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Their desperate efforts seem'd all useless And long had voyaged through many a grown,
stormy sea, A glimpse of sunshine set some hands to And if he wept at length, they were not fears
That made his eyelids as a woman's be, The stronger pump'd, the weaker thrumm’d But he, poor fellow, had a wife and children,
Two things for dying people quite bewil
Under the vessel's keel the sail was pass’d,
the bow; 'Tis not so pleasant in the Gulf of Lyons. Some hoisted out the boats; and there was
That beggd Pedrillo for an absolution, There winds and waves had hurld them, Who told him to be damn'd-in his confusion.
and from thence, Without their will, they carried them
Some lash'd them in their hammocks, some For they were forced with steering to
put on dispense,
Their best clothes as if going to a fair; And never had as yet a quiet day
Some cursed the day on which they saw On which they might repose, or even com
And gnash’d their teeth, and, howling, A jury-mast or rudder, or could say
tore their hair; The ship would swim an hour, which, by And others went on, as they had begun,
good luck, Getting the boats out, being well aware Still swam-though not exactly like a duck. That a tight boat will live in a rough sea,
Unless with breakers close beneath her lee,
The wind, in fact, perhaps was rather less,
Having been several days in great distress, To weather out much longer; the distress | Twas difficult to get out such provision Was also great with which they had to As now might render their long suffering çope
less : For want of water, and their solid mess Men, even when dying, dislike inanition; Was scant enough: in vain the telescope Their stock was damaged by the weather's Was used – nor sail nor shore appear'd in
stress : sight,
Two casks of biscuit and a keg of butter Nought but the heavy sea, and coming were all that could be thrown into the cutter.
But in the long-boat they contrived to stow Again the weather threaten’d, -again blew Some pounds of bread, though injured by A gale, and in the fore- and after-hold
the wet; Water appear'd; yet, though the people Water, a twenty-gallon-cask or so;
Six flasks of wine; and they contrived to get All this, the most were patient, and some A portion of their beef up from below,
And with a piece of pork, moreover, met, Until the chains and leathers were worn But scarce enough to serve them for a through
luncheonOf all our pumps:—a wreck complete she Then there was rum, eight gallons in a rollid,
puncheon. At mercy of the waves, whose mercies are Like human beings during civil war.
The other boats, the yawl and pinnace, had
Been stove in the beginning of the gale; Then caine the carpenter, at last, with tears And the long-boat's condition was but bad, In his rough eyes, and told the captain, he As there were but two blankets for a sail, Could do no more; he was a man in years, I And one oar for a mast, which a young lad
Threw in by good luck over the ship's rail; | Accompanied with a convulsive splash, And two boats could not hold, far less be A solitary shriek-the bubbling cry
Of some strong swimmer in his agony. To save one half the people then on board.
The boats, as stated, had got off before, Tw twilight, for the sunless day went And in them crowded several of the crew;
And yet their present hope was hardly more Over the waste of waters ; like a veil, Than what it had been, for so strong it blew Which, if withdrawn, would but disclose There was slight chance of reaching any the frown
shore; Of one who hates us, so the night was shown, And then they were too many, though so And grimly darkled o'er their faces pale,
few And hopeless eyes, which o'er the deep alone Nine in the cutter, thirty in the boat, Gazed dim and desolate; twelve days had Were counted in them when they got afloat.
All the rest perish'd ; near two handred souls
Had left their bodies; and,what's worse,alas! Some trial had been making at a raft, When over catholics the ocean rolls, With little hope in such a rolling sea, They must wait several weeks before a mass A sort of thing at which one would have Takes off one peck of purgatorial coals,
Because, till people know what's come to pass, If any laughter at such times could be,
They won't lay out their money on the dead Unless with people who too much have It costs three francs for every mass that's qnaffd,
said. And have a kind of wild and horrid glee, Half epileptical, and half hysterical :Their preservation would have been a Juan got into the long boat, and there
Contrived to help Pedrillo to a place;
For Juan wore the magisterial face At half-past eight o'clock, booms, hen-coops, Which courage gives, while poor Pedrillo's spars,
pair And all things, for a chance, had been cast of eyes were crying for their owner's case :
Battista, though, (a name call'd shortly Tita) That still could keep afloat the struggling Was lost by getting at some aqua-vita.
tars, For yet they strove, although of no great use: There was no light in heaven but a few stars; Pedro, his valet, too, he tried to save; The boats put off o'ercrowded with their But the same cause, conducive to his loss,
Left him so drunk, he jump'd into the wave She gave a heel, and then a lurch to port, As o'er the cutter's edge he tried to cross, And, going down head-foremost-sunk, in And so he found a wine-and-watery grave:
They could not rescue him,although so close,
And for the boat-the crew kept crowding Then rose from sea to sky the wild farewell!
