteors of her native sky; 810
Her crest high-plumed, was rough with many a scar,
And o'er her helmet gleam'd the Northern Star.
The warrior youth appear'd of noble frame,
The hardy offspring of some Runic dame:
Loose o'er his shoulders hung the slacken'd bow,
Renown'd in song, the terror of the foe!
The sword that oft the barbarous north defied,
The scourge of tyrants! glitter'd by his side:
Clad in refulgent arms in battle won,
The George emblazon'd on his corslet shone; 820
Fast by his side was seen a golden lyre,
Pregnant with numbers of eternal fire;
Whose strings unlock the witches' midnight spell,
Or waft rapt fancy through the gulfs of hell:
Struck with contagion, kindling fancy hears
The songs of heaven, the music of the spheres!
Borne on Newtonian wing, through air she flies,
Where other suns to other systems rise.
These front the scene conspicuous; overhead
Albion's proud oak his filial branches spread: 830
While on the sea-beat shore obsequious stood,
Beneath their feet, the father of the flood:
Here the bold native of her cliffs above,
Perch'd by the martial maid the bird of Jove;
There on the watch, sagacious of his prey,
With eyes of fire, an English mastiff lay:
Yonder fair Commerce stretch'd her winged sail,
Here frown'd the God that wakes the living gale.
High o'er the poop the flattering winds unfurl'd
The imperial flag that rules the watery world. 840
Deep blushing armors all the tops invest,
And warlike trophies either quarter dress'd;
Then tower'd the masts, the canvas swell'd on high,
And waving streamers floated in the sky.
Thus the rich vessel moves in trim array,
Like some fair virgin on her bridal day;
Thus, like a swan, she cleaved the watery plain,
The pride and wonder of the AEgean main.
[Footnote 1: 'The youngest:' Falconer himself.]
[Footnote 2: 'Mournful prospects crown'd,' &c.: these remarks allude to
the ever-memorable siege of Candia, which was taken from the Venetians
by the Turks in 1669; being then considered as impregnable, and esteemed
the most formidable fortress in the universe.]
[Footnote 3: 'Windlass:' the windlass is a sort of large roller, used to
wind in the cable, or heave up the anchor. It is turned about
vertically, by a number of long bars or levers; in which operation it is
prevented from recoiling, by the 'pauls,' ver. 701.]
[Footnote 4: 'Ship they tow:' towing is the operation of drawing a ship
forward by means of ropes, extending from her fore-part to one or more
of the boats rowing before her.]
[Footnote 5: 'Stud-sails:' studding-sails are long, narrow sails, which
are only used in fine weather and fair winds, on the outside of the
larger square sails.]
[Footnote 6: 'Stay-sails,' are three-cornered sails, which are hoisted
up on the stays, when the wind crosses the ship's course, either
directly or obliquely.]
[Footnote 7: 'Catch the rising ray:' the operation of taking the sun's
azimuth, in order to discover the eastern or western variation of the
[Footnote 8: 'Bending wales:' the wales, here alluded to, are an
assemblage of strong planks which envelop the lower part of the ship's
side, wherein they are broader and thicker than the rest, and appear
somewhat like a range of hoops which separates the bottom from the upper
[Footnote 9: 'Beasts:' the lion and unicorn.]
THE SCENE LIES AT SEA, BETWEEN CAPE FRESCHIN IN CANDIA, AND THE ISLAND
OF FALCONERA, WHICH IS NEARLY TWELVE LEAGUES NORTHWARD OF CAPE SPADO.
TIME, FROM NINE IN THE MORNING UNTIL ONE O'CLOCK OF THE NEXT DAY AT NOON.
I. Reflections on leaving shore.
II. Favourable breeze.
The dying dolphin.
Ship's rapid progress along the coast.
Gale of wind.
Last appearance, bearing, and distance of Cape Spado.
The ship bears up; again hauls upon the wind.
Another main-sail bent, and set.
III. The ship driven out of her course from Candia.
Difference of opinion respecting the mode of taking in the
Four seamen lost off the lee mainyard-arm.
Anxiety of the master, and his mates, on being near a lee-shore.
IV. A tremendous sea bursts over the deck; its consequences.
The ship labours in great distress.
Guns thrown over-board.
Dismal appearance of the weather.
Very high and dangerous sea.
Storm of lightning.
Severe fatigue of the crew at the pumps.
Critical situation of the ship near the Island of Falconera.
Consultation and resolution of the officers.
Speech and advice of Albert; his devout address to heaven.
Order given to scud.
The fore stay-sail hoisted and split.
The head yards braced aback.
The mizen-mast cut away.
I. Adieu! ye pleasures of the sylvan scene,
Where peace and calm contentment dwell serene:
To me, in vain, on earth's prolific soil,
With summer crown'd, the Elysian valleys smile:
To me those happier scenes no joy impart,
But tantalize with hope my aching heart.
Ye tempests! o'er my head congenial roll,
To suit the mournful music of my soul;
In black progression, lo, they hover near!
Hail, social horrors! like my fate severe: 10
Old Ocean hail! beneath whose azure zone
The secret deep lies unexplored, unknown.
Approach, ye brave companions of the sea!
And fearless view this awful scene with me.
Ye native guardians of your country's laws!
Ye brave assertors of her sacred cause!
The Muse invites you, judge if she depart,
Unequal, from the thorny rules of art.
In practice train'd, and conscious of her power,
She boldly moves to meet the trying hour: 20
Her voice attempting themes, before unknown
To music, sings distresses all her own.
II. O'er the smooth bosom of the faithless tides,
Propell'd by flattering gales, the vessel glides:
Rodmond, exulting, felt the auspicious wind,
And by a mystic charm its aim confined.
The thoughts of home that o'er his fancy roll,
With trembling joy dilate Palemon's soul;
Hope lifts his heart, before whose vivid ray
Distress recedes, and danger melts away. 30
Tall Ida's summit now more distant grew,
And Jove's high hill  was rising to the view;
When on the larboard quarter they descry
A liquid column towering shoot on high;
The foaming base the angry whirlwinds sweep,
Where curling billows rouse the fearful deep:
Still round and round the fluid vortex flies,
Diffusing briny vapours o'er the skies.
This vast phenomenon, whose lofty head,
In heaven immersed, embracing clouds o'erspread, 40
In spiral motion first, as seamen deem,
Swells, when the raging whirlwind sweeps the stream.
