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But in this case I also must remark,
'T was well this bird of promise did not perch,
Because the tackle of our shatter'd bark
And had it been the dove from Noah's ark,
Which in their way that moment chanced to fall,
They would have eat her, olive-branch and all.
With twilight it again came on to blow,
But not with violence; the stars shone out,
The boat made way j yet now they were so low, They knew not where nor what they were about;
Some fancied they saw land, and some said " No!" The frequent fog-banks gave them cause to doubt —
Some swore that they heard breakers, others guns, >
And all mistook about the latter once.
As morning broke, the light wind died away,
When he who had the watch sung out and swore,
If't was not land that rose with the sun's ray,
And the rest rubb'd their eyes and saw a bay.
Or thought they saw, and shaped their course for
For shore it was, and gradually grew [shore;
Distinct, and high, and palpable to view.
And then of these some part burst into tears,
Could not yet separate their hopes from fears,
While a few pray'd—(the first time for some years)—
Asleep: they shook them by the hand and head,
And tried to awaken them, but found them dead.
The day before, fast sleeping on the water,
And by good fortune, gliding softly, caught her, 4
Proved even still a more nutritious matter,
They thought that in such perils, more than chance
Had sent them this for their deliverance.
The land appear'd a high and rocky coast,
Set by a current, toward it: they were lost
to flutter there till dark. Trifling as this circumstance may appear. It was considered by us all as a propitious omen." — Lots of the Lady Hobart.\
I found It necessary to caution the people against being deceived by the appearance of land, or calling out till they were convinced of the reality, more especially as fog-banks are olten mistaken for land: several of the poor fellows nevertheless repeatedly exclaimed they heard breakers, and some the firing of guns" — lbid.2
* [" At length one of them broke into a most immoderate swearing fit of joy, which I could not restrain, and declared, that he had never seen land in his life, if what he now saw was not land." — Centaur.}
5 [" The joy at a speedy relief afTected us all in a most remarkable way. Many burst into tears . some looked at each other with a stupid stare, as if doubtful of the reality of what they saw ; while several were In such a lethargic condition, that no animating words could rouse them to exertion. At
j To what part of the earth they had been tost, I So changeable had been the winds that blew; | Some thought it was Mount /Etna, some the highlands | Of Candla, Cyprus, Rhodes, or other islands.
Meantime the current, with a rising gale.
Like Charon's bark of spectres, dull and pale:
And three dead, whom their strength could not avail
Though the two sharks still follow'd them, and dash'd
The spray into their faces as they splash'd.
Famine, despair, cold, thirst, and heat, had done
Such things a mother had not known her son
By night chill'd, by day scorch'd, thus one by one
But chiefly by a species of self-slaughter,
In washing down Fedrillo with salt water.
As they drew nigh the land, which now was seen
They felt the freshness of its growing green.
And fell upon their glazed eyes like a screen
From glistening waves, and skies so hot and bare—
Lovely seem'd any object that should sweep
Away the vast, salt, dread, eternal deep.
The shore look'd wild, without a trace of man.
Were mad for land, and thus their course they ran.
A reef between them also now began
To show its boiling surf and bounding spray,
But finding no place for their landing better,
They ran the boat for shore, — and overset her.5
But in his native stream, the Guadalquivir,
And having learnt to swim in that sweet river,
A better swimmer you could scarce see ever.
As once (a feat on which ourselves we prided)
Lcander, Mr. Ekenhead, and I did. «
this affecting period, I proposed offering up oar solemn thanks to Heaven for the miraculous deliverance."—£*stj Hobart.]
