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Slow move the harmless race; where, as they | Night is far off, and hotter hours approach.
Their swelling treasures to the sunny ray,
Inly disturb'd, and wondering what this wild
Outrageous tumult means, their loud complaints
The country fill, and, toss'd from rock to rock,
Incessant bleatings run around the hills.
At last, of snowy white, the gather'd flocks
Are in the wattled pen innumerous press'd,
Head above head: and, rang'd in lusty rows,
The shepherds sit, and whet the sounding shears.
The housewife waits to roll her fleecy stores,
With all her gay drest maids attending round.
One, chief in gracious dignity enthron'd,
Shines o'er the rest, the pastoral queen, and rays
Her smiles, sweet-beaming, on her shepherd-king;
While the glad circle round them yield their souls
To festive mirth, and wit that knows no gall.
Meantime, their joyous task goes on apace:
Some mingling stir the melted tar, and some,
Deep on the new-shorn vagrant's heaving side,
To stamp his master's cypher ready stand;
Others th' unwilling wether drag along;
And, glorying in his might, the sturdy boy
Holds by the twisted horns th' indignant ram.
Behold where bound, and of its robe bereft,
By needy man, that all-depend ng lord,
How meek, how patient, the mild creature lies!
What softness in its melancholy face,
What dumb complaining innocence appears!
Fear not, ye gentle tribes, 'tis not the knife
Of horrid slaughter that is o'er you wav'd;
No, 'tis the tender swain's well-guided shears,
Who having now, to pay his annual care,
Borrow'd your fleece, to you a cumbrous load,
Will send you bounding to your hills again.
A simple scene! yet hence Britannia secs
Her solid grandeur rise: hence she commands
Th' exalted stores of every brighter clime,
The treasures of the Sun without his rage:
Hence, fervent all, with culture, toil, and arts,
Wide glows her land: her dreadful thunder hence
Rides o'er the waves sublime, and now, ev'n now,
Impending hangs o'er Gallia's humbled coast;
Hences rules the circling deep, and awes the world.
'Tis raging noon; and, vertical, the Sun
Darts on the head direct his forceful rays.
O'er Heaven and Earth, far as the ranging eye
Can sweep, a dazzling deluge reigns; and all
From pole to pole is undistinguish'd blaze.
In vain the sight, dejected to the ground,
Stoops for relief; thence hot-ascending steams
And keen reflection pain. Deep to the root
Of vegetation parch'd, the cleaving fields
And slippery lawn an arid hue disclose,
Blast Fancy's bloom, and wither ev'n the soul.
Echo no more returns the cheerful sound
Of sharpening scythe: the mower sinking heaps
O'er him the humid hay, with flowers perfum'd;
And scarce a chirping grass-hopper is heard
Through the dumb mead. Distressful Nature pants.
The very streams look languid from afar;
Or, through th' unshelter'd glade, impatient seem
To hurl into the covert of the grove.
All-conquering Heat, oh, intermit thy wrath! And on my throbbing temples potent thus Beam not so fierce! Incessant still you flow, And still another fervent flood succeeds, Pour'd on the head profuse. In vain I sigh, And restless turn, and look around for night;
Thrice happy he! who, on the sunless side
Of a romantic mountain, forest-crown'd,
Beneath the whole collected shade reclines:
Or in the gelid caverns, woodbine-wrought,
And fresh bedew'd with ever-spouting streams,
Sits coolly calm; while all the world without,
Unsatisfied and sick, tosses in noon:
Emblem instructive of the virtuous man,
Who keeps his temper'd mind serene and pure,
And every passion aptly harmoniz'd,
Amid a jarring world with vice inflam'd.
Welcome, ye shades! ye bowery thickets, hail!
Ye lofty pines! ye venerable oaks!
Ye ashes wild, resounding o'er the steep!
Delicious is your shelter to the soul,
As to the hunted hart the sallying spring,
Or stream full-flowing, that his swelling sides
Laves, as he floats along the herbag'd brink.
Cool, through the nerves, your pleasing comfort
The heart beats glad; the fresh-expanded eye
And ear resume their watch; the sinews knit ;
And life shoots swift through all the lighten'd limbs.
