« AnteriorContinuar »
With juice nectareous flows; to pungent sour, Seen rocky, molten fragments, flung in air
From Etna's vext abyss ; seen burning streams Vain every joint a gemmy embryo bears,
Pour down its channelled sides ; tremendous Alternate ranged ; from these no filial young
scenes ! Shall grateful spring, to bless the planter's eye. Yet not vext Etna's pillared flames, that strike
The stars ; nor molten mountains hurled on high ; THE ANTS DESTRUCTIVE TO THE CANE-PLANTS.
Nor ponderous rapid deluges, that burn With bugs confederate, in destructive league, Its deeply-channelled sides, cause such dismay, The ants' republic joins ; a villain crew,
Such desolation, hurricane, as thou, As the waves countless, that plough up the deep When the Almighty gives thy rage to blow, (Where Eurus reigns vicegerent of the sky,
And all the battles of thy winds engage.
PREPARATION FOR THE HURRICANE SEASON.
Soon as the Virgin's charms engross the sun,
| And till his weaker flame the Scorpion feels, Pernicious pioneers ! while those invest,
But chief while Libra weighs the unsteady year, More firmly daring, in the face of Heaven,
Planter, with mighty props thy dome support; And win, by regular approach, the cane.
Each flaw repair ; and well, with massy bars, REMEDIES AGAINST THE "BLAST' AND INSECTS ; ROOTING UP Thy doors and windows guard ; securely lodge AND BURNING THE CAXE-FIELD.
Thy stocks and mill-points. 'Gainst such ferocious, such unnumbered bands,
PRELUDES TO THE HURRICANE ; CALMS, SEA-SWELL, (Lotns, What arts, what arms, shall sage experience use ?
BIRDS, SUIFTING WINDS, THE HERDS. Some bid the planter load the favoring gale
Then, or calms obtain ; With pitch, and sulphur's suffocating steam :
Breathless the royal palm-tree's airiest van; Unless the vapor o'er the cane-grove flies,
While, o'er the panting isle, the demon heat In curling volumes lost, such feeble arms,
High hurls his flaming brand ; vast, distant waves To man though fatal, not the blast subdue.
The main drives furious in, and heaps the shore Others again, and better their success,
With strange productions : or, the blue sereno Cominand their slaves each tainted blade to pick
| Assumes a low'ring aspect, as the clouds With care, and burn them in vindictive flames.
Fly, wild-caroering, through the vault of heaven ; Labor immense ! and yet, if small the pest ;
Then transient birds, of various kinds, frequent If numerous, if industrious, be thy gang ;
Each stagnant pool ; some hover o'er thy roof; At length, thou mayst the victory obtain.
Then Eurus reigns no more ; but each bold wind, But, if the living taint be far diffused,
By turns, usurps the empire of the air Bootless this toil ; nor will it then avail
With quick inconstancy ; (Though ashes lend their suffocating aid)
Thy herds, as sapient of the coming storm To bare the broad roots, and the mining swarins
(For beasts partake some portion of the sky), Expose, remorseless, to the burning noon.
In troops associate ; and, in cold sweats bathed, Ah ! must then ruin desolate the plain?
Wild-bellowing, eye the pole.
SIGNS OF THE COMING HURRICANE ; THE MOON; srx ; STARS ;
POOLS ; FORESTS ; MOUNTAINS. The infected cane-piece ; and, with eager flames,
Ye seamen, now, The hostile myriads thou to embers turn :
Ply to the southward, if the changeful moon, Far better, thus, a mighty loss sustain,
Or, in her interlunar palace hid,
(glows : Which happier years and prudence may retrievo,
Shuns night; or, full-orbed, in night's forehead Than risk thine all. As when an adverse storm,
For, sce! the mists, that late involved the hill, Impetuous, thunders on some luckless ship,
Disperse ; the mid-day sun looks red ; strange burs From green St. Christopher or Cathäy bound :
Surround the stars, which vaster fill the eye. Each nautic art the recling seamen try :
A horrid stench the pools, the main emits ; The storm redoubles : death rides on every wave :
Fearful the genius of the forest sighs ; Down by the board the cracking masts they hew,
The mountains moan; deep groans the caverned cliff. And heave their precious cargo in the main.
A night of vapor, closing fast around,
THE HURRICANE DESCRIBED ; NORTH, WEST, SOUTH ; CONFLAThe all-wasting hurricane observant ride?
GRATION ; TORRENTS ; EAST ; NIGHT. Can she, undazzled, view the lightning's glare,
Each wind appeased, That fires the welkin? Can she, unappalled, The North flies forth, and hurls the frighted air : When all the flood-gates of the sky are ope,
Not all the brazen engineries of man, The shoreless deluge stem ? The Muse hath seen At once exploded, the wild burst surpass. The pillared flame, whose top hath reached the stars; Yet thunder, yoked with lightning and with rain,
Water with fire, increase the infernal din :
Nor bunch, nor joint; but, sapless, arid, pine :
BEASTS ; OCEAN; LIGHTNING.