in it. Then shriek’d the timid and stood still the
brave; Then some leap'd overboard with dreadful A small old spaniel, which had been Don yell,
Jose's, As eager to anticipate their grave; His father's, whom he loved, as yemay think, And the sea yawnd around her like a hell, For on such things the memory reposes And down she suck'd with her the whirling With tenderness , — stood howling on the wave,
brink, Like one who grapples with his enemy, Knowing, ( dogs have such intellectual And strives to strangle him before he die.
noses !) No doubt, the vessel was about to sink;
And Juan caught him up, and ere he stepp'd And first one universal shriek there rush'd, Off, threw him in, then after him he leap'd. Louder than the loud ocean, like a crash Of echoing thunder; and then all was hushid, Save the wild wind and the remorseless dash He also stuffd his money where he could of billows; but at intervals there gush’d, 1 About his person, and Pedrillo's too,
Who let him do, in fact, whate'er he would, Because they still can hope, nor shines the Not knowing what himself to say or do,
knife As every rising wave his dread renewd; Nor shears of Atropos before their visions: But Juan, trusting they might still get Despair of all recovery spoils longevity,
And makes men's miseries 'of alarming And deeming there were remedies for any ill,
brevity. Thus re-embark’d his tutor and his spaniel.
'Tis said that persons living on annuities 'Twas a rough night, and blew so stiffly yet, Are longer lived than others,—God knows That the sail was becalm'd between the seas,
why, Though on the wave's high top too much to Unless to plague the grantors,—-yet so true set,
it is, They dared not take it in for all the breeze; That some, I really think, do never die; Each sea curld o'er the stern, and kept of any creditors the worst a Jew it is,
And that's their mode of furnishing supply: And made them bale without a moment's In my young days they lent me cash that ease,
way, So that themselves as well as hopes were Which I found very troublesome to pay.
dampd, And the poor little cutter quickly swamp’d.
Ils thus with people in an open boat,
They live upon the love of life, and bear Nine souls more went in her: the long- More than can be believed, or even thought,
And stand, like rocks, the tempest's wear Kept above water, with an var for mast,
and tear; Two blankets stitch'd together,answering ill And hardship still has been the sailor's lot, Instead of sail, were to the oar made fast; Since Noali's ark went cruising here and Though every wave rolld menacing to fill,
there And present peril all before surpass’d, She had a curious crew as well as cargo, They grieved for those who perish'd with Like the first old Greek privateer, the Argo.
the cutter, And also for the biscuit-caks and butter.
But man is a carnivorous production,
And must have meals, at least one meal a day; The sun rose red and fiery, a sure sign He cannot live,like woodcocks, upon suction, Of the continuance of the gale: to run But,like the shark and tiger,must have prey: Before the sea , until it should grow fine, Although his anatomical construction Was all that for the present could be done: Bears vegetables in a grumbling way, A few tea-spoonfuls of their rum and wine Your labouring people think beyond all Were served out to the people, who begun
question, To faint, and damaged bread wet through Beef, veal, and mutton, better for digestion.
the bags, And most of them had little clothes but rags.
And thus it was with this our hapless crew ;
For on the third day there came on a calm, They counted thirty, crowded in a space And though, at first, their strength it might Which left scarce room for motion or
And, lying on their weariness like balm, They did their best to modify their case, Lulld them like turtles sleeping on the One half sate up, though numb'd with the
blue immersion, Of ocean, when they woke they felt a qualm, While t'other half were laid down in their And fell all ravenously on their provision,
Instead of hoarding it with due precision. At watch and watch; thus, shivering like
the tertian Ague irf its cold fit, they fill'd their boat, The consequence was easily foreseenWith nothing but the sky for a great-coat. They ate up all they had, and drank their
In spite of all remonstrances, and then 'Tis very certain the desire of life On what, in fact, next day were they to dine? Prolongs it; this is obvious to physicians, They hoped the wind would rise, these When patients, neither plagued with friends
foolish men ! nor wife,
And carry them to shore; these hopes were Survive through very desperate conditions,
But, as they had but one oar, and that brittle, But of materials that much shock the Muse -It would have been more wise to save their Having no paper, for the want of better,
They took by force from Juan Julia's letter.
The fourth day came, but not a breath of air, The lots were made, and mark’d, and mix'd, And Ocean slumber'd like an unwean'd child:
and handed, The fifth day, and their boat lay floating In silent horror, and their distribution
Lull'd even the savage hunger which The sea and sky were blue, and clear, and
Like the Promethean vulture, this pollution; With their one oar (I wish they had had a None in particular had sought or plann'd it;
'Twas nature gnaw'd them to this resolution, What could they do? and hunger's rage grew By which none were permitted to be neuter-
And the lot fell on Juan's luckless tutor. So Juan's spaniel, spite of his entreating, Was kill'd, and portion'd out for present
He but requested to be bled to death :
Pedrillo, and so gently ebb’d his breath, On the sixth day they fed upon his hide, You hardly could perceive when he was And Juan, who had still refused, because
dead. The creature was his father's dog that died, He died as born, a Catholic in faith, Now feeling all the vulture in his jaws, Like most in the belief in which they're With some remorse received (though first
And first a little crucifix he kiss'd, As a great favour, one of the fore-paws, And then held out his jugular and wrist. Which he divided with Pedrillo, who Devour'd it, longing for the other too.
