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By spilling-lines embraced, with brails confined
It lies at length unshaken by the wind.
The foresail then secured with equal care,
Again to reef the mainsail they repair.-
While some, high-mounted, overhaul the tye,
Below the down-haul tacklet others ply.
Jears, lifts, and brails, a seaman each attends,
Along the mast the willing yard descends.
When lower'd sufficient, they securely brace,
And fix'd the rolling-tackle in its place;
The reef-lines and their earings now prepared,
Mounting on pliant shrouds, they man the yard.
Far on th' extremes two able hands appear,
Arion there, the hardy boatswain here;
That in the van to front the tempest hung;
This round the lee yard-arm, ill-omen'd! clung.
Each earing to its station first they bend;
The reef-band then along the yard extend:
The circling earings, round th' extremes entwined,
By outer and by inner turns** they bind.
From hand to hand the reef-lines next received,
Through eye-let holes and roebin legs were reeved.
The reef in double folds involved they lay;
Strain the firm cord, and either end belay.
Hadst thou, Arion! held the leeward post,
While on the yard by mountain billows tost,
Perhaps oblivion o'er our tragic tale
Had then for ever drawn her dusky veil.-
But ruling heaven prolong'd thy vital date,
Severer ills to suffer and relate!
For, while their orders those aloft attend,
To furl the mainsail, or on deck descend,
A seatt up surging with tremendous roll,
To instant ruin seems to doom the whole.
"O friends! secure your hold!" Arion cries;
It comes all dreadful, stooping from the skies;
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.
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 appication of a tackle to haul it down on the mast. This is afterwards converted into rolling tackle. See note, ist col. p. 20.
Jears are the same to the mainsail, foresail, and zen, as the haliards (note, 1st col. p. 19) are to all nferior sails. The tye is the upper part of the jears.
§ Reef-lines are only used to reef the mainsail and oresail. They are past in spiral turns through the eyeet holes of the reef, and over the head of the sails between the rope-band legs, till they reach the extremities of the reef, to which they are firmly extended. so as to lace the reef close up to the yard.
1 Shrouds are thick ropes, stretching from the mastheads downwards to the outside of the ship, serving to support the masts. They are also used as a range of rope-ladders, by which the seamen ascend or descend, to perform whatever is necessary about the sails and rigging.
The reef-band is a long piece of canvass sewed across the sail, to strengthen the canvass in the place where the eye let holes of the reef are formed.
"The outer turns of the earing serve to extend the sail along the yard; and the inner turns are employed to confine its head-rope close to its surface. See note 1, 2d col. p. 19.
tt A sea is the general name given by sailors to a single wave or billow: hence, when a wave bursts over the deck, the vessel is said to have shipped a sea.
Uplifted on its horrid edge she feels
The shock, and on her side half-buried reels:
The sail half bury'd in the whelming wave,
A fearful warning to the seamen gave:
While from its margin, terrible to tell!
Three sailors, with their gallant boatswain, fell.
Torn with resistless fury from their hold,
In vain their struggling arms the yard infold.
In vain to grapple flying cords they try,
The cords, 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
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-
A storm, a dangerous sea, and leeward shore!
Should they, though reef 'd, again their sails extend
Again in fluttering fragments they may rend;
Or should they stand, beneath the dreadful strain,
The down-press'd ship may never rise again;
Too late to weather now Morea's land,
Yet verging fast to Athen's rocky strand.-
Thus they lament the consequence severe,
Where perils unallay'd by hope appear.
Long in their minds revolving each event,
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 sloping yard declined, Till by the jears and topping lift! confined; The head, with doubling canvass fenced around, In balance near the lofty peak, they bound. The reef enwrapt, th' inserted knittles tied, To hoist the shorten'd sail again they hied. The order given, the yard aloft they sway'd; The brails relax'd, th' extended sheet belay'd: The helm its post forsook, and lash'd a-lee, Inclined the wayward prow to front the sea.
When sacred Orpheus, on the Stygian coast, With notes divine implored his consort lost;
*To weather a shore is to pass to the windward of it, which at this time is prevented by the violence of the
To try, is to lay the ship, with her near side in the direction of the wind and sea, with the head somewhat inclined to the windward; the helm being laid a-lee to retain her in this position. See a farther illustration of this in the last note of this Canto.