Then earthquakes, Nature's agonizing pangs,
A din, Wild, through the mountain's quivering rocky caves, Like the dread crash of tumbling planets, roars. When tremble thus the pillars of the globe, , Like the tall coco by the fierce North blown, Can the poor, brittle tenements of man Withstand the dread convulsion? Their dear homes, Which shaking, tottering, crashing, bursting, fall, The boldest fly ; and, on the open plain Appalled, in agony the moment wait, When, with disrupture vast, the waving earth Shall whelm them in her sea-disgorging womb.
Nor less affrighted are the bestial kind. The bold steed quivers in each panting vein, And staggers, bathed in deluges of sweat : Thy lowing herds forsake their grassy food, And send forth frighted, woful, hollow sounds; The dog, thy trusty sentinel of night, Deserts his post assigned, and, piteous, howls. — Wide ocean feels : The mountain-waves, passing their customed bounds, Make direful, loud incursions on the land, All overwhelming : sudden they retreat, With their whole troubled waters ; but, anon, Sudden return, with louder, mightier force (The black rocks whiten, the vext shores resound); And yet, more rapid, distant they retire. Vast coruscations lighten all the sky, With volumed flames; while thunder's awful voice, From forth his shrine, by night and horror girt, Astounds the guilty, and appalls the good . For oft the best, smote by the bolt of heaven, Wrapt in ethereal flaine, forget to live : Else, fair Theana. — Muse, her fate deplore.
ON THE CANE.
STORY OF JUNIO AND TIEAXA.
Nor does the hurricane's all-wasting wrath
When such the ravage of the burning calm
Soon as young reason dawned in Junio's breast, His father sent him from these genial isles, To where old Thames, with conscious pride, surveys Green Eton, soft abode of every muse. Each classic beauty soon he made his own; And soon famed Isis saw him woo the Nine, On her inspiring banks : love tuned his song ; For fair Theana was his only theme, Acasto's daughter, whom, in early youth, He oft distinguished ; and for whom he oft Had climbed the bending coco's airy height, To rob it of its nectar ; which the maid, When he presented, more nectareous deemed,
The sweetest sappadillas oft he brought ;
And shall not Hymen light his brightest torch
Though learned, curious, and though nobly bent With each rare talent to adorn his mind, His native land to serve, no joys he found. Yet sprightly Gaul ; yet Belgium, Saturn's reign ; Yet Greece, of old the seat of every muse, Of freedom, courage ; yet Ausonia's 3 clime, His stops explored ; where painting, music's strains, Where arts, where laws (Philosophy's best child), With rival beauties, his attention claimed. To his just-judging, his instructed eye, The all-perfect Medicean Venus + seemed A perfect semblance of his Indian fair : But when she spake of love, her voice surpassed The harmonious warblings of Italian song.
Twice one long year elapsed, when letters came, Which briefly told him of his father's death. Afflicted, filial, yet to Heaven resigned, Soon he reached Albion, and as soon embarked, Eager to clasp the object of his love.
Blow, prosperous breezes ! swiftly sail, thou Po ! Swist sailed the Po, and happy breezes blew.
In Biscay's stormy seas an armed ship,
So plied their cannon, plied their missile fires,
Blow, prosperous breezes ! swiftly sail, thou Po! May no more dangerous fights retard thy way!
Soon Porto Santo's rocky heights they spy,
Though faster than the tropic-bird they flew,
She, no less amorous, every evening walked
One eve, faint calms for many a day had raged,
Exemption from the grave, the ethereal bolt, | That stretched her speechless, o'er her lovely head Had innocently rolled.
Meanwhile, impatient, Junio leapt ashore, Regardless of the demons of the storm. Ah, youth! what woes, too great for man to bear, Are ready to burst on thee! Urge not so Thy flying courser. Soon Theana's porch Received him : at his sight, the ancient slaves Affrighted shriek, and to the chamber point. Confounded, yet unknowing what they meant, He entered hasty
Ah! what a sight for one who loved so well! All pale and cold, in every feature death, Theana lay ; and yet a glimpse of joy Played on her face, while with faint, faltering voice, She thus addressed the youth, whom yet she knew.
Welcome, my Junio, to thy native shore ! | Thy sight repays this summons of my fate :
Live, and live happy ; sometimes think of me :
One grave contains this hapless, faithful pair ; And still the cane-isles tell their matcbless love!
1 Sheen, that is, 'shining,' the old name of Richmond.
2 Dr. Thomas Percy, Dean of Carlisle, and Bishop of Dro. more; he was born in 1728, and died in 1811.
He published Reliques of English Poetry. He was author of sev. eral excellent pieces.
3 A classic name of Italy.
Welcome thy glad approach : but chief the cane, Whose juice now longs to murmur down the spout, Hails thy loved coming ; January, hail !
DEDICATION TO M.