Around th' adjoining brook, that purls along
The vocal grove, now fretting o'er a rock,
Now scarcely moving through a reedy pool,
Now starting to a sudden stream, and now
Gently diffus'd into a limpid plain;
A various groupe the herds and flocks compose,
Rural confusion! on the grassy bank
Some ruminating lie; while others stand
Half in the flood, and, often bending, sip
The circling surface. In the middle droops
The strong laborious ox, of honest front,
Which incompos'd he shakes; and from his sides
The troublous insects lashes with his tail,
Returning still. Amid his subjects safe,
Slumbers the monarch-swain; his careless arm
Thrown round his head, on downy moss sustain'd;
Here laid his scrip, with wholesome viands fill'd;
There, listening every noise, his watchful dog.
Light fly his slumbers, if perchance a flight
Of angry gad-flies, fasten on the herd;
That startling scatters from the shallow brook,
In search of lavish stream. Tossing the foam,
They scorn the keeper's voice, and scour the plain,
Through all the bright severity of noon;
While, from their labouring breasts, a hollow moan
Proceeding runs low-bellowing round the hills.
Oft in this season too the horse, provok'd,, While his big sinews full of spirits swell, Trembling with vigour, in the heat of blood, Springs the high fence; and, o'er the field effus'd, Darts on the gloomy flood, with stedfast eye, And heart estrang'd to fear: his nervous chest, > Luxuriant, and erect! the seat of strength! Bears down th' opposing stream: quenchless his He takes the river at redoubled draughts, [thirst; And with wide nostrils, snorting, skims the wave.
Still let me pierce into the midnight depth Of yonder grove, of wildest largest growth: That, forming high in air a woodland quire, Nods o'er the mount beneath. At every step, Solemn, and slow, the shadows blacker fall, And all is aweful listening gloom around.
These are the haunts of Meditation, these The scenes where ancient bards th' inspiring breath,
Ecstatic, felt; and, from this world retir'd,
Convers'd with angels and immortal forms,
On gracious errands bent: to save the fall
Of Virtue struggling on the brink of Vice;
In waking whispers, and repeated dreams,
To hint pure thought, and warn the favour'd soul
For future trials fated to prepare ;
To prompt the poet, who devoted gives
His Muse to better themes; to soothe the pangs
Of dying worth, and from the patriot's breast
(Backward to mingle in detested war,
But foremost when engag'd) to turn the death;
And numberless such offices of love
Daily, and nightly, zealous to perform.
Shook sudden from the bosom of the sky,
A thousand shapes or glide athwart the dusk,
Or stalk majestic on. Deep-rous'd, I feel
A sacred terrour, a severe delight, [methinks,
Creep through my mortal frame; and thus,
A voice, than human more, th' abstracted ear
Of fancy strikes. "Be not of us afraid,
Poor kindred man! thy fellow-creatures, we
From the same Parent-Power our beings drew,
The same our Lord, and laws, and great pursuit.
Once some of us, like thee, through stormy life,
Toil'd, tempest-beaten, ere we could attain
This holy calm, this harmony of mind,
Where purity and peace immingle charms.
Then fear not us; but with responsive song,
Amid these dim recesses, undisturb'd
By noisy folly and discordant vice,
Of Nature sing with us, and Nature's God.
Here frequent, at the visionary hour,
When musing midnight reigns or silent noon,
Angelic harps are in full concert heard;
And voices chanting from the wood-crown'd hill,
The deepening dale, or inmost sylvan glade:
A privilege bestow'd by us, alone,
On Contemplation, or the hallow'd ear
Of poet, swelling to seraphic strain."
And art thou, Stanley', of that sacred band? Alas, for us too soon! Though rais'd above The reach of human pain, above the flight Of human joy; yet, with a mingled ray Of sadly-pleas'd remembrance, must thou feel A mother's love, a mother's tender woe: Who seeks thee still, in many a former scene; Seeks thy fair form, thy lovely beaming eyes, Thy pleasing converse, by gay lively sense Inspir'd: where moral wisdom mildly shone, Without the toil of art; and virtue glow'd, In all her smiles, without forbidding pride. But, O thou best of parents! wipe thy tears; Or rather to Parental Nature pay The tears of grateful joy, who for a while Lent thee this younger self, this opening bloom Of thy enlighten'd mind and gentle worth. Believe the Muse: the wintery blast of Death Kills not the buds of virtue; no, they spread, Beneath the heavenly beam of brighter suns, Through endless ages, into higher powers.