The swift volution, and the enormous train,
Let sages versed in nature's lore explain.
The horrid apparition still draws nigh,
And white with foam the whirling billows fly.
The guns were primed; the vessel northward veers,
Till her black battery on the column bears:
The nitre fired; and, while the dreadful sound,
Convulsive shook the slumbering air around, 50
The watery volume, trembling to the sky,
Burst down, a dreadful deluge, from on high!
The expanding ocean trembled as it fell,
And felt with swift recoil her surges swell;
But soon, this transient undulation o'er,
The sea subsides, the whirlwinds rage no more.
While southward now the increasing breezes veer,
Dark clouds incumbent on their wings appear:
Ahead they see the consecrated grove
Of Cyprus, sacred once to Cretan Jove. 60
The ship beneath her lofty pressure reels,
And to the freshening gale still deeper heels.
But now, beneath the lofty vessel's stern,
A shoal of sportive dolphins they discern,
Beaming from burnish'd scales refulgent rays,
Till all the glowing ocean seems to blaze:
In curling wreaths they wanton on the tide,
Now bound aloft, now downward swiftly glide;
Awhile beneath the waves their tracks remain,
And burn in silver streams along the liquid plain. 70
Soon to the sport of death the crew repair,
Dart the long lance, or spread the baited snare.
One in redoubling mazes wheels along,
And glides unhappy near the triple prong:
Rodmond, unerring, o'er his head suspends
The barbed steel, and every turn attends;
Unerring aim'd, the missile weapon flew,
And, plunging, struck the fated victim through:
The upturning points his ponderous bulk sustain,
On deck he struggles with convulsive pain. 80
But while his heart the fatal javelin thrills,
And flitting life escapes in sanguine rills,
What radiant changes strike the astonish'd sight!
What glowing hues of mingled shade and light!
Not equal beauties gild the lucid west
With parting beams all o'er profusely drest;
Not lovelier colours paint the vernal dawn,
When orient dews impearl the enamell'd lawn,
Than from his sides in bright suffusion flow,
That now with gold empyreal seem to glow; 90
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;
What terms of art can nature's powers display!
The lighter sails, for summer winds and seas,
Are now dismiss'd, the straining masts to ease;
Swift on the deck the stud-sails all descend,
Which ready seamen from the yards unbend; 100
The boats then hoisted in are fix'd on board,
And on the deck with fastening gripes secured.
The watchful ruler of the helm no more
With fix'd attention eyes the adjacent shore,
But by the oracle of truth below,
The wondrous magnet guides the wayward prow.
The powerful sails, with steady breezes swell'd,
Swift and more swift the yielding bark impell'd:
Across her stem the parting waters run,
As clouds, by tempests wafted, pass the sun. 110
Impatient thus she darts along the shore,
Till Ida's mount, and Jove's, are seen no more;
And, while aloof from Retimo she steers,
Maleca foreland full in front appears.
Wide o'er yon Isthmus stands the cypress grove,
That once enclosed the hallow'd fane of Jove:
Here, too, memorial of his name! is found
A tomb in marble ruins on the ground.
This gloomy tyrant, whose despotic sway
Compell'd the trembling nations to obey, 120
Through Greece for murder, rape, and incest known,
The Muses raised to high Olympus' throne;
For oft, alas! their venal strains adorn
The prince whom blushing virtue holds in scorn:
Still Rome and Greece record his endless fame,
And hence yon mountain yet retains his name.
But see! in confluence borne before the blast,
Clouds roll'd on clouds the dusky noon o'ercast:
The blackening ocean curls, the winds arise,
And the dark scud  in swift succession flies. 130
While the swoln canvas bends the masts on high,
Low in the wave the leeward  cannon lie.
The master calls to give the ship relief,
The top-sails  lower, and form a single reef! 
Each lofty yard with slacken'd cordage reels;
Rattle the creaking blocks and ringing wheels.
Down the tall masts the top-sails sink amain,
Are mann'd and reef'd, then hoisted up again.
More distant grew receding Candia's shore,
And southward of the west Cape Spado bore. 140
Four hours the sun his high meridian throne
Had left, and o'er Atlantic regions shone;
Still blacker clouds, that all the skies invade,
Draw o'er his sullied orb a dismal shade:
A lowering squall obscures the southern sky,
Before whose sweeping breath the waters fly;
Its weight the top-sails can no more sustain--
Reef top-sails, reef! the master calls again.
The halyards and top-bow-lines  soon are gone,
To clue-lines and reef-tackles  next they run: 150
The shivering sails descend; the yards are square;
Then quick aloft the ready crew repair:
The weather-earings  and the lee they past,
The reefs enroll'd, and every point made fast.
Their task above thus finish'd, they descend,
And vigilant the approaching squall attend.
It comes resistless! and with foaming sweep
Upturns the whitening surface of the deep:
In such a tempest, borne to deeds of death,
The wayward sisters scour the blasted heath. 160
The clouds, with ruin pregnant, now impend;
And storm, and cataracts, tumultuous blend.
Deep on her side the reeling vessel lies:
Brail up the mizen  quick! the master cries,
Man the clue-garnets!  let the main-sheet fly!
It rends in thousand shivering shreds on high!
The main-sail all in streaming ruins tore,
Loud fluttering, imitates the thunder's roar:
The ship still labours in the oppressive strain,
Low bending, as if ne'er to rise again. 170
Bear up the helm a-weather!  Rodmond cries:
Swift at the word the helm a-weather flies;
She feels its guiding power, and veers apace,
And now the fore-sail right athwart they brace:
With equal sheets restrain'd, the bellying sail
Spreads a broad concave to the sweeping gale.
While o'er the foam the ship impetuous flies,
The helm the attentive timoneer  applies:
As in pursuit along the aerial way
With, ardent eye the falcon marks his prey, 180
Each motion watches of the doubtful chase,
Obliquely wheeling through the fluid space;
So, govern'd by the steersman's glowing hands,
The regent helm her motion still commands.
But now the transient squall to leeward past,
Again she rallies to the sullen blast:
The helm to starboard  moves; each shivering sail
Is sharply trimm'd to clasp the augmenting gale.
The mizen draws; she springs aloof once more,
While the fore stay-sail  balances before. 190
The fore-sail braced obliquely to the wind,
They near the prow the extended tack confined;
Then on the leeward sheet the seamen bend,
And haul the bow-line to the bowsprit-end.
