Images de page
PDF
ePub

THE STORMY PETREL.

149

III. SEA-SIDE THOUGHTS.

“ WHETHER we consider the ocean as rearing its tremendous billows in the midst of the tempest, or as stretched out into a smooth expanse—whether we consider its immeasurable extent, its mighty movements, or the innumerable beings which glide through its rolling waves--we cannot but be struck with astonishment at the grandeur of that Omnipotent Being who holds its waters in the hollow of his hand,' and who has said to its foaming surges, •Hitherto shalt thou come, and no farther; and here shall thy proud waves be stayed.'”. Dick's Christian Philosopher.

BEAUTIFUL, sublime, and glorious

Mild, majestic, foaming, free ;
Over time itself victorious;

Image of eternity.
Sun, and moon, and stars, shine o'er thee,

See thy surface ebb and flow,
Yet attempt not to explore thee

In thy soundless depths below.
Whether morning's splendours steep thee

With the rainbow's glowing grace;
Tempests rouse, or navies sweep thee,

'Tis but for a moment's space.
Earth—her valleys, and her mountains,

Mortal man's behest obey :
Thy unfathomable fountains,

Scoff his search and scorn his sway.
Such art thou, stupendous ocean!

But if overwhelm'd by thee,
Can we think, without emotion,
What must thy Creator be?

BERNARD BARTON.

IV. THE STORMY PETREL.

“The flight of the petrel is very swift, and on wings even more rapid than those of the swallow, it wheels round the labouring ship, descends into the trough of the waves, and mounts over the curling crests, secure amidst the strife of waters: often, with wings expanded, is it seen to stand, as it were, on the summit of the billow and dip its bill into the water, no doubt in order to pick up some small crustaceous animal. Seldom does it settle on the waters to swim, and it is totally incapabie of diving, as many have erroneously supposed. During a gale at sea the petrel is all animation.”—Knight's Pictorial Museum.

[blocks in formation]

A THOUSAND miles from land are we
Tossing about on the roaring sea ;
From billow to bounding billow cast,
Like fleecy snow on the stormy blast:
The sails are scattered about like weeds,
The strong masts shake like quivering reeds ;
The mighty cables and iron chains,
The hull which all earthly strength disdains,
They strain and they crack; and hearts of stone,
Their natural hard proud strength disown.

Up and down! up and down !
From the base of the wave to the billows' crown,
Amidst the flashing and feathery foam,
The stormy petrel finds a home;
A home,- if such a place can be
For her who lives on the wide wide sea,
On the craggy ice, in the frozen air,
And only seeking her rocky lair
To warn her young, and teach them to spring,
At once o'er the waves on their stormy wing!

O'er the deep! o'er the deep!
Where the whale, and the shark, and the swordfish sleep!
Outflying the blast and the driving rain,
The petrel telleth her tale in vain :
For the mariner curseth the warning bird,
Who bringeth him news of the storm unheard :
Ah! thus does the prophet of good or ill
Meet hate from the creatures he serveth still ;-
Yet, he never falters ;-so, petrel ! spring
Once more o'er the waves on thy stormy wing.

BARRY CORNWALL. 1. What is the effeet of the reduplica- 2. The ellipsis in this line? tion of the adjective here?

THE SHIP FOUNDERING.

151

V. THE SHIP FOUNDERING. “ They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters; these see the works of the Lord, and his wonders in the deep. For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof. They mount up to the heavens; they go down again to the depths: their soul is melted because of trouble. They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wits end. Then they cry unto the Lord in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses. He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still. Then are they glad because they be quiet; so he bringeth them into their desired haven. Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men !- Psalm cvii. 23–31.

“How accurately has Byron described the whole progress of a shipwreck to the final catastrophe.”- Sir John Burrow. Derivations. Etymology.

Syntax.
Farewell. Intervals.
Rose. Swimmer.

Farewell, 1. 1.
Timid.
Convulsive. Sky.

First, v. 2, 1. 1. Hell, 1, 5.
Anticipate. Solitary. Still. Save.

Wave, l. 6.
Universal.
Eager.

Him, 1. 8.

