« ZurückWeiter »
By spilling-lines* embraced, with brails confined Uplified on its horrid edge she feels
The shock, and on her side hall-buried reels :
A fearful warning to the seamen gave : While some, high-mounted, overhaul the tye, While from its margin, terrible to tell ! Below the down-haul tacklet others piy.
Three sailors, with their gallant boatsnin, fell. Jears.I lills, and brails, a seaman each attends, Torn with resistless fury from their hold, Along the mast the willing yard descends. In vain their struggling arms the yard infold. When lower'd sufficient, they securely brace, In vain to grapple flying cords they try, And fix'd the rolling-lackle in its place ;
The cords, alas! a solid gripe deny! The reei-linesý and their earings now prepared, Prone on the midnight surge, with panting breath Mounting on pliant shrouds.ll they man the yard. They cry for aid, and long contend with Death. Far on th' extremes two able hands appear, High o'er their heads the rolling billows sweep, Arion there, the hardy boatswain here;
And down they sink in everlasting sleep.
With fruitless sorrow their lost state bemoan;
Nor can determine on the next command
A passage to her deep recesses found; Hadst thou, Arion! held the leeward post, Surrounding evils yet they ponder o'erWhile on the yard by mountain billows tost, A storm, a dangerous sea, and leeward shore ! Pernaps oblivion o'er our tragic tale
Should they, though reef'd, again their sails extend And then for ever drawn her dusky veil.- Again in fluttering fragments they may rend ; But ruling heaven prolong'd thy vital date, Or should they stand, beneath the dreadful strain, Severer ills to suffer and relate!
The down-press 'd ship may never rise again; For, while their orders those aloft attend, Too late to weather* now Morea's land, To furl the mainsail, or on deck descend,
Yet verging fast to Athen's rocky strand.A seatt up surging with tremendous roll,
Thus they lament the consequence severe, To insiant ruin seems to doom the whole.
Where perils unallay'd by hope appear. * O friends ! secure your hold!" Arion cries; Long in their minds revolving each event, It comes all dreadful, stooping from the skies; At last to furl the courses they consent ;
That done, to reef the mizen next agree, * The spilling.lines, which are only used on particular And try,t beneath it, sidelong in the sea. KcAxions in tempestuous weather, are employed to Now down the mast the sloping yard declined, traw together and confine the belly of the sail, when it Till by the jears and topping lifti confined ; is intiated by the wind over the yard. 1 The violence of the wind forces the yard so much In balance near the lofty peak, they bound.
The head, with doubling canvass fenced around, otward from tbe mast on these occasions, that it cannot taxis be lowered so as to reef the sail
, without the ap: To hoist the shorten'd sail again they hied.
The reef enwrapt, th' inscried knitlles tied, plation of a tackle to haul it down on the mast. This 15 afterwards converted into rolling tackle. See note :: The order given, the yard alost they sway'd ; ist col p. 20
The brails relax’d, th' extended sheet belay'd : : Jears are the same to the mainsail, foresail, and The helm its post forsook, and lash'd a-lee, nazen, as the haliards (note ', 1st col. p. 19) are to all Inelined the wayward prow to front the sea. n'erior sails. The tye is the upper part of the jears. Recf-lines are only used to reef the mainsail and with notes divine implored his consort lost ;
When sacred Orpheus, on the Stygian coast, foresail. They are past in spiral turns through the eye. et holes of the reef, and over the head of the sails between the rope-band legs, till they reach the extremi. ties of the reef, to which they are firmly extended, so as
• To weather a shore is to pass to the windward of it, to face the reef elose up to the yard.