The surgeon, as there was no other fee,
Had his first choice of morsels for his pains; The seventh day, and no wind-- the burning Bat being thirstiest at the moment, he
Preferr'd a draught from the fast-flowing Blister'd and scorch’d, and, stagnant on the
Part was divided, part thrown in the sea, They lay like carcasses ; and hope was none, And such things as the entrails and the Save in the breeze that came not; savagely
brains They glared upon each other—all was done, Regaled two sharks, who follow'd o'er the Water, and wine, and food, and you might
The sailors ate the rest of poor Pedrillo. The longings of the cannibal arise (Although they spoke not) in their wolfish
The sailors ate him, all save three or four,
To these was added Juan, who, before
more; An ominous, and wild, and desperate sound ; 'Twas not to be expected that he should, And when his comrade's thought each Even in extremity of their disaster,
sufferer knew, Dinc with them on his pastor and his master. Twas but his own, suppress'd till now, he
found : And out they spoke of lots for flesh and blood, 'Twas better that he did not; for, in fact, And who should die to be his fellows' food. The consequence was awful in the extreme:
For they, who were most rávenous in the
act, Batere they came to this, they that day shared Went raging mad — Lord ! how they did Some leathern caps, and what remain’d of
And foam and roll,with strange convulsions And then they look’d around them, and
Drinking salt-water like a mountain-stream, And none to be the sacrifice would choose; Tearing, and grinning, howling, screeching, At length the lots were torn up and
swearing, prepared, And, with hyaena-laughter, died despairing.
Their numbers were much thinn'd by this, It pour'd down torrents, but they were uo infliction,
richer, And all the rest were thin enough, heaven Until they found a ragged piece of sheet,
Which served them as a sort of spongy And some of them had lost their recollection,
pitcher, Happier than they who still perceived their And when they deem'd its moisture was woes ;
complete, But others ponder'd on a new dissection, They wrung it out, and, though a thirsty As if not warn’d sufficiently by those
ditcher Who had already perish’d, suffering madly, Might not have thought the scanty draught For having used their appetites so sadly.
As a full pot of porter, to their thinking
They ne'er till now had known the joys And next they thought upon the master's
of drinking mate, As fattest; but he saved himself, because, Besides being much averge from such a fate, And their baked lips, with many a bloody There were some other reasons: the first
Suck'd in the moisture, which like nectar He had been rather indisposed of late,
stream'd; And that which chiefly proved his saving Their throats were ovens,their swoln tongues clause,
were black, Was a small present made to him at Cadiz, As the rich man's in hell,who vainly scream'd By general subscription of the ladies. To beg the beggar, who could not rain back
A drop of dew, when every drop had seem'd
To taste of heaven-if this be true, indeed, Of poor Pedrillo something still remain'd, Some Christians have a comfortable creed. But was used sparingly,
,—some were afraid, And others still their appetites constrain’d, Or but at times a little supper made ; There were two fathers in this ghastly crew, All except Juan, who throughout abstain'd, And with them their two sons, of whom Chewing a piece of bamboo, and some
the one lead :
Was more robust and hardy to the view, At length they caught two boobies and a But he died early; and when he was gone,
His nearest messmate told his sire,who threw And then they left off eating the dead One glance on him, and said, “Heaven's body.
will be done! I can do nothing,” and he saw him thrown
Into the deep, without a tear or groan. And if Pedrillo's fate should shocking be, Remember Ugolino condescends To eat the head of his arch-enemy The other father had a weaklier child, The moment after he politely ends Of a soft cheek, and aspect delicate; His tale ; if foes be food in hell, at sea But the boy bore up long, and with a mild Tis surely fair to dine upon our friends, And patient spirit, held aloof his fate; When shipwreck's short allowance grows Little he said, and now and then he smiled,
As if to win a part from off the weight Without being much more horrible than He saw increasing on his father's heart,
And the same night there fell a shower of
And o'er him bent his sire, and never raised For which their mouths gaped, like the His eyes from off his face, but wiped the cracks of earth
foam When dried to summer-dust; till taught by From his pale lips, and ever on him gazed;
And when the wished-for shower at length Men really know not what good water's
was come, worth:
And the boy's eyes, which the dull film If you had been in Turkey or in Spain,
half glazed, Or with a famish'd boat's-crew had your Brighten'd, and for a moment seem'd to birth,
roam, Or in the desert heard the camel's bell, He squeezed from out a rag some drops of You'd wish yourself where Truth is, in a
Into his dying child's mouth—but in vain.