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O, 't was an awful moment!-for the crew
Had rashly, deeply drunk, while yet they knew
No ruling eye was on them--and became
Wild as the tempest! Peril could not tame-
Nay, stirr'd their brutal hearts to more excess;
Round the deserted banquet-board they press,
Like men transform'd to fiends, with oath and yell!
And many deem'd the sea less terrible
Then maniacs fiercely ripe for all, or aught,
That ever flash'd upon a desperate thought!
Strange laughter mingled with the shriek and
Nor woman shrank, nor woman wept alone.
Some, as a bolt had smote them, fell;--and some
Stared haggard wild-dismay had struck them
There were of firmer nerve, or fiercer cast,
Who scowl'd defiance back upon the blast-
Half scorning in their haughty souls to be
Thus pent and buffeted. And tenderly,
Even then, to manly hearts fair forms were drawn,
Whose virgin eyes had never shed their dawn
Before-soft, beautifully shy--to flush
A lover's hope; but as the dove will rush
Into the school-boy's bosom, to elude
The swooping goshawk-woman, thus subdued,
Will cling to those she shunn'd in lighter mood-
The soul confess emotions but conceal'd-
Pure, glowing, deep, though lingeringly reveal'd;
That true chameleon which imbibes the tone
Of every passion hue she pauses on!
O, 't is the cheek that's false-so subtly taught,
It takes not of its colour from the thought;
But like volcanic mountains veil'd in snow,
Hides the heart's lava, while it works below!
And there were two who loved, but never told
Their love to one another: years had roll'd
Since passion touch'd them with its purple wing,
Though still their youth was in its blossoming.
Lofty of soul, as riches were denied,
He deem'd it mean to woo a wealthy bride;
And (for her tears were secret) coldly she
Wreath'd her pale brow in maiden dignity;
Yet each had caught the other's eye reposing,
And, far as looks disclose, the truth disclosing;
But when they met, pride check'd the soul's warm
And froze the melting spirit of the eye:
A pride in vulgar hearts that never shone.
And thus they loved, and silently loved on;
But this was not a moment when the head
Could trifle with the heart! The cloud that spread
Its chilling veil between them, now had past-
Too long awaking-but they woke at last!
He rush'd where clung the fainting fair one-sought
To soothe with hopes he felt not, cherish'd not;
And while in passionate support he press'd,
She raised her eyes-then swiftly on his breast
Hid her blanch'd cheek-as if resign'd to share
The worst with him;-nay, die contented there!
That silent act was fondly eloquent;
And to the youth's deep soul, like lightning, sent
A gleam of rapture-exquisite yet brief,
As his (poor wretch!) that in the grave of grief
Feels Fortune's sun burst on him, and looks up
With hope to heaven-forgetful of the cup,
The deadly cup his shivering hand yet strain'd-
A hot heart-pang reminds him-it is drain'd!
Away with words! for when had true love ever
A happy star to bless it?-Never, never!
And oh, the brightest after-smile of Fate
Is but a sad reprieve, which comes-too late!
The riot shout peal'd on;-but deep distress
Had sunk all else in utter hopelessness!
One mark'd the strife of frenzy and despair-
The most concern'd, and yet the calmest there;
In bitterness of soul beheld his crew-
He should have known them, and he thought he knew;
The blood-hound on the leash may fawn, obey-
He'll tear thee, shouldst thou cross him at his prey
One only trust survives, a doubtful one-
But O, how cherish'd, every other gone!
"While hold our cables, fear not!"-As he spoke,
A sea burst o'er them, and their cables broke!
Then like a lion bounding from the toil,
The ship shot through the billow's black recoil;
Urged by the howling blast-all guidance gone-
They shuddering felt her reeling, rushing on-
Nor dared to question where; nor dared to cast
One asking look-for that might be their last!
What frowns so steep in front-a cliff? a rock?
The groaning vessel staggers in the shock!
The last shriek rings.