To top-sails next they haste; the bunt-lines gone!
Through rattling blocks the clue-lines swiftly run;
The extending sheets on either side are mann'd,
Abroad they come! the fluttering sails expand;
The yards again ascend each comrade mast.
The leeches taught, the halyards are made fast, 200
The bow-lines haul'd, and yards to starboard braced, 
And straggling ropes in pendent order placed.
The main-sail, by the squall so lately rent,
In streaming pendants flying, is unbent:
With brails  refix'd, another soon prepared,
Ascending, spreads along beneath the yard.
To each yard-arm the head-rope  they extend,
And soon their earings and their robans  bend.
That task perform'd, they first the braces slack, 
Then to the chesstree drag the unwilling tack. 210
And, while the lee clue-garnet's lower'd away,
Taught aft the sheet they tally, and belay. 
Now to the north from Afric's burning shore,
A troop of porpoises their course explore:
In curling wreaths they gambol on the tide,
Now bound aloft, now down the billow glide:
Their tracks awhile the hoary waves retain,
That burn in sparkling trails along the main--
These fleetest coursers of the finny race,
When threatening clouds the ethereal vault deface, 220
Their route to leeward still sagacious form,
To shun the fury of the approaching storm.
III. Fair Candia now no more, beneath her lee,
Protects the vessel from the insulting sea;
Round her broad arms, impatient of control,
Roused from the secret deep, the billows roll:
Sunk were the bulwarks of the friendly shore,
And all the scene an hostile aspect wore.
The flattering wind, that late with promised aid
From Candia's bay the unwilling ship betray'd, 230
No longer fawns beneath the fair disguise,
But like a ruffian on his quarry flies.
Tost on the tide she feels the tempest blow,
And dreads the vengeance of so fell a foe--
As the proud horse, with costly trappings gay,
Exulting, prances to the bloody fray;
Spurning the ground he glories in his might,
But reels tumultuous in the shock of fight:
Even so, caparison'd in gaudy pride,
The bounding vessel dances on the tide. 240
Fierce and more fierce the gathering tempest grew,
South and by west the threatening demon blew;
Auster's resistless force all air invades,
And every rolling wave more ample spreads:
The ship no longer can her top-sails bear;
No hopes of milder weather now appear.
Bow-lines and halyards are cast off again,
Clue-lines haul'd down, and sheets let fly amain:
Embrail'd each top-sail, and by braces squared,
The seamen climb aloft, and man each yard: 250
They furl'd the sails, and pointed to the wind
The yards, by rolling tackles  then confined,
While o'er the ship the gallant boatswain flies;
Like a hoarse mastiff through the storm he cries--
Prompt to direct the unskilful still appears,
The expert he praises, and the timid cheers.
Now some, to strike top-gallant-yards  attend,
Some, travellers up the weather-back-stays  send,
At each mast-head the top-ropes  others bend:
The parrels, lifts,  and clue-lines soon are gone, 260
Topp'd and unrigg'd, they down the backstays run;
The yards secure along the booms  were laid,
And all the flying ropes aloft belay'd:
Their sails reduced, and all the rigging clear,
Awhile the crew relax from toils severe;
Awhile their spirits with fatigue opprest,
In vain expect the alternate hour of rest--
But with redoubling force the tempests blow,
And watery hills in dread succession flow:
A dismal shade o'ercasts the frowning skies; 270
New troubles grow; fresh difficulties rise;
No season this from duty to descend,
All hands on deck must now the storm attend.
His race perform'd, the sacred lamp of day
Now dipt in western clouds his parting ray!
His languid fires, half lost in ambient haze,
Refract along the dusk a crimson blaze;
Till deep immerged the sickening orb descends,
And cheerless night o'er heaven her reign extends.
Sad evening's hour, how different from the past! 280
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.
The ship no longer can whole courses  bear,
To reef them now becomes the master's care;
The sailors summon'd aft all ready stand,
And man the enfolding brails at his command:
But here the doubtful officers dispute,
Till skill and judgment prejudice confute:
For Rodmond, to new methods still a foe, 290
Would first, at all events, the sheet let go;
To long-tried practice obstinately warm,
He doubts conviction, and relies on form.
This Albert and Arion disapprove,
And first to brail the tack up firmly move:
"The watchful seaman, whose sagacious eye
On sure experience may with truth rely,
Who from the reigning cause foretells the effect,
This barbarous practice ever will reject;
For, fluttering loose in air, the rigid sail 300
Soon flits to ruins in the furious gale;
And he, who strives the tempest to disarm,
Will never first embrail the lee yard-arm."
So Albert spoke; to windward, at his call,
Some seamen the clue-garnet stand to haul--
The tack's eased off,  while the involving clue
Between the pendent blocks ascending flew;
The sheet and weather-brace they now stand by, 
The lee clue-garnet and the bunt-lines ply:
Then, all prepared, Let go the sheet! he cries-- 310
Loud rattling, jarring, through the blocks it flies!
Shivering at first, till by the blast impell'd,
High o'er the lee yard-arm the canvas swell'd;
By spilling lines  embraced, with brails confined,
It lies at length unshaken by the wind.
The fore-sail then secured with equal care,
Again to reef the mainsail they repair;
While some above the yard o'erhaul the tye,
Below the down-haul tackle  others ply;
Jears,  lifts, and brails, a seaman each attends, 320
And down the mast its mighty yard descends:
When lower'd sufficient they securely brace,
And fix the rolling tackle in its place;
The reef-lines  and their earings now prepared,
Mounting on pliant shrouds  they man the yard:
Far on the extremes appear two able hands,
For no inferior skill this task demands--
To wind, foremost, young Arion strides;
The lee yard-arm the gallant boatswain rides:
Each earing to its cringle first they bend, 330
The reef-band  then along the yard extend;
The circling earings  round the extremes entwined,
By outer and by inner turns they bind;
The reef-lines next from hand to hand received,
Through eyelet-holes and roban-legs were reeved;
The folding reefs in plaits inroll'd they lay,
Extend the worming lines, and ends belay.
Hadst thou, Arion! held the leeward post
While on the yard by mountain billows tost,
Perhaps oblivion o'er our tragic tale 340
Had then for ever drawn her dusky veil;
But ruling Heaven prolong'd thy vital date,
Severer ills to suffer and relate.