4 [" After having suffered the horrors of hunger and thirst for many days, they providentially took a small turtle whilst floating asleep on the surface of the water." — Thomas.]
s [" Our bodies were nothing but skin and boors, our limbs were full of sores, and we were clothed In rags. An indifferent spectator would have been at a loss which awtt to admire, the eyes of famine sparkling at immediate rrtirf. ortb* horror of their preservers at the sight of so many spectrrw, whose ghastly countenances, if the cause had been unknown, would rather have excited terror than pity."— Blich.}
6 [" They discovered land right ahead, and steered far *■ There being a very heavy surf, they endeavoured to tun tbe boat's head to it, which, from weakness, they were imsfrW to complete, and soon afterwards the boat upset."— Esctnut uf Deserters from St. Helena.]
'[See ante, p. ! I.Vj
So here, though faint, emaciated, and stark,
With the quick wave, and gain, ere it was dark,
The greatest danger here was from a shark.
As for the other two, they coidd not swim,
So nobody arrived on shore but him.
Nor yet had he arrived but for the oar,
Just as his feeble arms could strike no more.
And the hard waveo'erwhelmed him as't was dash'd
Within his grasp ; he clung to it, and sore
At last, with swimming, wading, scrambling, he
Roll'd on the beach, half-senseless, from the sea:
There, breathless, with his digging nails he clung
From whose reluctant roar his life he wrung,
And there he lay, full length, where he was flung,
With just enough of life to feel its pain,
And deem that it was saved, perhaps, in vain.
With slow and staggering effort he arose.
And quivering hand ; and then he look'd for those
But none of them appcar'd to share his woes,
Who died two days before, and now had found
An unknown barren beach for burial ground.
And as he gazed, his dizzy brain spun fast.
And down he sunk ; and as he sunk, the sand Swam round and round, and all his senses pass'd:
He fell upon his side, and his stretch'd hand Droop'd dripping on the oar (their jury-mast),
And, like a wither'd lily, on the land His slender frame and pallid aspect lay, As fair a thing as e'er was form'd of clay.
How long in his damp trance young Juan lay
And Time had nothing more of night nor day
And how this heavy falntncss pass'd away
He knew not, till each painful pulse and limb,
And tingling vein, seem'd throbbing back to life,
For Death, though vanqulsh'd, still retired with strife.
His eyes he open'd, shut, again unclosed,
He still was in the boat, and had but dozed,
And wish'd it death in which he had reposed,
And slowly by his swimming eyes was seen
'T was bending close o'er his, and the small mouth
And chaflng him, the soft warm hand of youth
And, bathing bis chill temples, tried to soothe
Its gentle touch and trembling care, a sigh
To these kind efforts made a low reply.
Then was the cordial pour'd, and mantle flung
Raised higher the faint head which o'er it hung;
Pillow'd his death-like forehead ; then she wrung
And watch'd with eagerness each throb that drew
A sigh from his heaved bosom—and hers, too.
And lifting him with care into the cave,
Young, yet her elder, and of brow less grave,
To kindle fire, and as the new flames gave
Light to the rocks that roof'd them, which the sun
Had never seen, the maid, or whatsoe'er
She was, appcar'd distinct, and tall, and fair.
Her brow was overhung with coins of gold,
Her clustering hair, whose longer locks were roll'd
Even of the highest for a female mould,
There was a something which bespoke command,
As one who was a lady in the land.
Her hair, I said, was auburn; but her eyes
Were black as death, their lashes the same hue,
Of downcast length, in whose silk shadow lies
Forth from its raven fringe the full glance flies,
T is as the snake late coil'd, who pours his length,
And hurls at once his venom and his strength.
Her brow was white and low, her cheek's pure dye
Short upper lip—sweet lips 1 that make us sigh
Fit for the model of a statuary
(A race of mere impostors, when all's done—
I 'vc seen much finer women, ripe and real,
Than all the nonsense of their stone ideal), i
111 tell you why I say so, for't is just
One should not rail without a decent cause:
There was an Irish lady, to whose bust
A frequent model; and if e'er she must
Yield to stern Time and Nature's wrinkling laws,
They will destroy a face which mortal thought.
Ne'er compass'd, nor less mortal chisel wrought.