which at this time is prevented by the violence of the I Shroods are thick ropes, stretching from the mast. bears downwards to the ontside of the ship, serving to 1 To try, is to lay the ship, with her near side in the support the masts. They are also used as a range of direction of the wind and sea, with the head somewhat topielaiders, by which the seamen ascenů or descend, inclined to the windward; the helm being laid a-lee to to perform whatever is necessary about the sails and retain her in this position. See a farther illustration of rigning
this in the last note of this Canto. * The reerband is a long piece of canvass sewed
: The topping lift, wbich tops the upper part of the beross the sail, to strengthen ihe canvass in the place mizen-yard, (see note **, p. 20.) This line and the six where the eye let holes of the reef are formed. following describe the operation of reefing and balanc. *** The outer turns of the earing serve to extend the ing the mizen. The reef of this sail is towards the lower sail along the yard; and the inner turns are employed to end, the knittles being small short lines used in the room cenfine its head-rope close to its surface. See note I, of points for this purpose, (see note 1, 1st col. p. 19, and
note", p. 20;) they are accordingly knotted under the 11 A sea is the general name given by sailors to a single foot-rope or lower edge of the sail. Fire or billow: hence, when a wave bursts over the Lash'd a-lee is fastened to the lee-side. See note t deck, the vessel is said to have shipped a sea.
en col p. 19.
Though round him perils grew in fell array, They sound the well,* and, terrible to hear!
At this sad task, all diligent appear.
Opposes long th' approach of hostile arms;
Grim war around her plants his black array, To guide him through that intricate abode. And death and sorrow mark his horrid way; Thus long entangled in a thorny way,
Till, in some destined hour, against her wall That never heard the sweet Piërian lay.
In tenfold rage the fatal thunders fall : The Muse that tuned to barbarous sounds her The ramparts crack, the solid bulwarks rend, string,
And hostile troops the shatter'd breach ascend. Now spreads, like Dædalus, a bolder wing; Her valiant inmates still the foe retard, The verse begins in softer strains to flow, Resolved till death their sacred charge to guard. Replete with sad variety of wo.
So the brave mariners their pumps attend, As yet, amid this elemental war,
And help, incessant, by rotation lend ; That scatters desolation from afar,
But all in vain,-for now the sounding cord, Nor toil, nor hazard, nor distress appear
Updrawn, an undiminish'd depth explored. To sink the seamen with unmanly fear.
Nor this severe distress is found alone; Though their firm hearts no pageant honour boast, The ribs, oppress'd by ponderous cannon, groan . They scorn the wretch thai trembles in his post ; Deep rolling from the watery volume's height, Who from the face of danger strives to turn, The tortured sides seem bursting with their weigt Indignant from the social hour they spurn. So reels Pelorus with convulsive throes, Though now full oft they felt the raging tide When in his veins the burning earthquake glows ; In proud rebellion climb the vessel's side,
Hoarse through his entrails roars th' infernal flame, No future ills unknown their souls appal ; And central thunders rend his groaning frame.They know no danger, or they scorn it all!
Accumulated mischiefs thus arise,
One only remedy the season gave ;
From their high platforms, thus, th'artillery thrown,
But arduous is the task their lot requires ; In vain he spreads the graduated chart,
A task that hovering fate alone inspires : And bounds the distance by the rules of art ;
For while intent the yawning decks to ease, In vain athwart the mimic seas expands
That ever and anon are drench'd with seas, The compasses to circumjacent lands.
Some fatal billow with recoiling sweep, Ungrateful task! for no asylum traced
May hurl the helpless wretches in the deep. A passage open'd from the watery waste :
No season this for counsel or delay! Fate seem'd to guard, with adamantine mound,
Too soon th' eventful moments haste away! The path to every friendly port around.
Here perseverance, with each help of art, While Albert thus, with secret doubts dismay'd,
Must join the boldest efforts of the heart; The geometric distances survey'd,
These only now their misery can relieve ; On deck the watchful Rodmond cries aloud,
These only now a dawn of safety give! “Secure your lives! grasp every man a shroud !”- While o'er the quivering deck, from van to rear, Roused from his trance, he mounts with eyes Broad surges roll in terrible career, aghast;
Rodmond, Arion, and a chosen crew, When o'er the ship, in undulation vast,
This office in the face of death pursue ; A giant surge down rushes from on high,
The wheel'd artillery o'er the deck to guide, And fore and aft dissever'd ruins lie.