For, while aloft the order those attend
To furl the main-sail, or on deck descend;
A sea,  up-surging with stupendous roll,
To instant ruin seems to doom the whole:
O friends, secure your hold! Arion cries--
It comes all dreadful! down the vessel lies
Half buried sideways; while, beneath it tost, 350
Four seamen off the lee yard-arm are lost:
Torn with resistless fury from their hold,
In vain their struggling arms the yard enfold;
In vain to grapple flying ropes they try,
The ropes, alas! a solid gripe deny:
Prone on the midnight surge with panting breath
They cry for aid, and long contend with death;
High o'er their heads the rolling billows sweep,
And down they sink in everlasting sleep.
Bereft of power to help, their comrades see 360
The wretched victims die beneath the lee;
With fruitless sorrow their lost state bemoan,
Perhaps a fatal prelude to their own!
In dark suspense on deck the pilots stand,
Nor can determine on the next command:
Though still they knew the vessel's armed side
Impenetrable to the clasping tide;
Though still the waters by no secret wound
A passage to her deep recesses found;
Surrounding evils yet they ponder o'er, 370
A storm, a dangerous sea, and leeward shore!
"Should they, though reef'd, again their sails extend,
Again in shivering streamers they may rend;
Or, should they stand, beneath the oppressive strain,
The down-press'd ship may never rise again;
Too late to weather now Morea's land, 
And drifting fast on Athens' rocky strand."--
Thus they lament the consequence severe,
Where perils unallay'd by hope appear:
Long pondering in their minds each fear'd event, 380
At last to furl the courses they consent;
That done, to reef the mizen next agree,
And try  beneath it sidelong in the sea.
Now down the mast the yard they lower away,
Then jears and topping-lift  secure belay;
The head, with doubling canvas fenced around,
In balance near the lofty peak they bound;
The reef enwrapp'd, the inserting knittles tied,
The halyards throat and peak are next applied--
The order given, the yard aloft they sway'd, 390
The brails relax'd, the extended sheet belay'd;
The helm its post forsook, and, lash'd a-lee, 
Inclined the wayward prow to front the sea.
IV. When sacred Orpheus on the Stygian coast,
With notes divine deplored his consort lost;
Though round him perils grew in fell array,
And Fates and Furies stood to bar his way;
Not more adventurous was the attempt to move
The infernal powers with strains of heavenly love,
Than mine, in ornamental verse to dress 400
The harshest sounds that terms of art express:
Such arduous toil sage Daedalus endured
In mazes, self-invented, long immured,
Till genius her superior aid bestow'd,
To guide him through that intricate abode--
Thus, long imprison'd in a rugged way
Where Phoebus' daughters never aim'd to stray,
The Muse, that tuned to barbarous sounds her string,
Now spreads, like Daedalus, a bolder wing;
The verse begins in softer strains to flow, 410
Replete with sad variety of woe.
As yet, amid this elemental war,
Where Desolation in his gloomy car
Triumphant rages round the starless void,
And Fate on every billow seems to ride;
Nor toil, nor hazard, nor distress appear
To sink the seamen with unmanly fear.
Though their firm hearts no pageant-honour boast,
They scorn the wretch that trembles at his post;
Who from the face of danger strives to turn, 420
Indignant from the social hour they spurn:
Though now full oft they felt the raging tide
In proud rebellion climb the vessel's side;
Though every rising wave more dreadful grows,
And in succession dire the deck o'erflows;
No future ills unknown their souls appal,
They know no danger, or they scorn it all:
But even the generous spirits of the brave,
Subdued by toil, a friendly respite crave;
They, with severe fatigue alone opprest, 430
Would fain indulge an interval of rest.
Far other cares the master's mind employ;
Approaching perils all his hopes destroy.
In vain he spreads the graduated chart,
And bounds the distance by the rules of art;
Across the geometric plane expands
The compasses to circumjacent lands:
Ungrateful task! for, no asylum found,
Death yawns on every leeward shore around.--
While Albert thus, with horrid doubts dismay'd, 440
The geometric distances survey'd;
On deck the watchful Rodmond cries aloud,
Secure your lives! grasp every man a shroud--
Roused from his trance, he mounts with eyes aghast;
When o'er the ship, in undulation vast,
A giant surge down rushes from on high,
And fore and aft dissever'd ruins lie.
As when, Britannia's empire to maintain,
Great Hawke descends in thunder on the main,
Around the brazen voice of battle roars, 450
And fatal lightnings blast the hostile shores;
Beneath the storm their shatter'd navies groan;
The trembling deep recoils from zone to zone--
Thus the torn vessel felt the enormous stroke,
The boats beneath the thundering deluge broke;
Tom from their planks the cracking ring-bolts drew,
And gripes and lashings all asunder flew;
Companion, binnacle, in floating wreck,
With compasses and glasses strew'd the deck;
The balanced mizen, rending to the head, 460
In fluttering fragments from its bolt-rope fled;
The sides convulsive shook on groaning beams,
And, rent with labour, yawn'd their pitchy seams.
They sound the well,  and, terrible to hear!
Five feet immersed along the line appear:
At either pump they ply the clanking brake, 
And, turn by turn, the ungrateful office take:
Rodmond, Arion, and Palemon here
At this sad task all diligent appear.
As some strong citadel, begirt with foes, 470
Tries long the tide of ruin to oppose,
Destruction near her spreads his black array,
And death and sorrow mark his horrid way;
Till, in some destined hour, against her wall
In tenfold rage the fatal thunders fall:
It breaks! it bursts before the cannonade!
And following hosts the shatter'd domes invade:
Her inmates long repel the hostile flood,
And shield their sacred charge in streams of blood:
So the brave mariners their pumps attend, 480
And help incessant, by rotation, lend;
But all in vain! for now the sounding cord,
Updrawn, an undiminish'd depth explored.
Nor this severe distress is found alone,
The ribs opprest by ponderous cannon groan;
Deep rolling from the watery volume's height,
The tortured sides seem bursting with their weight--
So reels Pelorus with convulsive throes,
When in his veins the burning earthquake glows;
Hoarse through his entrails roars the infernal flame, 490
And central thunders rend his groaning frame--
Accumulated mischiefs thus arise,
And fate, vindictive, all their skill defies:
For this, one remedy is only known,
From the torn ship her metal must be thrown;
Eventful task! which last distress requires,
And dread of instant death alone inspires:
For, while intent the yawning decks to ease,
Fill'd ever and anon with rushing seas,
Some fatal billow with recoiling sweep 500
May whirl the helpless wretches in the deep.