1 [" A set of humhuR rascals, when all's done — I've seen much finer women, ripe and real. Than all the nonsense of their d d Ideal." — MS.
And such was she, the lady of the cave:
Her dress was very different from the Spanish,
Simpler, and yet of colours not so grave;
For, as you know, the Spanish women banish
Bright hues when out of doors, and yet, while wave Around them (what I hope will never vanish)
The basquina and the mantilla, they
Seem at the same time mystical and gay.
But with our damsel this was not the case:
Her locks curi'd negligently round her face,
But through them gold and gems profusely shone:
Her girdle sparkled, and the richest lace
Flow'd in her veil, and many a precious stone
Flash'd on her little hand; but, what was shocking,
Her small snow feet had slippers, but no stocking.
The other female's dress was not unlike,
But of inferior materials: she
Her hair had silver only, bound to be
Was coarser; and her air, though firm, less free; Her hair was thicker, but less long; her eyes As black, but quicker, and of smaller size.
And these two tended him, and cheer'd him both
Which are—(as I must own)—of female growth,
They made a most superior mess of broth,
But the best dish that e'er was cook'd since Homer's
Achilles order'd dinner for new comers.
I '11 tell you who they were, this female pair,
Besides, I hate all mystery, and that air
And so, In short, the girls they really were
Mistress and maid ; the first was only daughter
Of an old man, who lived upon the water.
A fisherman he had been in bis youth,
And still a sort of fisherman was he; But other speculations were, in sooth,
Added to his connection with the sea, Perhaps not so respectable, in truth:
A little smuggling, and some piracy, Left him, at last, the sole of many masters Of an ill-gotten million of piastres.
A fisher, therefore, was he,—though of men,
For wandering merchant-vessels, now and then,
The cargoes he confiscated, and gain
He sought in the slave-market too, and dish'd
Full many a morsel for that Turkish trade,
By which, no doubt, a good deal may be made.
He was a Greek, and on his isle had built
A very handsome house from out bis guilt,
Heaven knows what cash he got, or blood he spilL,
But this I know, it was a spacious building.
Full of barbaric carving, paint, and gilding.
The greatest heiress of the Eastern Isles;
Her dowry was as nothing to her smiles:
She grew to womanhood, and between whiles
And walking out upon the beach, below
The cliff, towards sunset, on that day she found, Insensible,—not dead, but nearly so,—
Don Juan, almost famish'd, and half drovm'd; But being naked, she was shock'd, you know,
Yet deem'd herself in common pity bound, As far as in her lay, "to take him in,
A stranger" dying, with so white a skin.
But taking him into her father's house
But like conveying to the cat the mouse,
Because the good old man had so much "raic,"
He would have hospitably cured the stranger,
And sold him instantly when out of danger.
And therefore, with her maid, she thought it best
To place him in the cave for present rest:
Their charity increased about their guest;
It open'd half the turnpike-gates to heaven—
(St. Paul says, 'tis the toll which must be given.)
They made a fire,—but such a fire as they
Materials as were cast up round the bay,—
Were nearly tinder, since so long they lay
But, by God's grace, here wrecks were in such ptenty,
That there was fuel to have furnish'd twenty.
He had a bed of furs, and a pelisse.
For Haidee stripp'd her sables off to make
His couch; and, that he might be more at ease, And warm, in case by chance he should awake,
They also gave a petticoat apiece,1
She and her maid,—and promised by daybreak
To pay him a fresh visit, with a dish
For breakfast, of eggs, coffee, bread, and fish.
1 [" And such a bed of furs, and a pelisse." — MS J
And thus they left him to his lone repose:
Juan slept like a top, or like the dead,
Just for the present; and in his lull'd head
Throbb'd in accursed dreams, which sometimes Unwelcome visions of our former years, Till the eye, cheated, opens thick with tears.
