WRITTEN ON PASSING DEADMAN'S ISLAND,*
IN THE GULF OF ST. LAWRENCE,
Late in the evening, September 1804.
See you, beneath yon cloud so dark,
Fast gliding along, a gloomy Bark?'
Her sails are full, though the wind is still,
And there blows not a breath her sails to fill!
Oh! what doth that vessel of darkness bear?
The silent calm of the grave is there,
Save now and again a death-knell rung,
And the flap of the sails, with night-fog hung !
There lieth a wreck on the dismal shore
Of cold and pitiless Labrador;
Where, under the moon, upon mounts of frost,
Full many a mariner's bones are tost !
Yon shadowy Bark hath been to that wreck,
And the dim blue fire that lights her deck
Doth play on as pale and livid a crew,
As ever yet drank the churchyard dew!
To Deadman's Isle, in the eye of the blast,
To Deadman's Isle, she speeds her fast;
By skeleton shapes her sails are furled,
And the hand that steers is not of this world !
Oh! hurry thee on-oh! hurry thee on,
Thou terrible Bark ! ere the night be gone,
Nor the morning look on so foul a sight
As would blanch for ever her rosy light !
TO THE BOSTON FRIGATE,
ON LEAVING HALIFAX FOR ENGLAND,
Noστου προφασις γλυκερου.
Pindar. Pyth. 4.
With triumph this morning, O Boston ! I hail
The stir of thy deck and the spread of thy sail,
For they tell me I soon shall be wasted, in thee,
To the flourishing isle of the brave and the free,
This is one of the Magdalen Islands, and, singularly enough, is the property of Sir Isaac Coffin, The above lines were suggested by a superstition very common among sailors, who call this ghost-ship, I think," the Flying Dutch
We were thirteen days on our passage from Quebec to Halifax, and I had been so spoiled by the very splendid hospitality with which my friends of the Phaeton and Boston had treated me that I was but ill-prepared to encounter the miseries of a Canadian ship. The weather, however, was pleasant, and the scenery along the river delightful. Our passage through the Gut of Canso, with a bright sky and a fair wind, was particularly striking and romantic.