No season this for counsel or delay;
Too soon the eventful moments haste away!
Here perseverance, with each help of art,
Must join the boldest efforts of the heart:
These only now their misery can relieve,
These only now a dawn of safety give.
While o'er the quivering deck, from van to rear,
Broad surges roll in terrible career,
Rodmond, Arion, and a chosen crew, 510
This office in the face of death pursue:
The wheel'd artillery o'er the deck to guide,
Rodmond descending claim'd the weather-side;
Fearless of heart the chief his orders gave,
Fronting the rude assaults of every wave--
Like some strong watch-tower nodding o'er the deep,
Whose rocky base the foaming waters sweep,
Untamed he stood; the stern aerial war,
Had mark'd his honest face with many a scar
Meanwhile Arion, traversing the waist,  520
The cordage of the leeward guns unbraced,
And pointed crows beneath the metal placed.
Watching the roll, their forelocks they withdrew,
And from their beds the reeling cannon threw;
Then, from the windward battlements unbound,
Rodmond's associates wheel'd the artillery round;
Pointed with iron fangs, their bars beguile
The ponderous arms across the steep defile:
Then, hurl'd from sounding hinges o'er the side
Thundering they plunge into the flashing tide. 530
The ship, thus eased, some little respite finds
In this rude conflict of the seas and winds--
Such ease Alcides felt, when, clogg'd with gore,
The envenom'd mantle from his side he tore;
When, stung with burning pain, he strove too late
To stop the swift career of cruel fate;
Yet then his heart one ray of hope procured,
Sad harbinger of sevenfold pangs endured--
Such, and so short, the pause of woe she found!
Cimmerian darkness shades the deep around, 540
Save when the lightnings in terrific blaze
Deluge the cheerless gloom with horrid rays:
Above, all ether, fraught with scenes of woe,
With grim destruction threatens all below;
Beneath, the storm-lash'd surges furious rise,
And wave uproll'd on wave assails the skies;
With ever-floating bulwarks they surround
The ship, half-swallow'd in the black profound.
With ceaseless hazard and fatigue oppress'd,
Dismay and anguish every heart possess'd; 550
For while, with sweeping inundation, o'er
The sea-beat ship the booming waters roar,
Displaced beneath by her capacious womb,
They rage their ancient station to resume;
By secret ambushes, their force to prove,
Through many a winding channel first they rove;
Till gathering fury, like the fever'd blood,
Through her dark veins they roll a rapid flood:
When unrelenting thus the leaks they found,
The clattering pumps with clanking strokes resound; 560
Around each leaping valve, by toil subdued,
The tough bull-hide must ever be renew'd:
Their sinking hearts unusual horrors chill,
And down their weary limbs thick dews distil;
No ray of light their dying hope redeems,
Pregnant with some new woe each moment teems.
Again the chief the instructive chart extends,
And o'er the figured plane attentive bends;
To him the motion of each orb was known,
That wheels around the sun's refulgent throne. 570
But here, alas! his science nought avails,
Skill droops unequal, and experience fails.
The different traverses, since twilight made.
He on the hydrographic circle laid;
Then, in the graduated arch contain'd,
The angle of lee-way,  seven points, remain'd--
Her place discover'd by the rules of art,
Unusual terrors shook the master's heart,
When, on the immediate line of drift, he found
The rugged isle, with rocks and breakers bound, 580
Of Falconera; distant only now
Nine lessening leagues beneath the leeward bow:
For, if on those destructive shallows tost,
The helpless bark with all her crew are lost:
As fatal still appears, that danger o'er,
The steep St George, and rocky Gardalor.
With him the pilots, of their hopeless state,
In mournful consultation, long debate--
Not more perplexing doubts her chiefs appal,
When some proud city verges to her fall, 590
While ruin glares around, and pale affright
Convenes her councils in the dead of night.
No blazon'd trophies o'er their concave spread,
Nor storied pillars raised aloft their head:
But here the Queen of shade around them threw
Her dragon wing, disastrous to the view!
Dire was the scene with whirlwind, hail, and shower;
Black melancholy ruled the fearful hour:
Beneath, tremendous roll'd the flashing tide,
Where fate on every billow seem'd to ride-- 600
Enclosed with ills, by peril unsubdued,
Great in distress the master-seaman stood!
Skill'd to command; deliberate to advise;
Expert in action; and in council wise--
Thus to his partners, by the crew unheard,
The dictates of his soul the chief referr'd:
"Ye faithful mates! who all my troubles share,
Approved companions of your master's care!
To you, alas! 'twere fruitless now to tell
Our sad distress, already known too well: 610
This morn with favouring gales the port we left,
Though now of every flattering hope bereft:
No skill nor long experience could forecast
The unseen approach of this destructive blast:
These seas, where storms at various seasons blow,
No reigning winds nor certain omens know--
The hour, the occasion, all your skill demands,
A leaky ship, embay'd by dangerous lands!
Our bark no transient jeopardy surrounds,
Groaning she lies beneath unnumber'd wounds: 620
'Tis ours the doubtful remedy to find,
To shun the fury of the seas and wind;
For in this hollow swell, with labour sore,
Her flank can bear the bursting floods no more.
One only shift, though desperate, we must try,
And that before the boisterous storm to fly:
Then less her sides will feel the surges' power,
Which thus may soon the foundering hull devour.
'Tis true the vessel and her costly freight
To me consign'd, my orders only wait; 630
Yet, since the charge of every life is mine,
To equal votes our counsels I resign--
Forbid it, Heaven! that in this dreadful hour
I claim the dangerous reins of purblind power!
But should we now resolve to bear away,
Our hopeless state can suffer no delay:
Nor can we, thus bereft of every sail,
Attempt to steer obliquely on the gale;
For then, if broaching sideway to the sea,
Our dropsied ship may founder by the lee; 640
Vain all endeavours then to bear away,
Nor helm, nor pilot, would she more obey."
He said, the listening mates with fix'd regard
And silent reverence his opinion heard.
