Imatges de pàgina
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ON THE WRECK, &c.

163

Large and more large the threatening rocks appear,

And

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
Their well-known summits with exulting eyes,

Renews each scene with thoughts domestic dear,
And wets the cheek with joy's o'er raptur'd tear,
Now in the dreadful garb of terror dress’d
Freeze life's warm tide, and chill the shuddering

breast;

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,

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Hang on the parent bofom that fupplied
Their earliest nurture with it's milky tide;
On all their pangs fhe smiles with savage joy,

And her own hands her hated race destroy.

Full on the shore the giddy vessel drives,
And the rude shock her folid timbers rives,

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
The hardy mariner's untimely fate,

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
The votive tribute of a mournful lay:

Yet

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

engage,

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,

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Teach Sensibility's refifless glow
To raise each fear, and double every woe.
Say how shall they, whose eye's averted fight
Shrinks trembling from the phantom of affright,
While Art inventive skreens each lovely form

Or from the sultry ray, or chilling storm;

Say how shall they with gentle bosoms brave

The rushing torrent of the delug'd wave,
Where Death's pale shape in heighten'd terrors

dress'd

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,
In all the agony of dumb despair,

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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
To try if hope one distant ray bestows. .
And see supreme in forrow and distress
The wretched fire his trembling daughters press,
Now down his cheeks the streaming torrents roll,
And speak the bitter anguilh of his soul;
And now parental care his face beguiles,
And hides his heartfelt pangs in transient smiles,
Throws a faint sunshine o'er the brow of care,

And gilds with hope the horror of despair. Heavens ! ~that foul-piercing shriek !- the con

flict's o'er,

Hulh'd are their cries, their bosoms beat no more;

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