Thus up the mount, in aëry vision rapt, I stray, regardless whither; till the sound Of a near fall of water every sense Wakes from the charm of thought: swift-shrinking I check my steps, and view the broken scene. [back, Smooth to the shelving brink a copious flood Rolls fair, and placid; where collected all,
A young lady, who died at the age of eighteen, in the year 1738. See her epitaph in a subsequent page of this vol.
In one impetuous torrent, down the steep
It thundering shoots, and shakes the country round.
At first, an azure sheet, it rushes broad;
Then whitening by degrees, as prone it falls,
And from the loud-resounding rocks below
Dash'd in a cloud of foam. it sends aloft
A hoary mist, and forms a ceaseless shower.
Nor can the tortur'd wave here find repose:
But, raging still amid the shaggy rocks,
Now flashes o'er the scatter'd fragments, now
Aslant the hollow channel rapid darts;
And, falling fast from gradual slope to slope,
With wild infracted course, and lessen'd roar,
It gains a safer bed, and steals, at last,
Along the mazes of the quiet vale.
Invited from the cliff, to whose dark brow
He clings, the steep-ascending eagle soars,
With upward pinions through the flood of day;
And, giving full his bosom to the blaze,
Gaius on the Sun; while all the tuneful race,
Smit by afflictive noon, disorder'd droop,
Deep in the thicket; or, from bower to bower
Responsive, force an interrupted strain.
The stock-dove only through the forest cooes,
Mournfully hoarse; oft ceasing from his plaint,
Short interval of weary woe! again
The sad idea of his murder'd mate,
Struck from his side by savage fowler's guile,
Across his fancy comes; and then resounds
A louder song of sorrow through the grove.
Beside the dewy border let me sit,
All in the freshness of the humid air;
There in that hollow'd rock, grotesque and wild,
An ample chair moss-lin'd, and over head
By flowering umbrage shaded: where the bee
Strays diligent, and with th' extracted balm
Of fragrant woodbine loads his little thigh.
Now, while I taste the sweetness of the shade,
While Nature lies around deep-lull'd in Noon,
Now come bold Fancy, spread a daring flight,
And view the wonders of the torrid zone:
Climes unrelenting! with whose rage compar'd,
Yon blaze is feeble, and yon skies are cool.
See, how at once the bright effulgent Sun,
Rising direct, swift chaces from the sky
The short-liv'd twilight; and with ardent blaze
Looks gaily fierce through all the dazzling air:
He mounts his throne; but kind before him sends,
Issuing from out the portals of the morn,
The general breeze', to mitigate his fire,
And breathe refreshment on a fainting world.
Great are the scenes, with dreadful beauty crown'd
And barbarous wealth, that see each circling year,
Returning suns and double seasons
Rocks rich in gems, and mountains big with mines,
That on the high equator ridgy rise,
Whence many a bursting stream auriferous plays:
Majestic woods, of every vigorous green,
Stage above stage, high waving o'er the hills;
Or to the far horizon wide diffus'd,
A boundless deep immensity of shade.
Which blows constantly between the tropics from the east, or the collateral points, the northeast and south-east: caused by the pressure of the rarefied air on that before it, according to the diurnal motion of the Sun from east to west.
2 In all climates between the tropics, the Sun, as he passes and repasses in his annual motion, is twice a year vertical, which produces this effect.
Here lofty trees, to ancient song unknown,
The noble sons of potent heat and floods
Prone rushing from the clouds, rear high to Heaven
Their thorny stems, and broad around them throw
Meridian gloom. Here, in eternal prime,
Unnumber'd fruits of keen delicious taste
And vital spirit, drink amid the cliffs,
And burning sands that bank the shrubby vales,
Redoubled day, yet in their rugged coats
A friendly juice to cool its rage contain.
Bear me, Pomona! to thy citron groves;
To where the lemon and the piercing lime,
With the deep orange, glowing through the green,
Their lighter glories blend. Lay me reclin'd
Beneath the spreading tamarind that shakes,
Fann'd by the breeze, its fever-cooling fruit.
