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But some remain'd reluctant on the deck Of that proud vessel now a moral

wreck

And view'd their captain's fate with piteous eyes;

129

While others scoff'd his augur'd miseries,
Sneer'd at the prospect of his pigmy sail,
And the slight bark so laden and so frail.
The tender nautilus, who steers his prow,
The sea-born sailor of his shell canoe,
The ocean Mab, the fairy of the sea,
Seems far less fragile, and, alas! more
free.

He, when the lightning-wing'd tornadoes sweep

The surge, is safe (his port is in the deep) And triumphs o'er the armadas of mankind,

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V

Such was this ditty of Tradition's days, Which to the dead a lingering fame con

veys

80

In song, where fame as yet hath left no
sign
Beyond the sound whose charm is half di-
vine;

Which leaves no record to the sceptic eye,
But yields young history all to harmony;
A boy Achilles, with the centaur's lyre
In hand, to teach him to surpass his sire.
For one long-cherish'd ballad's simple stave,
Rung from the rock, or mingled with the
wave,

Or from the bubbling streamlet's grassy side,

90

Or gathering mountain echoes as they glide, Hath greater power o'er each true heart and ear, Than all the columns Conquest's minions

rear;

Invites, when hieroglyphics are a theme For sages' labours or the student's dream; Attracts, when History's volumes are a toil,

The first, the freshest bud of Feeling's soil. Such was this rude rhyme-rhyme is of the rude;

But such inspired the Norseman's solitude, Who came and conquer'd; such, wherever rise

Lands which no foes destroy or civilise, 100 Exist: and what can our accomplish'd art Of verse do more than reach the awaken'd heart?

VI

And sweetly now those untaught melodies Broke the luxurious silence of the skies,

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wave

All gently to refresh the thirsty cave, Where sat the songstress with the stranger

boy,

Who taught her passion's desolating joy, Too powerful over every heart, but most O'er those who know not how it may be

lost;

O'er those who, burning in the new-born fire,

Like martyrs revel in their funeral pyre,
With such devotion to their ecstasy
That life knows no such rapture as to die:
And die they do; for earthly life has
nought

Match'd with that burst of nature, even in thought;

120

And all our dreams of better life above
But close in one eternal gush of love.

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110

VII

There sat the gentle savage of the wild,
In growth a woman, though in years a
child,

As childhood dates within our colder clime
Where nought is ripen'd rapidly save
crime;
The infant of an infant world, as pure
From nature lovely, warm, and prema-

ture; Dusky like night, but night with all her stars;

-

Or cavern sparkling with its native spars; With eyes that were a language and a spell,

131

A form like Aphrodite's in her shell,
With all her loves around her on the deep,
Voluptuous as the first approach of sleep;
Yet full of life- for through her tropic

cheek The blush would make its way, and all but speak; The sun-born blood suffused her neck, and threw

O'er her clear nut-brown skin a lucid hue,
Like coral reddening through the darken'd
wave,
Which draws the diver to the crimson

cave.

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