: The topping lift, which tops the upper part of the mizen-yard, (see note **, p. 20.) This line and the six following describe the operation of reefing and balancing the mizen. The reef of this sail is towards the lower end, the knittles being small short lines used in the room of points for this purpose, (see note 1, 1st col. p. 19, and ", p. 20;) they are accordingly knotted under the foot-rope or lower edge of the sail.
$ Lash'd a-lee is fastened to the lee-side. See note t
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 powers of hell with strains of heavenly love,
Than mine, to bid the unwilling Muse explore
The wilderness of rude mechanic lore.
Such toil th' unwearied Dædalus endured,
When in the Cretan labyrinth immured;
Till Art her salutary help bestow'd,
To guide him through that intricate abode.
Thus long entangled in a thorny way,
That never heard the sweet Piërian lay.
They sound the well,* and, terrible to hear!
Five feet immersed along the line appear.
At either pump they ply the clanking brake,t
And turn by turn th' ungrateful office take.
Rodmond, Arion, and Palemon here,
At this sad task, all diligent appear.
As some fair castle, shook by rude alarms,
Opposes long th' approach of hostile arms;
Grim war around her plants 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:
The Muse that tuned to barbarous sounds her The ramparts crack, the solid bulwarks rend,
Now spreads, like Dædalus, a bolder wing;
The verse begins in softer strains to flow,
Replete with sad variety of wo.
As yet, amid this elemental war,
That scatters desolation from afar,
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 in his post;
Who from the face of danger strives to turn,
Indignant from the social hour they spurn.
Though now full oft they felt the raging tide
In proud rebellion climb the vessel's side,
No future ills unknown their souls appal;
They know no danger, or they scorn it all!
But e'en the generous spirits of the brave,
Subdued by toil, a friendly respite crave:
A short repose alone their thoughts implore,
Their harass'd powers by slumber to restore.
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;
In vain athwart the mimic seas expands
The compasses to circumjacent lands.
Ungrateful task! for no asylum traced
A passage open'd from the watery waste:
Fate seem'd to guard, with adamantine mound,
The path to every friendly port around.
While Albert thus, with secret doubts dismay'd,
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
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,
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 th' enormous stroke:
The boats beneath the thundering deluge broke,
Forth started from their planks the bursting rings,
Th' extended cordage all asunder springs ;
The pilot's fair machinery strews the deck,
And cards and needles swim in floating wreck.
The balanced mizen, rending to the head,
In streaming ruins from the margin fled,
The sides convulsive shook on groaning beams,
And, rent with labour, yawn'd the pitchy seams;
And hostile troops the shatter'd breach ascend.
Her valiant inmates still the foe retard,
Resolved till death their sacred charge to guard.
So the brave mariners their pumps attend,
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, oppress'd by ponderous cannon, groan
Deep rolling from the watery volume's height,
The tortured sides seem bursting with their weigh
So reels Pelorus with convulsive throes,
When in his veins the burning earthquake glows;
Hoarse through his entrails roars th' infernal flame,
And central thunders rend his groaning frame.—
Accumulated mischiefs thus arise,
And Fate, vindictive, all their skill defies.
One only remedy the season gave;
To plunge the nerves of battle in the wave:
From their high platforms, thus, th'artillery thrown,
Eased of their load, the timbers less shall groan:
But arduous is the task their lot requires;
A task that hovering fate alone inspires :
For while intent the yawning decks to ease,
That ever and anon are drench'd with seas,
Some fatal billow with recoiling sweep,
May hurl the helpless wretches in the deep.
No season this for counsel or delay!
Too soon th' 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,
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. [deep,
Like some strong watch-tower, nodding o'er the
Whose rocky base the foaming waters sweep.
Untamed he stood; the stern aërial war
Had marked his honest face with many a scar.-
Meanwhile Arion, traversing the waist,
The well is an apartment in the ship's hold, serving to enclose the pumps. It is sounded by dropping a measured iron rod down into it by a long line. Hence the increase or diminution of the leaks are easily discovered. + The brake is the lever or handle of the pump, by which it is wrought.
The waist of a ship of this kind is a hollow space, about five feet in depth, between the elevations of the
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 th' 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.
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,
Th' envenomed 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 wo she found!
Cimmerian darkness shades the deep around,
Save when the lightnings, gleaming on the sight,
Flash through the gloom, a pale disastrous light.