Rodmond descending claim'd the weather side : As when, Britannia's empire to maintain, Fearless of heart the chief his orders gave, Great Hawke descends in thunder on the main,
Fronting the rude assaults of every wave. [deep, Around the brazen voice of battle roars,
Like some strong watch-tower, nodding o'er the
Meanwhile Arion, traversing the waist, 1
• The well is an apartment in the ship's hold, serving The pilot's fair machinery strews the deck,
to enclose the pumps. It is sounded by dropping a mea. And cards and needles swim in floating wreck.
sured iron rod down into it by a long line. Hence the inThe balanced mizen, rending to the head,
crease or diminution of the leaks are easily discovered.
+ The brake is the lever or handle of the pump, by In streaming ruins from the margin fled,
which it is wrought. The sides convulsive shook on groaning beams, * The waist of a ship of this kind is a hollow space, And, rent with labour, yawn'd the pitchy seams ; about five feet in depth, between the elevations of the
The cordage of the leeward-guns unbraced, As fatal still appears, that danger o'er,
The ship, thus eased, some little respite finds But here the Queen of shade around them threw
Where Fate on every billow seem'd to ride-
Ye faithful mates, who all my troubles share With grim destruction threatens all below.
Approved companions of your master's care! Beneath, the storm-lash'd surges furious rise, To you, alas ! 'twere fruitless now to tell And wave uprollid on wave, assails the skies; Our sad distress, already known too well! With ever-floating bulwarks they surround This morn with favouring gales the port we left, The ship, half-swallow'd in the black profound! Though now of every flattering hope bereft : With ceaseless hazard and fatigue opprest, No skill nor long experience could forecast Dismay and anguish every heart possest!
Th' unseen approach of this destructive blast, For, while with boundless inundation o'er
These seas, where storms at various seasons blow The sea-beat ship th' involving waters roar, No reigning winds nor certain omens know. Displaced beneath by her capacious womb, The hour, the occasion all your skill demands ; They rage their ancient station to resume ; A leaky ship, embay'd by dangerous lands. By secret ambushes their force to prove,
Our bark no transient jeopardy surrounds ;
Again the chief th' instructive draught extends, The doubtful balance in my judgment cast,
Yet, since the charge of every life is mine.
To equal votes our counsels I resign.
I claim the dangerous reins of purblind power!
Our hopeless state can suffer no delay, Her place discovered by the rules of art,
Nor can we, thus bereft of every sail, Unusual terrors shook the master's heart;
Attempt to steer obliquely on the gale : When Falconera's rugged isle he found,
For then, if broaching sideward on the sea, Wiihin her drift, with shelves and breakers bound
Our dropsied ship may founder on the lee: For, if on those destructive shallows tost,
No more obedient to the pilot's power, (vour." The helpless bark with all her crew are lost : Th' o'erwhelming wave may soon her frame de
He said ; the listening mates with fix'd regard quarter-deck and fore-castle, and having the upper deok | And silent reverence his opinion heard. for its base, or platform. * The lee-way, or drift, which in this place are synony. And o'er their councils hung impending Fate.
Important was the question in debate, mous terms, is the movement by which a ship is driven sideways at the mercy of the wind and sea, when she is Rodmond, in many a scene of peril tried, deprived of the government of the sails and helm.
Had oft the master's happier skill descried,
Yet now, the hour, the scene, th' occasion known, "With fix'd attention, pondering in my mind
While here we linger in the pass of Fate,
Ere yet our vessel sink beneath the storm,
Her shattered state, and yon desponding crew, From Albert his opinion thus dissents.
At once suggest what measures to pursue. “Too true the perils of the present hour, The labouring hull already seems half-fill’d Where toils succeeding toils our strength o'er. With waters, through a hundred leaks distillid, power!