Important was the question in debate,
And o'er their counsels hung impending fate:
Rodmond, in many a scene of peril tried,
Had oft the master's happier skill descried,
Yet now, the hour, the scene, the occasion known,
Perhaps with equal right preferr'd his own: 650
Of long experience in the naval art,
Blunt was his speech and naked was his heart;
Alike to him each climate, and each blast,
The first in danger, in retreat the last:
Sagacious, balancing the opposed events,
From Albert his opinion thus dissents:--
"Too true the perils of the present hour,
Where toils succeeding toils our strength o'erpower!
Our bark, 'tis true, no shelter here can find,
Sore shatter'd by the ruffian seas and wind: 660
Yet where with safety can we dare to scud
Before this tempest and pursuing flood?
At random driven, to present death we haste,
And one short hour perhaps may be our last.
Though Corinth's gulf extend along the lee,
To whose safe ports appears a passage free,
Yet think! this furious unremitting gale
Deprives the ship of every ruling sail;
And if before it she directly flies,
New ills enclose us, and new dangers rise: 670
Here Falconera spreads her lurking snares,
There distant Greece her rugged shelves prepares:
Our hull, if once it strikes that iron coast,
Asunder bursts, in instant ruin lost;
Nor she alone, but with her all the crew,
Beyond relief, are doom'd to perish too:
Such mischiefs follow if we bear away;
O safer that sad refuge--to delay!
"Then of our purpose this appears the scope,
To weigh the danger with the doubtful hope: 680
Though sorely buffeted by every sea,
Our hull unbroken long may try a-lee;
The crew, though harass'd much with toils severe,
Still at their pumps, perceive no hazards near:
Shall we, incautious, then the danger tell,
At once their courage and their hope to quell?
Prudence forbids! this southern tempest soon
May change its quarter with the changing moon;
Its rage, though terrible, may soon subside,
Nor into mountains lash the unruly tide; 690
These leaks shall then decrease--the sails once more
Direct our course to some relieving shore."
Thus while he spoke, around from man to man
At either pump a hollow murmur ran;
For, while the vessel through unnumber'd chinks,
Above, below, the invading water drinks,
Sounding her depth they eyed the wetted scale,
And lo! the leaks o'er all their powers prevail:
Yet at their post, by terrors unsubdued,
They with redoubling force their task pursued. 700
And now the senior pilots seem'd to wait
Arion's voice, to close the dark debate.
Not o'er his vernal life the ripening sun
Had yet progressive twice ten summers run;
Slow to debate, yet eager to excel,
In thy sad school, stern Neptune! taught too well:
With lasting pain to rend his youthful heart,
Dire fate in venom dipp'd her keenest dart;
Till his firm spirit, temper'd long to ill,
Forgot her persecuting scourge to feel; 710
But now the horrors, that around him roll,
Thus rouse to action his rekindling soul:
"Can we, delay'd in this tremendous tide,
A moment pause what purpose to decide?
Alas! from circling horrors thus combined,
One method of relief alone we find:
Thus water-logg'd, thus helpless to remain
Amid this hollow, how ill judged! how vain!
Our sea-breach'd vessel can no longer bear
The floods that o'er her burst in dread career; 720
The labouring hull already seems half-fill'd
With water through a hundred leaks distill'd;
Thus drench'd by every wave, her riven deck,
Stript and defenceless, floats a naked wreck;
At every pitch the o'erwhelming billows bend
Beneath their load the quivering bowsprit's end;
A fearful warning! since the masts on high
On that support with trembling hope rely;
At either pump our seamen pant for breath,
In dire dismay anticipating death; 730
Still all our powers the increasing leaks defy,
We sink at sea, no shore, no haven nigh.
One dawn of hope yet breaks athwart the gloom,
To light and save us from a watery tomb;
That bids us shun the death impending here,
Fly from the following blast, and shoreward steer.
"'Tis urged indeed, the fury of the gale
Precludes the help of every guiding sail;
And, driven before it on the watery waste,
To rocky shores and scenes of death we haste; 740
But haply Falconera we may shun,
And long to Grecian coasts is yet the run:
Less harass'd then, our scudding ship may bear
The assaulting surge repell'd upon her rear;
And since as soon that tempest may decay
When steering shoreward--wherefore thus delay?
Should we at last be driven by dire decree
Too near the fatal margin of the sea,
The hull dismasted there awhile may ride
With lengthen'd cables, on the raging tide; 750
Perhaps kind Heaven, with interposing power,
May curb the tempest ere that dreadful hour;
But here, ingulf'd and foundering, while we stay,
Fate hovers o'er, and marks us for her prey."
He said: Palemon saw with grief of heart
The storm prevailing o'er the pilot's art;
In silent terror and distress involved,
He heard their last alternative resolved:
High beat his bosom. With such fear subdued,
Beneath the gloom of some enchanted wood, 760
Oft in old time the wandering swain explored
The midnight wizards' breathing rites abhorr'd;
Trembling, approach'd their incantations fell,
And, chill'd with horror, heard the songs of hell.
Arion saw, with secret anguish moved,
The deep affliction, of the friend he loved,
And, all awake to friendship's genial heat,
His bosom felt consenting tremors beat:
Alas! no season this for tender love,
Far hence the music of the myrtle grove-- 770
He tried with soft persuasion's melting lore
Palemon's fainting courage to restore;
His wounded spirit heal'd with friendship's balm,
And bade each conflict of the mind be calm.
Now had the pilots all the events revolved,
And on their final refuge thus resolved--
When, like the faithful shepherd who beholds
Some prowling wolf approach his fleecy folds,
To the brave crew, whom racking doubts perplex,
The dreadful purpose Albert thus directs: 780
"Unhappy partners in a wayward fate!
Whose courage now is known perhaps too late;
Ye! who unmoved behold this angry storm
In conflict all the rolling deep deform:
Who, patient in adversity, still bear
The firmest front when greatest ills are near;
The truth, though painful, I must now reveal,
That long in vain I purposed to conceal:
Ingulf'd, all help of art we vainly try,
To weather leeward shores, alas! too nigh: 790
Our crazy bark no longer can abide
The seas, that thunder o'er her batter'd side:
And while the leaks a fatal warning give
That in this raging sea she cannot live,
One only refuge from despair we find--
At once to wear, and scud before the wind.