Young Juan slept all dreamless: —but the maid,
Look'd back upon him, and a moment stay'd,
Be slumber'd; yet she thought, at least she said
He had pronounced her name—but she forgot
That at this moment Juan knew it not.
And pensive to her father's house she went,
Enjoining silence strict to Zoe, who
She being wiser by a year or two:
And Zoe spent hers, as most women do,
The morn broke, and found Juan slumbering still
His rest; the rushing of the neighbouring rill,
Troubled him not, and he might sleep his fill;
Had sufler'd more—his hardships were comparative5
To those related in my grand-dad's " Narrative."3
And started from her sleep, and, turning o'er, Drcam'd of a thousand wrecks, o'er which she stumbled,
And handsome corpses strew'd upon the shore; And woke her maid so early that she grumbled,
And call'd her father's old slaves up, who swore In several oaths—Armenian, Turk, and Greek— They knew not what to think of such a freak.
But up she got, and up she made them get,
Sweet skies just when he rises, or is set;
1 [ "which often spread,
And come like opening hell upon the mind,
No 4 baseless fabric,' but' a wreck behind.' "— MS.]
3 [" Had e'er escaped more dangers on the deep; —
And those who are not drown'd, at least mar sleep."—
3 [Entitled " A Narrative of the Honourable John Byron (Commodore in a late expedition round the world), containing an account of the great distresses suffered by himself and his companions on the coast of Patagonia, from the year 1740, till their arrival in England, 1746; written by Himself." This narrative, one of the most interesting that ever appeared, was published In 1768.]
[* " Wore for a husband—or some such like brute." — MS.]
* [ "although of late
I ve changed, for some few yoars, the day to night."— MS.]
8 [In the year 1784, Dr. Franklin published a most ingenious essay on the advantages of early rising, as a mere piece
Bright Phoebus, while the mountains stUl are wet
With mist, and every bird with him awakes, And night is flung off like a mourning suit Worn for a husband,—or some other brute. 4
I say, the sun is a most glorious sight,
I have sat up on purpose aU the night,5
And so all ye, who would be in the right
In health and purse 6, begin your day to date
From daybreak, and when coffin'd at fourscore,
Engrave upon the plate, you rose at four.'
And Haldee met the morning face to face;
Her own was freshest, though a feverish flush Had dyed it with the headlong blood, whose race
From heart to cheek is curb'd into a blush, Like to a torrent which a mountain's base,
That overpowers some Alpine river's rush, Checks to a lake, whose waves in circles spread; Or the Red Sea—but the sea is not red. a
And down the cUff the island virgin came,
And near the cave her quick light footsteps drew,
While the sun smiled on her with his first flame,
Taking her for a sister; just the same
Mistake you would have made on seeing the two,
Although the mortal, quite as fresh and fair,
Had all the advantage, too, of not being air. 9
And when Into the cavern Haldee stepp'd
All timidly, yet rapidly, she saw That like an infant Juan sweetly slept;
And then she stopp'd, and stood as if in awe (For sleep is awful), and on tiptoe crept
And wrapt him closer, lest the air, too raw, Should reach his blood, then o'er him still as death Bent, with hush'd lips, that drank his scarce-drawn breath.
And thus like to an angel o'er the dying
Who die in righteousness, she lean'd; and there
AU tranquiUy the shipwreck'd boy was lying,
But Zoe the meantime some eggs was frying,
Must breakfast, and betimes—lest they should ask it,
She drew out her provision from the basket.
of economy. He estimates the saving that might be made in Paris alone, by using sunshine instead of candles, at ninetysix millions of French livres, or four millions sterling per annum— Hill.]
7 [The plan of going to bed early, and rising bet!me9, has been called the golden rule for the attainment of health and long life. It is sanctioned by various proverbial expressions; and when old people have been examined, regarding the causos of their long life, they uniformly agreed in one particular,— that they went to bed early, and rose early— Sia John SiNCLsia.]