Hark! whence that voice they hear
Loud o'er the rushing waters-loud and near?
Alas! they dream!-'tis but the ocean roar!-
Oh no! it echoes from the swarming shore!
Kind Heaven, thy hand was there. With swelling
The vast waves heaved the giant hull aground;
And, ebbing with the turning tide, became,
Like dying inonsters, impotent and tame;
Wedged in the sand their chafing can no more
Than lave her sides, and deaden with the roar
The clamorous burst of joy. But some there were
Whose joy was voiceless as their late despair-
Whose heavenward eyes, clasp'd hands, and stream-
Did speak a language which the lip ne'er speaks!
O, he were heartless, in that passionate hour,
Who could not feel that weakness hath its power,
When gentle woman, sobbing and subdued,
Breathed forth her vow of holy gratitude,
Warm as the contrite Mary's, when-forgiven-
An angel smiled, recording it in heaven!
HE is the freeman whom the truth makes free,
And all are slaves beside. There's not a chain
That hellish foes confederate for his harm
Can wind around him, but he casts it off
With as much ease as Samson his green withes.
He looks abroad into the varied field
Of nature; and though poor, perhaps, compared
With those whose mansions glitter in his sight,
Calls the delightful scenery all his own.
His are the mountains, and the valleys his,
And the resplendent rivers. His to enjoy
With a propriety that none can feel,
But who, with filial confidence inspired,
Can lift to Heaven an unpresumptuous eye,
And smiling say-"My father made them all!"
Are they not his by a peculiar right,
And by an emphasis of interest his,
Whose eyes they fill with tears of holy joy,
Whose heart with praise, and whose exalted mind
With worthy thoughts of that unwearied love
That plann'd and built, and still upholds, a world
So clothed with beauty, for rebellious man?
Yes, ye may fill your garners, ye that reap
The loaded soil, and ye may waste much good
In senseless riot; but ye will not find
In feast, or in the chase, in song or dance,
A liberty like his, who, unimpeach'd
Of usurpation, and to no man's wrong,
Appropriates nature as his Father's work,
And has a richer use of your's than you.
He is indeed a freeman. Free by birth
Of no mean city, plann'd or e'er the hills
Were built, the fountains open'd, or the sea
With all his roaring multitude of waves.
His freedom is the same in every state;
And no condition of this changeful life,
So manifold in cares, whose every day
Brings its own evil with it, makes it less;
For he has wings that neither sickness, pain,
Nor penury can cripple or confine;
No nook so narrow but he spreads them there
With ease, and is at large. The oppressor holds
His body bound; but knows not what a range
His spirit takes, unconscious of a chain;
And that to bind him is a vain attempt,
Whom God delights in, and in whom he dwells.
Acquaint thyself with God, if thou wouldst taste
His works. Admitted once to his embrace,
Thou shalt perceive that thou wast blind before:
Thine eye shall be instructed; and thine heart
Made pure shall relish with divine delight,
Till then unfelt, what hands divine have wrought.
Brutes graze the mountain top with faces prone,
And eyes intent upon the scanty herb
It yields them; or, recumbent on its brow,
Ruminate, heedless of the scene outspread
Beneath, beyond, and stretching far away,
From inland regions to the distant main.
Man views it and admires, but rests content
With what he views. The landscape has his praise
But not its Author. Unconcern'd who form'd
The paradise he sees, he finds it such;
And, such well-pleased to find it, asks no more.
Not so the mind that has been touch'd from Heaven
And in the school of sacred wisdom taught
To read his wonders, in whose thought the world,
Fair as it is, existed ere it was.
Not for its own sake merely, but for his
Much more who fashion'd it, he gives it praise;
Praise that from earth resulting, as it ought,
To earth's acknowledged sovereign, finds at once
Its only just proprietor in Him.
The soul that sees him, or receives sublimed
New faculties, or learns at least to employ
More worthily the powers she own'd before,
Discerns in all things what, with stupid gaze
Of ignorance, till then she overlook'd,