Deep in the night the massy locust sheds,
Quench my hot limbs: or lead me through the
Embowering endless, of the Indian fig;
Or, thrown at gayer ease, on some fair brow,
Let me behold, by breezy murmurs cool'd,
Broad o'er my head the verdant cedar wave,
And high palmetos lift their graceful shade.
Or, stretch'd amid these orchards of the Sun,
Give me to drain the cocoa's milky bowl,
And from the palin to draw its freshening wine!
More bounteous far than all the frantic juice
Which Bacchus pours. Nor, on its slender twigs
Low-bending, be the full pomegranate scorn'd;
Nor, creeping through the woods, the gelid race
Of berries. Oft in humble station dweils
Unboastful worth, above fastidious pomp.
Witness, thou best Anâna, thou the pride
Of vegetable life, beyond whate'er
The poets imag'd in the golden age:
Quick let me strip thee of thy tufty coat,
Spread thy ambrosial stores, and feast with Jove!
From these the prospect varies. Plains immense
Lie stretch'd below, interminable meads
And vast savannahs, where the wandering eye,
Unfixt, is in a verdant ocean lost.
Another Flora there, of bolder hues,
And richer sweets, beyond our garden's pride,
Plays o'er the fields, and showers with sudden hand
Exuberant Spring; for oft these vallies shift
Their green-embroider'd robe to fiery brown,
And swift to green again, as scorching suns,
Or streaming dews and torrent rains, prevail.
Along these lonely regions, where retir'd,
From little scenes of art, great Nature dwells
In aweful solitude, and nought is seen
But the wild herds that own no master's stall,
Prodigious rivers roll their fattening seas;
On whose luxuriant herbage, half conceal'd,
Like a fall'n cedar, far diffus'd his train,
Cas'd in green scales, the crocodile extends.
The flood disparts: behold! in plaited mail,
Behemoth rears his head. Glanc'd from his side,
The darted steel in idle shivers flies :
He fearless walks the plain, or seeks the hills;
Where, as he crops his varied fare, the herds,
In widening circle round, forget their food,
And at the harmless stranger wondering gaze.
Peaceful, beneath primeval trees, that cast
Their ample shade o'er Niger's yellow stream,
And where the Ganges rolls his sacred wave;
Or mid the central depth of blackening woods,
High-rais'd in solemn theatre around,
! The Hippopotamus, or river-horse.
Leans the huge elephant: wisest of brutes!
O truly wise! with gentle might endow'd,
Though powerful, not destructive! Here he sees
Revolving ages sweep the changeful earth,
And empires rise and fall; regardless he
Of what the never-resting race of men
Project: thrice happy! could he 'scape their guile,
Who mine, from cruel avarice, his steps;
Or with his towery grandeur swell their state,
The pride of kings! or else his strength pervert,
And bid him rage amid the mortal fray,
Astonish'd at the madness of mankind.
Wide o'er the winding umbrage of the floods,
Like vivid blossoms glowing from afar,
Thick swarm the brighter birds.
That with a sportive vanity has deck'd
The plumy nations, there her gayest hues
Profusely pours. But, if she bids them shine,
Array'd in all the beauteous beams of day,
Yet, frugal still, she humbles them in song'.
Nor envy we the gaudy robes they lent
Proud Montezuma's realm, whose legions cast
A boundless radiance waving on the Sun,
While Philomel is ours; while in our shades,
Through the soft silence of the listening night,
The sober-suited songstress trills her lay.
But come, my Muse, the desert-barrier burst,
A wild expanse of lifeless sand and sky:
And, swifter than the toiling caravan,
Shoot o'er the vale of Sennar; ardent climb
The Nubian mountains, and the secret bounds
Of jealous Abyssinia boldly pierce.
Thou art no ruffian, who beneath the mask
Of social commerce com'st to rob their wealth;
No holy Fury thou, blaspheming Heaven,
With consecrated steel to stab their peace,
And through the land, yet red from civil wounds,
To spread the purple tyranny of Rome.
Thou, like the harmless bee, may'st freely range,
From mead to mead bright with exalted flowers,
From jasmine grove to grove, may'st wander gay,
Through palmy shades and aromatic woods,
That grace the plains, invest the peopled hills,
And up the more than Alpine mountains wave.