As in a dropsy, wallowing with her freight, Yet whither can we turn, what road pursue, Half-drown'd she lies, a dead inactive weight! With death before still opening on the view ? Thus drenched by every wave, her riven deck, Our bark, 'tis true, no shelter here can find, Stript and defenceless, floats a naked wreck; Sore shatter'd by the russian seas and wind; Her wounded flanks no longer can sustain Yet with what hope of refuge can we flee, These fell invasions of the bursting main : Chased by this tempest and outrageous sea ? At every pitch th' o'erwhelming billows bend, For while its violence the tempest keeps,
Beneath their load, the quivering bowsprit end. Berest of every sail we roam the deeps ;
A fearful warning! since the masts on high At random driven, to present death we haste, On that support with trembling hope rely. And one short hour perhaps may be our last. At either pump our seamen pant for breath, In vain the Gulf of Corinth on our lee
In dark dismay anticipating death. Now opens to her ports a passage free;
Still all our powers th' increasing leaks defy: Since, if before the blast the vessel flies,
We sink at sea, no shore, no haven nigh. Full in her track unnumber'd dangers rise. One dawn of hope yet breaks ath wart the gloom; Here Falconera spreads her lurking snares ; To light and save us from the watery tomb; There distant Greece her rugged shelves prepares; That bids us shun the death impending here ; Should once her bottom strike that rocky shore, Fly from the following blast, and shoreward steer The splitting bark that instant were no more; “ 'Tis urged indeed, the fury of the gale Nor she alone, but with her all the crew,
Precludes the help of every guiding sail ; Beyond relief, were doom'd to perish too.
And, driven before it on the watery waste, Thus if to scud too rashly we consent,
To rocky shores and scenes of death we haste. Too late in fatal hour we may repent.
But haply Falconera we may shun: " Then of our purpose this appears the
scope, And far to Grecian coasts is yet the run: To weigh the danger with a doubtful hope. Less harass'd then, our scudding ship may bear Though sorely buffeted by every sea,
Th' assaulting surge repelld upon her rear. Our hull unbroken long may try a-lee,
E'en then the wearied storm as soon shall die, The crew, though harass'd long with toils severe, Or less torment the groaning pines on high. Still at their pumps perceive no hazards near. Should we at last be driven by dire decree Shall we, incautious then, the dangers tell, Too near the fatal margin of the sea, At once their courage and their hopes to quell! The hull dismasted there awhile may ride, Prudence forbids - This southern tempest soon With lengthen'd cables on the raging tide. May change its quarter with the changing moon : Perhaps kind Heaven, with interposing power, Its rage though terrible may soon subside,
May curb the tempesi ere that dreadful hour. Nor into mountains lash th' unruly tide.
But here ingulf’d and foundering while we stay, These leaks shall then decrease : the sails once Faie hovers o'er, and marks us for her prey."
He said ; Palemon saw, with grief of heart: Direct our course to some relieving shore." The storm prevailing o'er the pilot's art;
Thus while he spoke around froin man to man, In silent terror and distress involved, At either pump, a hollow murmur ran.
He heard their last alternative resolved. For while the vessel through unnumber'd chinks, High beat his bosom: with such fear subdued, Above, below, th' invading water drinks,
Beneath the gloom of some enchanted wood, Sounding her depth, they eyed the wetted scale, Oft in old time the wandering swain explored And, lo! the leak o'er all their powers prevail, The midnight wizards breathing rites abhorr'd: Yet in their post, by terrors unsubdued,
Trembling approach'd their incantations fell, They with redoubled force their task pursued. And, chilld with horror, heard the songs of hell.
And now the senior pilots seem'd to wait Arion saw, with secret anguish moved, Arion's voice to close the dark debate.
The deep affliction of the friend he loved;
Alas! no season this for tender love;
With Comfort's soothing voice, from Hope derived, It fell at last innoxious on his heart.
Palemon's drooping spirit he revived, His mind still shunning care with secret hate, For Consolation oft, with healing art, In patient indolence resign’d to Fate.
Retunes the jarring numbers of the heartBut now the horrors that around him roll,
Now had the pilots all th' events revolved, Thus rous'd to action his rekindling soul.
And on their final refuge thus resolved;
When, like the faithful shepherd, who beholds If once that slavish yoke your spirits quell,
- Unbiappy partners in a wayward fate! On England's vile inhuman shore who stand,
These, while their savage office they pursue, Who, patient in adversity, still bear
Oft wound to death the helpless plunder'd crew, The firmest front when greziest ills are near! Who 'scaped from every horror of the main, The truth, though grievous, I must now reveal, Implored their mercy, but implored in vain. That long, in vain, I purposed to conceal.
