Imagens das páginas

Thus warn'd, Britannia's anxious heart
Throbb'd with prophetic woe,
When she beheld that ship depart,
A fair ill-omen'd show!

So views the mother through her tears,
The daughter of her hopes and fears,
When hectic beauties glow

On the frail cheek, where sweetly bloom The roses of an early tomb.

No fears the brave adventurers knew,
Peril and death they spurn'd;
Like full-fledged eagles forth they flew;
Jove's birds, that proudly burn'd

In battle-hurricanes to wield

His lightnings on the billowy field;
And many a look they turn'd
O'er the blue waste of waves to spy
A Gallic ensign in the sky.

But not to crush the vaunting foe,

In combat on the main,

Nor perish by a glorious blow,

In mortal triumph slain,

Was their unutterable fate;

That story would the Muse relate,

The song might rise in vain;

In ocean's deepest, darkest bed,

The secret slumbers with the dead.

On India's long-expecting strand
Their sails were never furl'd;
Never on known or friendly land,

By storms their keel was hurl'd;
Their native soil no more they trod,
They rest beneath no hallow'd sod;
Throughout the living world,

This sole memorial of their lot

Remains, they were, and they are not.

The spirit of the Cape* pursued
Their long and toilsome way;

At length, in ocean-solitude,

He sprang upon his prey;
"Havoc!" the shipwreck-demon cried,
Loosed all his tempests on the tide,
Gave all his lightnings play;
The abyss recoil'd before the blast,
Firm stood the seamen till the last.

Like shooting stars, athwart the gloom
The merchant-sails were sped;
Yet oft, before its midnight doom,,

They mark'd the high mast-head

Of that devoted vessel, tost

By winds and floods, now seen, now lost;
While every gun-fire spread

The Cape of Good Hope, formerly called the Cape of Storms. See Camoens' Lusiad, book v.

[ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]

A dimmer flash, a fainter roar ;

At length they saw, they heard no more.

There are to whom that ship was dear,
For love and kindred's sake;
When these the voice of Rumor hear,
Their inmost heart shall quake,
Shall doubt, and fear, and wish, and grieve,
Believe, and long to unbelieve,

But never cease to ache;

Still doom'd, in sad suspense, to bear

The Hope that keeps alive Despair.


He sought his sire from shore to shore, He sought him day by day;

The prow he track'd was seen no more,
Breasting the ocean-spray;

Yet, as the winds his voyage sped,
He sail'd above his father's head,
Unconscious where it lay,

Deep, deep beneath the rolling main ;
- He sought his sire; he sought in vain.

Son of the brave! no longer weep;

Still with affection true,
Along the wild disastrous deep,

Thy father's course pursue;
Full in his wake of glory steer,
His spirit prompts thy bold career,

His compass guides thee through;
So, while thy thunders awe the sea,
Britain shall find thy sire in thee.

M. S.



Who corresponded with the Author under this signature, on the first publication of his Poems, in 1806, but died soon after; when her real name and merits were disclosed to him by one of her surviving friends.

My Song of Sorrow reach'd her ear;
She raised her languid head to hear,
And, smiling in the arms of Death,
Consoled me with her latest breath.

What is the Poet's highest aim,
His richest heritage of fame?

- To track the warrior's fiery road,
With havoc, spoil, destruction strow'd,
While nations bleed along the plains,
Dragg'd at his chariot-wheels in chains?

With fawning hand to woo the lyre,
Profanely steal celestial fire,
And bid an idol's altar blaze
With incense of unhallow'd praise?
With syren strains, Circean art,
To win the ear, beguile the heart,

« AnteriorContinuar »