There on the breezy summit, spreading fair,
For many a league; or on stupendous rocks,
That from the sun-redoubling valley lift,
Cool to the middle air their lawny tops;
Where palaces, and fanes, and villas rise;
And gardens smile around, and cultur'd fields;
And fountains gush; and careless herds and flocks
Securely stray; a world within itself,
Disdaining all assault: there let me draw
Ethereal soul, there drink reviving gales,
Profusely breathing from the spicy groves,
And vales of fragrance; there at distance hear
The roaring floods, and cataracts, that sweep
From disembowel'd Earth the virgin gold;
And o'er the varied landscape, restless, rove,
Fervent with life of every fairer kind:
A land of wonders! which the Sun still eyes
With ray direct, as of the lovely realm
Enamour'd, and delighting there to dwell.
How chang'd the scene! In blazing height of
The Sun, oppress'd, is plung'd in thickest gloom.
1 In all the regions of the torrid zone, the birds, though more beautiful in their plumage, are observed to be less melodious than ours.
Still Horrour reigns, a dreary twilight round,
Of struggling night and day malignant mix'd.
For to the hot equator crowding fast,
Where, highly rarefy'd, the yielding air
Admits their stream, incessant vapours roll,
Amazing clouds on clouds continual heap'd!
Or whirl'd tempestuous by the gusty wind,
Or silent borne along, heavy, and slow,
With the big stores of steaming oceans charg'd.
Meantime, amid these upper seas, condens'd
Around the cold aerial mountain's brow,
And by conflicting winds together dash'd,
The Thunder holds his black tremendous throne:
From cloud to cloud the rending Lightnings rage;
Till, in the furious elemental war
Dissolv'd, the whole precipitated mass,
Unbroken floods and solid torrents pours.
The treasures these, hid from the bounded search
Of ancient knowledge; whence, with annual pomp,
Rich king of floods o'erflows the swelling Nile.
From his two springs, in Gojam's sunny realm,
Pure welling out, he through the lucid lake
Of fair Dambea rolls his infant stream.
There, by the Naïads nurs'd, he sports away
His playful youth, amid the fragrant isles,
That with unfading verdure smile around.
Ambitious, thence the manly river breaks;
And, gathering many a flood, and copious fed
With all the mellow'd treasures of the sky,
Winds in progressive majesty along:
Through splendid kingdoms now devolves his maze,
Now wanders wild o'er solitary tracts
Of life-deserted sand: til, glad to quit
The joyless desert, down the Nubian rocks
From thundering steep to steep, he pours his urn,
And Egypt joys beneath the spreading wave.
His brother Niger, too, and all the floods In which the full-form'd maids of Afric lave Their jetty limbs; and all that form the tract Of woody mountains stretch'd through gorgeous Ind Fall on Cormandel's coast, or Malabar; From Menam's orient stream', that nightly shines With insect-lamps, to where Aurora sheds On Indus' smiling banks the rosy shower: All, at this bounteous season, ope their urns, And pour untoiling harvest o'er the land.
Nor less thy world, Columbus, drinks, refresh'd,
The lavish'd moisture of the melting year.
Wide o'er his isles, the branching Oronoque
Rolls a brown deluge; and the native drives
To dwell aloft on life-sufficing trees,
At once his dome, his robe, his food, and arms.
Swell'd by a thousand streams, impetuous hurl'd
From all the roaring Andes, huge descends
The mighty Orellana 2. Scarce the Muse
Dares stretch her wing o'er this enormous mass
Of rushing water; scarce she dares attempt
The sealike Plata; to whose dread expanse,
Continuous depth, and wondrous length of course,
Our floods are rills. With unabated force,
In silent dignity they sweep along,
And traverse realms unknown, and blooming
And fruitful deserts, worlds of solitude,
Where the Sun smiles and Seasons teem in vain,
The river that runs through Siam; on whose banks a vast number of those insects called fireflies, make a beautiful appearance in the night. 2 The river of the Amazons.
Uuseen, and unenjoy'd. Forsaking these,
O'er peopled plains they fair-diffusive flow,
And many a nation feed, and circle safe,
In their soft bosom, many a happy isle;
The seat of blameless Pan, yet undisturb'd
By Christian crimes and Europe's cruel sons.
