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The wayward steel, to truth thus reconciled,
lash'd on by destiny severe, With horror fraught, the dreadful scene drew near! The ship hangs hovering on the verge of death, Hell yawns, rocks rise, and breakers roar beneath! In vain, alas! the sacred shades of yore Would arm the mind with philosophic lore; In vain they'd teach us at the latest breath, To smile serene amid the pangs of death. Even Zeno's self, and Epictetus old, This fell abyss had shudder'd to behold. Had Socrates, for godlike virtue famed, And wisest of the sons of men proclaim'd, Beheld this scene of phrensy and distress, His soul had trembled to its last recess! Oh yet confirm my heart, ye powers above, This last tremendous shock of fate to prove ; The tottering frame of reason yet sustain! Nor let this total ruin whirl my brain !
In vain the chords and axes were prepared, For now th' audacious seas insult the yard ; High o'er the ship they throw a horrid shade, And o'er her burst in terrible cascade. Uplifted on the surge, to heaven she fies, Her shatter'd top half buried in the skies, Then, headlong plunging, thunders on the ground. Earth groans! air trembles ! and the deeps resound! Her giant bulk the dread concussion feels, And, quivering with the wound, in torment reels. So reels, convulsed with agonizing throes, The bleeding bull beneath the murd'rer's blows. Again she plunges! hark! a second shock Tears her strong bottom on the marble rock! Down on the vale of death, with dismal cries, The fated victims, shuddering, roll their eyes In wild despair, while yet another stroke, With deep convulsion, rends the solid oak :
Till like the mine, in whose infernal cell
As o'er the surge the stooping mainmast hung, Still on the rigging thirty seamen clung : Some, struggling, on a broken crag were cast, And there, by oozy tangles, grappled fast: A while they bore th' o'erwhelming billows' rage, Unequal combat with their fate to wage ; Till, all benumb'd and feeble, they forego Their slippery hold, and sink to shades below.
JOHN LOGAN. 1748–1788.
ODE TO THE CUCKOO.
Hall, beauteous stranger of the grove!
Thou messenger of spring!
And woods thy welcome sing.
Thy certain voice we hear;
Or mark the rolling year?
I hail the time of flowers,
From birds among the bowers.
To pull the primrose gay,
And imitates thy lay.
What time the pea puts on the bloom,
Thou fliest thy vocal vale,
Another Spring to hail.
Sweet bird! thy bower is ever green,
Thy sky is ever clear ;
No winter in thy year!
Oh, could I fly, I'd fly with thee!
We'd make, with joyful wing, Our annual visit o'er the globe,
Companions of the Spring.
Har. 'Tis midnight dark : 'tis silence deep, My father's house is hush'd in sleep; In dreams the lover meets his bride, She sees her lover at her side ; The mourner's voice is now suppress'd, A while the weary are at rest : 'Tis midnight dark; 'tis silence deep; I only wake, and wake to weep.
The window's drawn, the ladder waits,
The dog howls dismal in the heath,
Ah me! disaster's in the sound !
Hen. I come, I come, my love! my life!
Har. I fear to go—I dare not stay.
Hen. No evil ever shall betide
Har. Still beats my bosom with alarms:
I leave a mother bathed in tears ;
Hen. My Harriet, dissipate thy fears,
Transplanted to a better sky;
Har. My heart believes my love ; but still