Ocean, v 2, 1.2.
Distinguish between the following words :

Sky and Skye.
Wave and waive.

Die and Dye.
THEN rose from sea to sky the wild farewell

Then shrieked the timid, and stood still the brave,
Then some leaped overboard with dreadful yell,

As eager to anticipate their grave;-
And the sea yawned around her like a hell,

And down she sucked with her the whirling wave,
Like one who grapples with his enemy,
And strives to strangle him before he die.
And first one universal shriek there rushed,

Louder than the loud ocean, like a crash
Of echoing thunder ; and then all was hushed,

Save the wild wind and the remorseless dash
Of billows; but at intervals there gushed,

Accompanied with a convulsive splash,
A solitary shriek, the bubbling cry
Of some strong swimmer in his agony.

BYRON. 1. Put these two lines into their na- 2. Fill up the ellipsis in this line. tural order. Is anything gained by the 3. What is the correlative of her transposition ?

4. What is the nominative to gushed?

VI. DANGERS OF THE DEEP.

“The poet that beautified the sect, that was otherwise inferior to the rest, saith yet excellently well, . It is a pleasure to stand upon the shore, and to see ships tost upon the sea; a pleasure to stand in the window of a castle, and to see a battle, and the adventures thereof below; but no pleasure is comparable to the standing upon the vantage ground of truth (a hill not to be commanded, and where the air is always clear and serene), and to see the errors, and wanderings, and mists, and tempests, in the vale below;' so always that this prospect be with pity, and not with swelling or pride."- Bacon's Essays.

[blocks in formation]

'Tis pleasant by the cheerful hearth to hear
Of tempests,' and the dangers of the deep,
And pause at times, and feel that we are safe ;
Then listen to the perilous? tale again,
And with an eager and suspended soul,
Woo terror to delight us. But to hear
The roaring of the raging elements,--
To know all human skill, all human strength,
Avail not,—to look around, and only see
The mountain-wave incumbent, with its weight
Of bursting waters, o'er the reeling bark,-
Ah, me! this is indeed a dreadful thing;
And he who hath endured the horror once
Of such an hour, doth never hear the storm
Howl round his home but he remembers it,
And thinks upon the suffering mariner.

SOUTHEY.

1. What is the difference between the two phrases, hear of and hear tempests?

2. In what sense is perilous used here ? 3. Show the propriety of this word ?

VII. THE CAST-AWAY SHIP.

“ The subject of the two following poems was suggested by the loss of the Blenheim, commanded by Sir Thomas Trowbridge, which was separated from the vessels under its convoy during a storm in the Indian ocean. The admiral's son afterwards made a voyage without success in search of his father. Trowbridge was one of Nelson's captains at the battle of the Nile, but his ship unfortunately ran aground as he was bearing down on the enemy."- Montgomery,

THE CAST-AWAY SHIP.

153

A VESSEL sailed from Albion's shore

To utmost India bound,
Its crest a hero's pendant bore,

With broad sea-laurels crown'd;
In many a fierce and noble fight,
Though foil'd on that Egyptian night,

When Gallia's host was drowned,
And Nelson o'er his country's foes,
Like the destroying angel rose.

А gay.

and gallant company
With shouts that rent the air,
For warrior's wreaths upon the sea

Their joyful brows prepare ;
But many a maiden's sigh was sent,
And many a mother's blessing went,

And many a father's prayer,
With that exulting ship to sea,
With that undaunted company.

That deep, that like a cradled child

In breathing slumber lay,
More warmly blushed, more sweetly smil'd,

As rose the kindling day :
Through ocean's mirrors dark and clear,
Reflected clouds and skies appear

In morning's rich array ;
The land is lost, the waters glow,
'Tis heaven above, around, below.

Majestic o'er the sparkling tide

See the tall vessel sail,
With swelling winds and shadowy pride,

A swan before the gale;
Deep laden merchants rode behind,
But fearful of the fickle wind

Britannia's cheeks grew pale,
When lessening through the flood of light
Their leader vanished from their sight.

Oft had she hailed its trophied prow

Victorious from the war,
And bannered masts that would not bow

Though riven with many a scar;

« PrécédentContinuer »