Thus pouring on they proudly seek the deep,
Whose vanquish'd tide, recoiling from the shock,
Yields to the liquid weight of half the globe;
And Ocean trembles for his green domain.
But what avails this wondrous waste of wealth?
This gay profusion of luxurious bliss?
This pomp of Nature? what their balmy meads,
Their powerful herbs, and Ceres void of pain?
By vagrant birds dispers'd, and wafting winds,
What their unplanted fruits? what the cool
Th' ambrosial food, rich gums, and spicy health,
Their forests yield? their toiling insects what,
Their silky pride, and vegetable robes?
Ah! what avail their fatal treasures, hid
Deep in the bowels of the pitying Earth,
Golconda's gems, and sad Potosi's mines;
Where dwelt the gentlest children of the Sun ?
What all that Afric's golden rivers roll,
Her odorous woods, and shining ivory stores?
Ill-fated race! the softening arts of peace,
Whate'er the humanizing Muses teach;
The godlike wisdom of the temper'd breast;
Progressive truth, the patient force of thought;
Investigation calm, whose silent powers
Command the world; the light that leads to Heaven;
Kind equal rule, the government of laws,
And all-protecting freedom, which alone
Sustains the name and dignity of man:
These are not theirs. The parent Sun himself
Seems o'er this world of slaves to tyrannize;
And, with oppressive ray, the roseat bloom
Of beauty blasting, gives the gloomy hue,
And feature gross: or worse, to ruthless deeds,
Mad jealousy, blind rage, and fell revenge,
Their fervid spirit fires. Love dwells not there,
The soft regards, the tenderness of life,
The heart-shed tear, th' ineffable delight
Of sweet humanity: these court the beam
Of milder climes; in selfish fierce desire,
And the wild fury of voluptuous sense,
There lost. The very brute creation there
This rage partakes, and burns with horrid fire.
Lo! the green serpent, from his dark abode,
Which ev'n imagination fears to tread,
At noon forth issuing, gathers up his train
In orbs immense, then, darting out anew,
Seeks the refreshing fount; by which diffus'd,
He throws his folds: and while, with threatening
And deathful jaws erect, the monster curls
His flaming crest, all other thirst appall'd,
Or shivering flies, or check'd at distance stands,
Nor dares approach. But still more direful he,
The small close-lurking minister of Fate,
Whose high-concocted venom through the veins
A rapid lightning darts, arresting swift
The vital current. Form'd to humble man,
This child of vengeful nature! There, sublim'd
To fearless lust of blood, the savage race
Roam, licens'd by the shading hour of guilt,
And foul misdeed, when the pure day has shut
His sacred eye. The tiger darting fierce
Impetuous on the prey his glance has doom'd:
The lively-shining leopard, speckled o'er
With many a spot, the beauty of the waste:
And, scorning all the taming arts of man,
The keen hyena, fellest of the fell.
These, rushing from th' inhospitable woods"
Of Mauritania, or the tufted isles,
That verdant rise amid the Libyan wild,
Innumerous glare around their shaggy king,
Majestic, stalking o'er the printed sand;
And, with imperious and repeated roars,
Demand their fated food. The fearful flocks
Crowd near the guardian swain; the nobler
Where round their lordly bull, in rural ease,
They ruminating lie, with horrour hear
The coming rage. Th' awaken'd village starts;
And to her fluttering breast the mother strains
Her thoughtless infant. From the pirate's den,
Or stern Morocco's tyrant fang escap'd,
The wretch half-wishes for his bonds again:
While, uproar all, the wilderness resounds,
From Atlas eastward to the frighted Nile.
Unhappy he! who from the first of joys,
Society, cut off, is left alone
Amid this world of death. Day after day,
Sad on the jutting eminence he sits,
And views the main that ever toils below;
Still fondly forming in the farthest verge,
Where the round ether mixes with the wave,
Ships, dim discover'd, dropping from the
At evening, to the setting Sun he turns
A mournful eye, and down his dying heart
Sinks helpless; while the wonted roar is up,
And hiss continual through the tedious night.
