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ON THE WRECK, &c.
Large and more large the threatening rocks appear,
every billow brings their fate more near. – Steep PurBeck's chalky cliffs, whose welcome
fight So oft have fill'd the bosom with delight,
When, as from hostile coasts and distant skies )
The wave-worn mariner, returning, spies
Renews each scene with thoughts domestic dear,
And the lov'd shore that life, that freedom gave,
Now sinks her sons beneath the whelming wave.
So Jason's infant race, a suppliant train, Around their frantic mother cling in vain,
Hang on the parent bofom that fupplied
And her own hands her hated race destroy.
Full on the shore the giddy vessel drives,
The lashing wave her batter'd planks divides,
And o'er her deck the sea rcfifless rides.
Say shall no voice in pitying strains relate
Who oft BRITANNIA's streaming flag unfurld
To the wild inmates of the Southern world,
Or with bold prow the hostile ficet explor'd
When louder than the surge the battle roar'd ?
Yes! yes! to them the forrowing Muse shall pay
Yet while she pours the unavailing tear
Some transient gleams the night of horror chear.
For scenes that frequent shapes of Death impart
Arm the firm breast, and steel the manly heart;
And he who oft has seen his ghastly form
Glare in the fight, and thunder in the storm,
Will with bold arm hís tyrant force
And while he combats mitigates his rage.
Not such the means to check the awful doom
When Youth and Beauty meet the watery tomb:
Where those mild graces partial Nature gave
To sooth the labors of the wise, and brave,
Soften’d by all that fond assiduous care
Which every bofom gives the young, and fair,
Teach Sensibility's refifless glow
Or from the sultry ray, or chilling storm;
Say how shall they with gentle bosoms brave
The rushing torrent of the delug'd wave,
Strikes icy horror through the firmest breast ?
What language can describe, what colors shew, Each varied form of terror and of woe?
With pallid features, and dishevell’d hair,
Here piercing cries drown'd by the founding main
Invoke an absent mother's aid in vain.
Here ftony fear arrests the laboring breath,
And dread, anticipates the stroke of death.
This on the crew her eye attentive throws
And gilds with hope the horror of despair. Heavens ! ~that foul-piercing shriek !- the con
Hulh'd are their cries, their bosoms beat no more;