"[" My opinion Is, that It Is from the large trees or plants of coral, spread everywhere over the bottom of the Red Sea, perfectly in imitation or plants on land, that it has obtained this name." — Bbuce.]
• [ "just the same
As at this moment 1 should like to do; —
But I have done with kisses — having kiss'd
All those that would — regrettiug those Imiss'd."— MS.]
She knew that the best feelings must have victual, And that a shlpwreck'd youth would hungry be;
Besides, being less in love, she yawn'd a little,
And felt her veins chill'd by the neighbouring sea;
And so, she cook'd their breakfast to a tittle;
But there were eggs, fruit, coffee, bread, fish, honey,
With Scio wine,—and all for love, not money.
And Zoe, when the eggs were ready, and
The coffee made, would fain have waken'd Juan;
But Haidee stopp'd her with her quick small hand, And without word, a sign her finger drew on
Her lip, which Zoe needs must understand;
And, the first breakfast spoilt, prepared a new one,
Because her mistress would not let her break
That sleep which seem'd as it would ne'er awake.
For still he lay, and on his thin worn cheek
On the snow-tops of distant hills; the streak
Where the blue veins look'd shadowy,shrunk, and weak;
Which weigh'd upon them yet, all damp and salt,
Mix'd with the stony vapours of the vault.
And she bent o'er him, and he lay beneath,
Droop'd as the willow when no winds can breathe,
Fair as the crowning rose of the whole wreath,
In short, he was a very pretty fellow,
Although his woes had turn'd him rather yellow.
He woke and gazed, and would have slept again,
Those eyes to close, though weariness and pain
For woman's face was never form'd In vain
He turn'd from grisly saints, and martyrs hairy,
To the sweet portraits of the Virgin Mary.
And thus upon his elbow he arose,
And look'd upon the lady, in whose cheek
The pale contended with the purple rose,
Her eyes were eloquent, her words would pose,
With an Ionian accent, low and sweet,
That he was faint, and must not talk, but eat.
Now Juan could not understand a word,
And her voice was the warble of a bird,
That finer, simpler music ne'er was heard; *
Without knowing why—an overpowering tone,
Whence Melody descends as from a throne.
1 [" Fair as the rose just pluck'd to crown the wreath, Soft as the unfledged birdling when at rest." — MS.
| And Juan gazed as one who Is awoke
By a distant organ, doubting if he be
At least it Is a heavy sound to me,
And Juan, too, was help'd out from his dream.
A most prodigious appetite; the steam
Upon his senses, and the kindling beam
Of the new fire, which Zoe kept up, kneeling.
To stir her viands, made him quite awake
And long for food, but chiefly a beef-steak,
But beef is rare within these oxlcss isles;
Goat's flesh there is, no doubt, and kid, and mutton, And, when a holiday upon them smiles,
A joint upon their barbarous spits they put on: But this occurs but seldom, between whiles.
For some of these are rocks with scarce a hut on:
I say that beef is rare, and can't help thinking
From which our modern morals, rightly shrinking.
A cow's shape for a mask ■— was only (sinking
That Pasiphae promoted breeding cattle,
To make the Cretans bloodier in battle.
For we all know that English people are
Because't is liquor only, and being far
From this my subject, has no business here;
We know, too, they are very fond of war,
So were the Cretans—from which I Infer,
That beef and battles both were owing to her.
But to resume. The languid Juan raised
A sight on which he had not lately gazed.
Three or four things, for which the Lord he praised.
He fell upon whate'er was offer'd, like
A priest, a shark, an alderman, or pike.
He ate, and he was well supplied; and she,
Who watch'd him like a mother, would have fed
Him past all bounds, because she smiled to see
But Zoe, being older than Haidee,
Knew (by tradition for she ne'er bad read)
That famish'd people must be slowly mint.
And fed by spoonfuls, else they always burst.
* [" That finer melodr was nerer heard.