But dread not this!-a crime to Greece unknown Ingulf d, all help of arts we vainly try,
Such blood-hounds all her circling shores disown. To weather leeward shores, alas! too nigh. Her sons, by barbarous tyranny opprest, Dar crazy bark no longer can abide
Can share affliction with the wretch distrest: The seas that thunder o'er her batter'd side; Their hearts, by cruel fate inured to grief, And while the leaks a fatal warning give, Oft to the friendless stranger yield relief." That in this raging sea she cannot live,
With conscious horror siruck, the naval band One only refuge from despair we find ;
Detested for a while their native land ; At once to wear and scud before the wind.* They cursed the sleeping vengeance of the laws, Perhaps e'en then to ruin we may steer ;
That thus forgot her guardian sailors' cause. For bruken shores beneath our lee appear; Meanwhile the master's voice again they heard, But that's remote, and instant death is here; Whom, as with filial duty, all revered. Yet there, by Heaven's assistance, we may gain No more remains—but now a trusty band Some creek or inlet of the Greciun main;
Must ever at the pump industrious stand: Or sheltered by some rock, at anchor ride,
And while with us the rest attend to wear, Tuli with abating rage the blast subside.
Two skilful seamen to the helm repair!
Whose voice the warring elements obey,
Thy mercy supplicate, if doom'd to die ! * And first, let all our axes be secured,
Perhaps this storm is sent, with healing breath, To cut the masts and rigging from aboard. From neighbouring shores to scourge disease and Then to the quarters bind each plank and oar,
death! To tioat between the vessel and the shore.
'Tis ours on thine unerring laws to trust : The longest cordage, 100, must be convey'd With thee, great Lord ! · Whatever is, is just.'” On deck, and to the weather rails belay'd ;
He said ; and with consenting reverence fraught So they, who haply reach alive the land,
The sailors join'd his prayer in silent thought. Th' extended lines may fasten on the strand, His intellectual eyes, serenely bright! Whene'er, loud thundering on the leeward shore, Saw distant objects with prophetic light. Whule yet aloof we hear the breakers roar. Thus in a land, that lasting wars oppress, Thus for the terrible event prepared,
That groans beneath misfortune and distress ; Brace fore and aft to starboard every yard ; Whose wealth to conquering armies falls a prey, So stall our masts swim lighter on the wave, Her bulwarks sinking, as her troops decay ; And from the broken rocks our seamen save. Some bold sagacious statesman, from the helm, Then westward turn the stem, that every mast Sees desolation gathering o'er his realm: May shoreward fall, when from the vessel cast.- He darts around his penetrating eyes, When o'er her side once more the billows bound, Where dangers grow, and hostile unions rise ; Ascend the rigging till she strikes the ground :
With deep attention marks th' invading foe, And when you hear aloft th' alarming shock Eludes their wiles, and frustrates every blow : That strikes her bottom on some pointed rock, Tries his last art the tottering state to save, The boldest of our sailors must descend,
Or in its ruins finds a glorious grave. The dangerous business of the deck to tend ; Still in the yawning trough the vessel reels, Then each, secured by some convenient cord,
Ingulf'd beneath two fluctuating hills : Should cut the shrouds and rigging from the board ; On either side they rise ; tremendous scene! Let ite broad axes next assail each mast;
A long dark melancholy vale between.* And booms, and oars, and rafts, to leeward cast. Thus, while the cordage stretch'd ashore may guide That the reader, who is unacquainted with the ma. Our brave companions through the swelling tide, neuvres of navigation, may conceive a clearer idea of a This floating lumber shall sustain them, o'er ship's state when trying, and of the change of her situThe roky shelves, in safety to the shore.
ation to that of scudding, I have quoted a part of the es But as your firmest succour, till the last,
planation of those articles as they appear in the "Dic. O eling securely on each faithful mast!
tionary of the Marine."
Trying is the situation in which a ship lies nearly in Though great the danger, and the task severe,
the trough or hollow of the sea in a tempest, particularly Yes bow not to the tyranny of fear!
when it blows contrary to her course.
In trying as well as in scudding, the sails are always * For an explanation of these maneuvres, the reader reduced in proportion to the increase of the storm; and referred to the last note of this Canto.
in either state, if the storm is excessive, she may havo