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Though round him perils grew in fell array, They sound the well,* and, terrible to hear!
Five feet immersed along the line appear.
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 :
And hostile troops the shatter'd breach ascend.
Resolved till death their sacred charge to guard.
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.
Nor this severe distress is found alone;
Deep rolling from the watery volume's height,
So reels Pelorus with convulsive throes,
Hoarse through his entrails roars th' infernal flame,
And central thunders rend his groaning frame.-
And Fate, vindictive, all their skill defies.
One only remedy the season gave ; A short repose alone their thoughts implore,
To plunge the nerves of battle in the wave : Their harass'd powers by slumber to restore.
From their high platforms, thus, th'artillery thrown, Far other cares the master's mind employ ; Eased of their load, the timbers less shall groan: Approaching perils all his hopes destroy.
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’ eveniful 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,
Like some strong watch-tower, nodding o’er the
Had marked his honest face with many a scar.-
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 meaAnd cards and needles swim in floating wreck.
sured iron rod down into it by a long line. Hence the in: The 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, 1 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 uproll'd 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 inondation 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. The different traverses, since twilight made, Forbid it, Heaven, that, in this dreadful hour, He on the hydrographic circle laid ;
I claim the dangerous reins of purblind power! Then the broad angle of lee-way* explored, But should we now resolve to bear away, As swept across the graduated chord.
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, Within 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 deck 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,
the hour, the scene, th’occasion known, • With fix'd attention, pondering in my mind Perhaps with equal right preferr'd his own The dark distresses on each side combined ; Of long experience in the naval art,
While here we linger in the pass of Fate,
For, some decision if we wish to form,
Ere yet our vessel sink beneath the storm, Sagacious balancing th' opposed events,
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 rusfian 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. Bereft 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 athwart 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 repell'd 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 puinps 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 tempest 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 Fate 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 from 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, chillid 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 heart.But 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,
With murdering weapons arm'd, a lawless brood,
These, while their savage office they pursue,
Oft wound to death the helpless plunder'd crew,
But dread not this !-a crime to Greece unknown
Such blood-hounds all her circling shores disown:
Can share affliction with the wretch distrest:
With conscious horror struck, the naval band
Detested for a while their native land ;
That thus forgot her guardian sailors' cause.
Must ever at the pump industrious stand :
And while with us the rest attend to wear, Till 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!
Perhaps this storm is sent, with healing breath,
He said ; and with consenting reverence fraught,
The sailors join'd his prayer in silent thought.
That groans beneath misfortune and distress;
Where dangers grow, and hostile unions rise ;
Or in its ruins finds a glorious grave.
Ingulfd beneath two fluctuating hills :
A long dark melancholy vale between.*
ation to that of scudding, I have quoted a part of the exBut as your firmest succour, till the last,
planation of those articles as they appear in the “Dic.
tionary of the Marine." O cling securely on each faithful mast!
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 Yet 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 is relerred to the last note of this Canto.
in either state, is the storm is excessive, she may have
The balanced ship, now forward, now behind,
Away there! lower the mizen yard on deck!"
Brandish'd on high, it sell with dreadful sound;
subject. Wreck of the mizen-inast cleared away.
all her sails furled : or be, according to the sea-phrase, as to receive the greatest exertion of the wind. See ling under bare poles.
9 of preceding coluinn. The fore part accordingly yields The intent of spreading a sail at this time, is to keep 10 this impulse, and is put in motion ; and this inotion the ship more steady, and to prevent her from rolling necessarily conspiring with that of the wind, pushes the violently by pressing her side down in the water; and ship about as inuch as is requisite to produce the de. also to turn her head towards the source of the wind, so sired effect. that the shock of the seas may fall more obliquely on her But when the tempest is so violent as to preclude the Hank, than when she lies along the trongh of the sea, or use of sails, the effort of the wind operates almost in the interval between two waves. While she lies in equally on the opposite end of the ship, because the this situation, the helm is fastened close to the lee side, to masts and yards situated near the head and stern serve provent her, as much as possible, from falling to leeward. to counterbalance each other in receiving its impression. But as the ship is not then kept in equilibrio by the ope. The effect of the helm is also considerably diminished, ration of her sails, which at other times counterbalance because the head-way, which gives life and vigour to all each other at the head and stern, she is moved by a its operations, is at this time feeble and ineffectual. slow but continual vibration, which turns her head Hence it becomes necessary to destroy this equilibrium alternately to windward and to leeward, forming an angle which subsists between the masts and yards before and of 30 or 40 degrees in the interval. That part where behind, and to throw the balance forward to prepare for she stops in approaching the direction of the wind is veering. If this cannot be effected by the arrangement called her coming.to: and the contrary excess of the of the yards on the masts, and it becomes absolutely angle to leeward is called her falling off.
necessary to veer, in order to save the ship from deVeering, or wearing, (see line 55, 20 col. p. 23, and struction, (see line 20 of preceding column,) the mizen. linc 20, 1st col. p. 25 ;) as used in the present sense, may mast must be cut away, and even the main-mast, if she be defined, the movement by which a ship changes her still remains incapable of answering the helm by turning state from trying to that of scudding, or of running be. her prow to leeward. fore the direction of the wind and sea.
Scudding is that movement in navigation by which a It is an axiom in natural philosophy, that "every body ship is carried precipitately before a tempest. See line will persevere in a state of rest, or of moving uniforınly 20, 1st col. p. 25. in a right line, unless it be compelled to change its state As a ship flies with amazing rapidity through the waby forces impressed: and that the change of motion is ter whenever this expedient is put in practice, it is never proportional to the moving force impressed, and made attempted in a contrary wind, unless when her condition according to the right line in which that force acts.” renders her incapable of sustaining the mutual effort of
Hence it is easy to conceive how a ship is compelled the wind and waves any longer on her side, without being to turn into any direction by the force of the wind, act. exposed to the most imminent danger. ing upon any part of her length in lines parallel to the A ship either scuds with a sail extended on her foreplane of the horizon. Thus, in the act of veering, mast, or, if the storm is excessive, without any sail, which which is a necessary consequence of this invariable in the sea-phrase is called scudding under bare poles. principle, the object of the seamen is to reduce the The principal hazards incident to scudding are geneaction of the wind on the ship's hinder part, and to re- rally a sea striking a ship's stern; the difficulty of steering, ceive its utmost exertion on her fore part, so that the lat- which perpetually exposes her to the danger of broach. ter may be pushed to leeward. This effect is either pro. ing.to; and the want of sufficient sea-room. A sea which duced by the operation of the sails, or by the impression strikes the stern violently may shatter it to pieces, by of the wind on the masts and yards. In the former case, which the ship must inevitably founder. By broaching. the sails on the hind part of the ship are either furled or to suddenly, she is threatened with losing all her masts arranged nearly parallel to the direction of the wind, and sails, or being immediately overturned; and for which then glides ineffectually along their surfaces; at want of sea-room she is exposed to the dangers of being the same time the foremast sails are spread abroad, so
wrecked on a lee-shore.