Perhaps even then to ruin we may steer,
For rocky shores beneath our lee appear;
But that's remote, and instant death is here:
Yet there, by Heaven's assistance, we may gain 800
Some creek or inlet of the Grecian main;
Or, shelter'd by some rock, at anchor ride
Till with abating rage the blast subside:
But if, determined by the will of Heaven,
Our helpless bark at last ashore is driven,
These councils, follow'd, from a watery grave
Our crew perhaps amid the surf may save:--
"And first, let all our axes be secured,
To cut the masts and rigging from aboard;
Then to the quarters bind each plank and oar, 810
To float between the vessel and the shore:
The longest cordage too must be convey'd
On deck, and to the weather-rails belay'd:
So they who haply reach alive the land,
The extended lines may fasten on the strand,
Whene'er, loud thundering on the leeward shore,
While yet aloof, we hear the breakers roar
Thus for the terrible event prepared,
Brace fore and aft to starboard every yard;
So shall our masts swim lighter on the wave, 820
And from the broken rocks our seamen save;
Then westward turn the stem, that every mast
May shoreward fall as from the vessel cast.
When o'er her side once more the billows bound,
Ascend the rigging till she strikes the ground;
And, when you hear aloft the dreadful shock
That strikes her bottom on some pointed rock,
The boldest of our sailors must descend,
The dangerous business of the deck to tend:
Then burst the hatches off, and every stay 830
And every fastening laniard cut away;
Planks, gratings, booms, and rafts to leeward cast;
Then with redoubled strokes attack each mast,
That buoyant lumber may sustain you o'er
The rocky shelves and ledges to the shore:
But, as your firmest succour, till the last
O cling securely on each faithful mast!
Though great the danger, and the task severe,
Yet bow not to the tyranny of fear;
If once that slavish yoke your souls subdue, 840
Adieu to hope! to life itself adieu!
"I know among you some have oft beheld
A bloodhound train, by rapine's lust impell'd,
On England's cruel coast impatient stand,
To rob the wanderers wreck'd upon their strand!
These, while their savage office they pursue,
Oft wound to death the helpless plunder'd crew,
Who, 'scaped from every horror of the main,
Implored their mercy, but implored in vain:
Yet dread not this, a crime to Greece unknown, 850
Such bloodhounds all her circling shores disown;
Who, though by barbarous tyranny oppress'd,
Can share affliction with the wretch distress'd:
Their hearts, by cruel fate inured to grief,
Oft to the friendless stranger yield relief."
With conscious horror struck, the naval band
Detested for a while their native land;
They cursed the sleeping vengeance of the laws,
That thus forgot her guardian sailors' cause.
Meanwhile the master's voice again they heard, 860
Whom, as with filial duty, all revered:
"No more remains--but now a trusty band
Must ever at the pumps industrious stand;
And, while with us the rest attend to wear,
Two skilful seamen to the helm repair--
And thou, Eternal Power! whose awful sway
The storms revere, and roaring seas obey!
On thy supreme assistance we rely;
Thy mercy supplicate, if doom'd to die!
Perhaps this storm is sent with healing breath 870
From neighbouring shores to scourge disease and death:
'Tis ours on thine unerring laws to trust;
With thee, great Lord! 'whatever is, is just.'"
He said: and, with consenting reverence fraught,
The sailors join'd his prayer in silent thought:
His intellectual eye, serenely bright,
Saw distant objects with prophetic light.
Thus, in a land that lasting wars oppress,
That groans beneath misfortune and distress;
Whose wealth to conquering armies falls a prey, 880
Till all her vigour, pride, and fame decay;
Some bold sagacious statesman, from the helm,
Sees desolation gathering o'er his realm;
He darts around his penetrating eyes
Where dangers grow, and hostile unions rise;
With deep attention marks the invading foe,
Eludes their wiles and frustrates every blow,
Tries his last art the tottering state to save,
Or in its ruins find a glorious grave.
Still in the yawning trough the vessel reels, 890
Ingulf'd beneath two fluctuating hills;
On either side they rise, tremendous scene!
A long dark melancholy vale between:
The balanced ship, now forward, now behind,
Still felt the impression of the waves and wind,
And to the right and left by turns inclined;
But Albert from behind the balance drew,
And on the prow its double efforts threw,
The order now was given to bear away!
The order given, the timoneers obey: 900
Both stay-sail sheets to mid-ships were convey'd,
And round the foremast on each side belay'd:
Thus ready, to the halyards they apply--
They hoist! away the flitting ruins fly:
Yet Albert new resources still prepares,
Conceals his grief, and doubles all his cares--
"Away there! lower the mizen-yard on deck,"
He calls, "and brace the foremost yards aback!"
His great example every bosom fires,
New life rekindles and new hope inspires: 910
While to the helm unfaithful still she lies,
One desperate remedy at last he tries--
"Haste! with your weapons cut the shrouds and stay,
And hew at once the mizen-mast away!"
He said: to cut the girding stay they run,
Soon on each side the sever'd shrouds are gone:
Fast by the fated pine bold Rodmond stands,
The impatient axe hung gleaming in his hands;
Brandish'd on high, it fell with dreadful sound,
The tall mast, groaning, felt the deadly wound; 920
Deep gash'd beneath, the tottering structure rings,
And crashing, thundering, o'er the quarter swings.
Thus, when some limb, convulsed with pangs of death,
Imbibes the gangrene's pestilential breath,
The experienced artist from the blood betrays
The latent venom, or its course delays;
But if the infection triumphs o'er his art,
Tainting the vital stream that warms the heart,
To stop the course of death's inflaming tides,
The infected member from the trunk divides. 930
[Footnote 1: 'Jove's high hill:' Dicte.]
[Footnote 2: 'Dark scud:' scud is a name given by seamen to the lowest
clouds, which are driven with great rapidity along the atmosphere, in
squally or tempestuous weather.]
[Footnote 3: 'Leeward:' When the wind crosses a ship's course either
directly or obliquely, that side of the ship, upon which it acts, is
called the weather-side; and the opposite one, which is then pressed
downwards, is called the lee-side. Hence all the rigging and furniture
of the ship are, at this time, distinguished by the side on which they
are situated; as the lee-cannon, the lee-braces, the weather-braces, &c.]
[Footnote 4: 'Top-sails:' the top-sails are large square sails of the
second degree in height and magnitude.]
[Footnote 5: 'Reef:' reefs are certain divisions or spaces by which the
principal sails are reduced when the wind increases; and again enlarged
proportionally when its force abates.]