Above, all ether, fraught with scenes of wo,
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 opprest,
Dismay and anguish every heart possest!
For, while with boundless inundation o'er
The sea-beat ship th' involving 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.
While unrelenting thus the leaks they found,
The pump with ever-clanking strokes resound,
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 wo each moment teems.
Again the chief th' instructive draught extends,
And o'er the figured plain attentive bends:
To him the motion of each orb was known,
That wheels around the sun's refulgent throne:
But here alas! his science naught avails!
Art droops unequal, and experience fails.
The different traverses, since twilight made,
He on the hydrographic circle laid;
Then the broad angle of lee-way* explored,
As swept across the graduated chord.
Her place discovered by the rules of art,
Unusual terrors shook the master's heart;
When Falconera's rugged isle he found,
Within her drift, with shelves and breakers bound
For, if on those destructive shallows tost,
The helpless bark with all her crew are lost:
quarter-deck and fore-castle, and having the upper deck for its base, or platform.
The lee-way, or drift, which in this place are synony. mous terms, is the movement by which a ship is driven
sideways at the mercy of the wind and sea, when she is deprived of the government of the sails and helm.
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 now debate.
Not more perplexing doubts her chiefs appal,
When some proud city verges to her fall;
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-
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!
This morn with favouring gales the port we left,
Though now of every flattering hope bereft :
No skill nor long experience could forecast
Th' 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:
'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.
Yet this or other ills she must endure;
A dire disease, and desperate is the cure!
Thus two expedients offer'd to your choice,
Alone require your counsel and your voice,
These only in our power are left to try;
To perish here or from the storm to fly,
The doubtful balance in my judgment cast,
For various reasons I prefer the last.
'Tis true the vessel and her costly freight,
To me consign'd, my orders only wait;
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 sideward on the sea,
Our dropsied ship may founder on the lee:
No more obedient to the pilot's power,
Th' o'erwhelming wave may soon her frame de-
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 councils 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, th' occasion known,
Perhaps with equal right preferr'd his own
Of long experience in the naval art,
Blunt was his specch, and naked was his heart:
Alike to him each climate and each blast;
The first in danger, in retreat the last :
Sagacious balancing th' opposed events,
From Albert his opinion thus dissents.
"Too true the perils of the present hour, Where toils succeeding toils our strength o'erpower!
Yet whither can we turn, what road pursue,
With death before still opening on the view?
Our bark, 'tis true, no shelter here can find,
Sore shatter'd by the ruffian seas and wind;
Yet with what hope of refuge can we flee,
Chased by this tempest and outrageous sea?
For while its violence the tempest keeps,
Bereft of every sail we roam the deeps;
At random driven, to present death we haste,
And one short hour perhaps may be our last.
In vain the Gulf of Corinth on our lee
Now opens to her ports a passage free;
Since, if before the blast the vessel flies,
Full in her track unnumber'd dangers rise.
Here Falconera spreads her lurking snares;
There distant Greece her rugged shelves prepares;
Should once her bottom strike that rocky shore,
The splitting bark that instant were no more;
Nor she alone, but with her all the crew,
Beyond relief, were doom'd to perish too.
Thus if to scud too rashly we consent,
Too late in fatal hour we may repent.
"Then of our purpose this appears the scope,
To weigh the danger with a doubtful hope.
Though sorely buffeted by every sea,
Our hull unbroken long may try a-lee,
The crew, though harass'd long with toils severe,
Still at their pumps perceive no hazards near.
Shall we, incautious then, the dangers tell,
At once their courage and their hopes 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 th' unruly tide.
With fix'd attention, pondering in my mind
The dark distresses on each side combined;
While here we linger in the pass of Fate,
I see no moment left for sad debate.
For, some decision if we wish to form,
Ere yet our vessel sink beneath the storm,
Her shattered state, and yon desponding crew,
At once suggest what measures to pursue.
The labouring hull already seems half-fill'd
With waters, through a hundred leaks distill'd,
As in a dropsy, wallowing with her freight,
Half-drown'd she lies, a dead inactive weight!
Thus drenched by every wave, her riven deck,
Stript and defenceless, floats a naked wreck;
Her wounded flanks no longer can sustain
These fell invasions of the bursting main:
At every pitch th' o'erwhelming billows bend,
Beneath their load, the quivering bowsprit 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 dark dismay anticipating death.
