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Then tower'd the masts; the canvas swellid on high ;
And waving streamers floated in the sky.
Thus the rich vessel moves in trim array,
Like some fair virgin on her bridal day.
Thus like a swan she cleaves the wat’ry plain,
The pride and wonder of the Ægean main !

DISTRESS OF THE VESSEL-HEAVING OF THE GUNS

OVERBOARD.

FROM THE SAME.

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.
Like some strong watch-tower nodding o'er the deep,
Whose rocky base the foaming waters sweep,
Untam'd he stood; the stern aerial war
Had mark'd his honest face with many a scar.-

Meanwhile Arion, traversing the waist,
The cordage of the leeward guns unbrac'd,
And pointed crows beneath the metal plac'd.
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 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.

COUNCIL OF OFFICERS-ALBERT'S DIRECTIONS 10

PREPARE FOR THE LAST EXTREMITIES.

FROM THE SAME, Again the chief th’ instructive draught extends, And o'er the figur’d plane attentive bends; To him the motion of each orb was known, That wheels around the sun's refulgent throne; But here, alas, his science nought 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 explor'd, As swept across the graduated chord. Her place discover'd 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 ;

VOL. y.

For if on those destructive shallows tost,
The helpless bark with all her crew are lost:
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 rais'd aloft the 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 ruld the fearful hour !
Beneath tremendous roll'd the flashing tide,
Where fate on every billow seem'd to ride-
Enclos'd with ills; by peril unsubdu’d,
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 trouble share,
Approv'd 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, th' 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

sail, Attempt to steer obliquely on the gale ;

every

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For then, if broaching sideward to tħe sea,
Our dropsy'd ship may founder by the lee;
No more obedient to the pilot's power,
Th’ o'erwhelming wave may soon her frame devour.

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 counsels 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 speech, and naked was his heart;
Alike to him each climate and each blast;
The first in dạnger, in retreat the last :
Sagacious balancing th' oppos'd events,
From Albert his opinion thus dissents.

Too true the perils of the present hour, Where toils exceeding 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, Chas'd by this tempest and outrageous sea ? For while its violence the tempest keeps, Bereft of every sạil we roam the deeps : At random driven, to present death we haste; And one short hour perhaps may be our last.

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