Yet here, ev'n here, into these black abo ies
Of monsters unappall'd, from stooping Rome,
And guilty Cæsar, Liberty retir'd,
Her Cato following through Numidian wilds:
Disdainful of Campania's gentle plains,
And all the green delights Ausonia pours;
When for them she must bend the servile knee,
And fawning take the splendid robber's boon.
Nor stop the terrours of these regions here.
Commission'd demons oft, angels of wrath,
Let loose the raging elements. Breath'd hot,
From all the boundless furnace of the sky,
And the wide glittering waste of burning sand,
A suffocating wind the pilgrim smites
With instant death. Patient of thirst and toil,
Son of the desert! ev'n the camel feels,
Shot through his wither'd heart, the fiery blast.
Or from the black-red ether, bursting broad,
Sallies the sudden whirlwind. Straight the sands,
Commov'd around, in gathering eddies play :
Nearer and nearer still they darkening come;"
Till, with the general all-involving storm
Swept up, the whole continuous wilds arise;
And by their noon-day fount dejected thrown,
Or sunk at night in sad disastrous sleep,
Beneath descending hills, the caravan
Is buried deep. In Cairo's crowded streets
Th' impatient merchant, wondering, waits in
And Mecca saddens at the long delay.
But chief at sea, whose every flexile wave
Obeys th' blast, th' aërial tumult swells.
In the dread Ocean, undulating wide,
Beneath the radiant line that girts the globe,
The circling Typhon', whirl'd from point to point
Exhausting all the rage of all the sky,
And dire Ecnephia reign. Amid the heavens,
Falsely serene, deep in a cloudy speck
Compress'd, the mighty tempest brooding dwells:
Of no regard, save to the skilful eye,
Fiery and foul, the small prognostic hangs
Aloft, or on the promontory's brow
Musters its force. A faint deceitful calm,
A fluttering gale the demon sends before,
To tempt the spreading sail. Then down at once,
Precipitant, descends a mingled mass
Of roaring winds, and flame, and rushing floods.
In wild amazement fix'd the sailor stands.
Art is too slow: by rapid Fate oppress'd,
His broad-wing'd vessel drinks the whelming tide,
Hid in the bosom of the black abyss.
With such mad seas the daring Gama' fought,
For many a day, and many a dreadful night,
Incessant, labouring round the stormy Cape;
By bold ambition led, and bolder thirst
Of gold. For then from ancient gloom emerg'd
The rising world of trade: the genius, then,
Of navigation, that, in hopeless sloth,
Had slumber'd on the vast Atlantic deep,
For idle ages, starting, heard at last
The Lusitanian prince; who Hcave.-inspir'd,
To love of useful glory rous'd mankind,
And in unbounded commerce mix'd the world.
Increasing still the terrours of these storms,
His jaws horrific arm'd with threefold fate,
Here dwells the direful shark. Lur'd by the scent
Of steaming crowds, of rank disease, and death,
Behold! he rehing cuts the briny flood,
Swift as the gale can bear the ship along;
And, from the partners of that cruel trade,
Which spoils unhappy Guinea of her sons,
Demands his share of prey; demands themselves.
The stormy Fates descend: one death involves
Tyrants and slaves; when straight their mangled
Crashing at once, he dyes the purple seas [limbs
With gore, and riots in the vengeful meal.
When o'er this world, by equinoctial rains
Flooded immense, looks out the joyless Sun,
And draws the copious steam: from swampy fens,
Where putrefaction into life ferments,
And breathes destructive myriads: or from woods,
Impenetrable shades, recesses foul,
In vapours rank and blue corruption wrapt,
Whose gloomy horrours yet no desperate foot
Has ever dar'd to pierce; then, wasteful, forth
Walks the dire power of pestilent Disease.
A thousand hideous fiends her course attend,
Sick Nature blasting, and to heartless woe,
And feeble desolation, casting down
The towering hopes and all the pride of man.
Such as, of late, at Carthagena quench'd
Typhon and Ecnephia, names of particular storms or hurricanes, known only between the tropics.
2 Called by sailors the ox-eye, being in appearance at first no bigger.
3 Vasco de Gama, the first who sailed round Africa, by the Cape of Good Hope, to the East Indies.
Don Henry, third son to John the First, king of Portugal. His strong genius to the discovery of new countries was the chief source of all the modern improvements in navigation.