[Footnote 6: 'Halyards and top-bow-lines:' halyards are either single
ropes or tackles, by which the sails are hoisted up and lowered when the
sail is to be extended or reduced. Bow-lines are ropes intended to keep
the windward-edge of the sail steady, and prevent it from shaking in an
[Footnote 7: 'Clue-lines and reef-tackles:' clue-lines are ropes used to
truss up the clues, or lower corners, of the principal sails to their
respective yards, particularly when the sail is to be close-reefed or
furled. Reef-tackles are ropes employed to facilitate the operation of
reefing, by confining the extremities of the reef close up to the yard,
so that the interval becomes slack, and is therefore easily rolled up
and fastened to the yard by the points employed for this purpose, ver.
[Footnote 8: 'Earings:' small cords, by which the upper corners of the
principal sails, and also the extremities of the reefs, are fastened to
[Footnote 9: 'Mizen:' the mizen is a large sail of an oblong figure
extended upon the mizen-mast.]
[Footnote 10: 'Clue-garnets,' are employed for the same purposes on the
main-sail and fore-sail as the clue-lines are upon all other square
sails; see the note on ver. 150. It is necessary in this place to
remark, that the sheets, which are universally mistaken by the English
poets and their readers, for the sails themselves, are no other than the
ropes used to extend the clues, or lower corners of the sails to which
they are attached. To the main-sail and fore-sail there is a sheet and
tack on each side; the latter of which is a thick rope serving to
confine the weather-clue of the sail down to the ship's side, whilst the
former draws out the lee-clue or lower-corner on the opposite side.
Tacks are only used in a side-wind.]
[Footnote 11: 'Helm a-weather:' the helm is said to be a-weather when
the bar by which it is managed is turned to the side of the ship next
[Footnote 12: 'Timoneer:' (from 'timonnier', Fr.) the helmsman, or
[Footnote 13: 'Helm to starboard:' the helm, being turned to starboard,
or to the right side of the ship, directs the prow to the left, or to
port, and 'vice versa'. Hence the helm being put a-starboard, when the
ship is running northward, directs her prow towards the west.]
[Footnote 14: 'Fore stay-sail:' this sail, which is with more propriety
called the fore topmast-stay-sail, is a triangular sail that runs upon
the fore topmast-stay, over the bowsprit. It is used to command the
fore-part of the ship, and counterbalance the sails extended towards the
[Footnote 15: 'Yards to starboard braced:' a yard is said to be braced
when it is turned about the mast horizontally, either to the right or
left; the ropes employed in this service are accordingly called braces.]
[Footnote 16: 'Brails:' the ropes used to truss up a sail to the yard or
mast whereto it is attached, are in a general sense called brails.]
[Footnote 17: 'Head-rope:' the head-rope is a cord to which the upper
part of the sail is sewed.]
[Footnote 18: 'Robans:' rope-bands, pronounced roebins, are small cords,
used to fasten the upper edge of any sail to its respective yard.]
[Footnote 19: 'Braces slack:' because the lee-brace confines the yard so
that the tack will not come down to its place till the braces are cast
[Footnote 20: 'Taught,' 'tally,' and 'belay:' taught implies stiff,
tense, or extended straight; and tally is a phrase particularly applied
to the operation of hauling aft the sheets, or drawing them towards the
ship's stern; to belay, is to fasten.]
[Footnote 21: 'Rolling-tackles:' the rolling-tackle is an assemblage of
pulleys, used to confine the yard to the weather-side of the mast, and
prevent the former from rubbing against the latter by the fluctuating
motion of the ship in a turbulent sea.]
[Footnote 22: 'Strike top-gallant-yards:' it is usual to send down the
top-gallant yards on the approach of a storm; they are the highest yards
that are rigged in a ship.]
[Footnote 23: 'Travellers' and 'back-stays:' travellers are slender iron
rings, encircling the back-stays, and used to facilitate the hoisting or
lowering of the top-gallant-yards, by confining them to the backstays,
in their ascent or descent, so as to prevent them from swinging about by
the agitation of the vessel. Back-stays are long ropes, extending from
the right and left side of the ship to the topmast-heads, which they are
intended to secure, by counter-acting the effort of the wind upon the
[Footnote 24: 'Top-ropes:' cords by which the top-gallant-yards are
hoisted up from the deck, or lowered again in stormy weather.]
[Footnote 25: 'Parrels,' and 'lifts:' the parrel, which is usually a
moveable band of rope, is employed to confine the yard to its respective
mast. Lifts are ropes extending from the head of any mast to the
extremities of its particular yard, to support the weight of the latter;
to retain it in balance; or to raise one yard-arm higher than the other,
which is accordingly called 'topping,' ver. 261.]
[Footnote 26: 'Booms:' the booms in this place imply any masts or yards
lying on the deck in reserve, to supply the place of others which may be
carried away by distress of weather, &c.]
[Footnote 27: 'Courses:' the courses are generally understood to be the
mainsail, fore-sail, and mizen, which are the largest and lowest sails
on their several masts: the term is however sometimes taken in a larger
[Footnote 28: 'Tack's eased off:' it has been remarked before, in note
to ver. 165, p. 211, that the tack is always fastened to windward;
accordingly, as soon as it is cast loose, and the clue-garnet hauled up,
the weather-clue of the sail immediately mounts to the yard; and this
operation must be carefully performed in a storm, to prevent the sail
from splitting, or being torn to pieces by shivering.]
[Footnote 29: 'Sheet and weather-brace they now stand by:' it is
necessary to pull in the weather-brace, whenever the sheet is cast off,
to preserve the sail from shaking violently.]
[Footnote 30: 'Spilling-lines:' the spilling-lines, which are only used
on particular occasions in tempestuous weather, are employed to draw
together and confine the belly of the sail, when it is inflated by the
wind over the yard.]
[Footnote 31: 'Downhaul-tackle:' the violence of the wind forces the
yard so much outward from the mast on these occasions, that it cannot
easily be lowered so as to reef the sail, without the application of a
tackle to haul it down on the mast. This is afterwards converted into
rolling-tackle; see the note on ver. 252, p. 214]
[Footnote 32: 'Jears' are the same to the mainsail, foresail, and mizen,
as the halyards (note to ver. 149, p. 210), are to all the inferior
sails. The tye is the upper part of the jears.]