Still all our powers th' 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 the 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.
But haply Falconera we may shun:
And far to Grecian coasts is yet the run:
Less harass'd then, our scudding ship may bear
Th' assaulting surge repell'd upon her rear.
E'en then the wearied storm as soon shall die,
Or less torment the groaning pines on high.
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.
Perhaps kind Heaven, with interposing power,
May curb the tempest ere that dreadful hour.
But here ingulf'd and foundering while we stay,
These leaks shall then decrease: the sails once Fate hovers o'er, and marks us for her prey."
Direct our course to some relieving shore."
Thus while he spoke around froin man to man,
At either pump, a hollow murmur ran.
For while the vessel through unnumber'd chinks,
Above, below, th' invading water drinks,
Sounding her depth, they eyed the wetted scale,
And, lo! the leak o'er all their powers prevail,
Yet in their post, by terrors unsubdued,
They with redoubled force their task pursued.
And now the senior pilots seem'd to wait
Arion's voice to close the dark debate.
Though many a bitter storm, with peril fraught,
In Neptune's school the wandering stripling
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,
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 tumults beat.
Alas! no season this for tender love;
Not twice nine summers yet matured his thought. Far hence the music of the myrtle grove.
So oft he bled by Fortune's cruel dart,
It fell at last innoxious on his heart.
His mind still shunning care with secret hate,
In patient indolence resign'd to Fate.
But now the horrors that around him roll,
Thus rous'd to action his rekindling soul.
With Comfort's soothing voice, from Hope derived,
Palemon's drooping spirit he revived,
For Consolation oft, with healing art,
Retunes the jarring numbers of the heart.-
Now had the pilots all th' 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.
"Unhappy partners in a wayward fate!
Whose gallant spirits now are known too late;
Ye! who unmoved behold this angry storm
With terrors all the rolling deep deform;
Who, patient in adversity, still bear
The firmest front when greatest ills are near!
The truth, though grievous, I must now reveal,
That long, in vain, I purposed to conceal.
Ingulf'd, all help of arts we vainly try,
To weather leeward shores, alas! too nigh.
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 e'en then to ruin we may steer;
For broken shores beneath our lee appear;
But that's remote, and instant death is here;
Yet there, by Heaven's assistance, we may gain
Some creek or inlet of the Grecian main;
Or sheltered 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 counsels follow'd, from the watery grave
Our floating sailors on 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,
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,
Th 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,
And from the broken rocks our seamen save.
Then westward turn the stem, that every mast
May shoreward fall, when 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 th' alarming 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 each, secured by some convenient cord,
Should cut the shrouds and rigging from the board;
Let the broad axes next assail each mast;
And booms, and oars, and rafts, to leeward cast.
Thus, while the cordage stretch'd ashore may guide
Our brave companions through the swelling tide,
This floating lumber shall sustain them, o'er
The rocky shelves, in safety 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 spirits quell, Adieu to hope! to life itself farewell!
"I know, among you some full oft have view'd, With murdering weapons arm'd, a lawless brood, On England's vile inhuman shore who stand, The foul reproach and scandal of our land! To rob the wanderers wreck'd upon the 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. But dread not this!-a crime to Greece unknown Such blood-hounds all her circling shores disown. Her sons, by barbarous tyranny opprest, Can share affliction with the wretch distrest: 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, Whom, as with filial duty, all revered.
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 eyes, 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,
Her bulwarks sinking, as her troops 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 th' invading foe,
Eludes their wiles, and frustrates every blow:
Tries his last art the tottering state to save,
Or in its ruins finds a glorious grave.
Still in the yawning trough the vessel reels,
Ingulf'd beneath two fluctuating hills:
On either side they rise; tremendous scene!
A long dark melancholy vale between.*
That the reader, who is unacquainted with the manœuvres of navigation, may conceive a clearer idea of a ship's state when trying, and of the change of her situ ation to that of scudding, I have quoted a part of the ex planation of those articles as they appear in the "Dictionary of the Marine."
Trying is the situation in which a ship lies nearly in the trough or hollow of the sea in a tempest, particularly when it blows contrary to her course.
In trying as well as in scudding, the sails are always
For an explanation of these manoeuvres, the reader reduced in proportion to the increase of the storm; and is referred to the last note of this Canto.
in either state, if the storm is excessive, she may have