ARGUMENT. Hymn to the month of January, when crop begins. Ad
dress. Planters have employment all the year round. Planters should be pious. A ripe cane-piece on fire at midnight. Crop begun. Cane-cutting described. Effects of music. Great care requisite in feeding the mill. Humanity towards the maimed recommended. The tainted cane should not be ground. Their use. How to preserve the laths and mill-points from sudden squalls. Address to the sun, and praise of Antigua. A cattle-mill described. Care of mules, etc. Diseases to which they are subject. A water-mill the least liable to interruption. Common in Guadaloupe and Martinico. Praise of Lord Romney. The necessity of a strong, clear fire, in boiling. Planters should always have a spare set of vessels, because the iron furnaces are apt to crack, and copper Vessels to melt. The danger of throwing cold water into a thorough-heated furnace. Cleanliness, and skimming well, recommended. A boiling-house should be lofty, and open at top, to the leeward. Constituent parts of vegetables. Sugar an es. sential salt. What retards its granulation. How to forward it. Dumb cane. Effects of it. Bristol lime the best temper. Various uses of Bristol lime.
Gool mus. covado described. Bermudas lime recommended. The Negroes should not be hindered from drinking the hot liquor. The cheerfulness and healthiness of the Negroes in crop-time. Boilers to be encouraged. Toey should neither boil the sugar too little, nor too much. When the sugar is of too loose a grain, and about to boil over the teache, or last copper, a little grease settles it, and makes it boil closer. The French often mix sand with their sugars. This practice not followed by the English. A character. of the skimmings. Their various uses. Of rum. Its praise. A West India prospect, when crop is finished. An address to the Creoles, to live more upon their estates than they do. The reasons.
OM-! thou, whose polished mind contains Each science useful to thy native isle ! Philosopher, without the hermit's spleen ! Polite, yet learned ; and, though solid, gay! Critic, whose head each beauty, fond, admires ; Whose heart each error flings in friendly shade ! Planter, whose youth sage cultivation taught Each secret lesson of her sylvan school : To thee the Muse a grateful tribute pays ; She owes to thee the precepts of her song : Nor wilt thou, sour, refuse, – though other cares, The public welfare, claim thy busy hour, – With her to roam (thrice-pleasing devious walk) The ripened cane-piece, and with her to taste (Delicious draught !) the nectar of the mill!
PLANTERS SHOULD ACKNOWLEDGE THE DIVINE PROVIDENCE,
The planter's labor in a round revolves ! Ends with the year, and with the year begins. Ye swains, to Heaven bend low in grateful
prayer, Worship the Almighty ; whose kind-fostering hand Hath blest your labor, and hath given the cane To rise superior to each menaced ill.
Nor less, ye planters, in devotion, sue, That nor the heavenly bolt, nor casual spark, Nor hand of malice, may the crop destroy.
HARVESTING AND SCGAR-BOILING. — THE NEW YEAR. - SIMILE
OF THE PILGRIM.
A CASE-FIELD ON FIRE ; VAIN EFFORTS ; DESTRICTION 07
From scenes of deep distress the heavenly Muse, Emerging joyous, claps her dewy wings. As when a pilgrim in the howling waste Hath long time wandered, fearful at each step Of tumbling cliffs, fell serpents, whelming bogs ; At last, from some long eminence, descries Fair haunts of social life ; wide-cultured plains, O'er which glad reapers pour ; he cheerly sings : So she to sprightlier notes her pipe attunes, Than e'er these mountains heard ; to gratulate, With duteous carols, the beginning year.
WINTER UNKNOWN IN THE WEST INDIES.
Hail, eldest birth of time ! in other climes, In the old world, with tempests ushered in ; While rifled Nature thine appearance wails, And savage Winter wields his iron mace : But not the rockiest verge of these green isles, Though mountains heaped on mountains brave the Dares Winter by his residence profane. [sky, At times the ruffian, wrapt in murky state, Inroads will, sly, attempt ; but soon the sun, Benign protector of the cane-land isles, Repels the invader, and his rude mace breaks.
Ah me! what numerous, deafening bells reWhat cries of horror startle the dull steep? (sound? What gleaming brightness makes, at midnight, day, By its portentous glare? Too well I see Palamon's fate, the virtuous and the wise ! Where were ye, watches, when the flame burst forth ? A little care had then the hydra quelled : But, now, what clouds of white smoke load the sky! How strong, how rapid, the combustion pours ! Aid not, ye winds ! with your destroying breath, The spreading vengeance. - They contemn my
prayer. Roused by the deafening bells, the cries, the From every quarter, in tumultuous bands, [blaze, The Negroes rush, and ’mid the crackling flames Plunge, demon-like! All, all, urge every nerve : This way, tear up those canes ; dash the fire out, Which sweeps, with serpent-orror, o'er the ground. There, hew these down; their topmost branches And here bid all thy watry engines play ; [burn ; For here the wind the burning deluge drives.
In vain. - More wide the blazing torrent rolls; More loud it roars, more bright it fires the pole! And toward thy mansion, see, it bends its way. Haste ! far, 0 far, your infant throng remove : Quick from your stables drag your steeds and mules:
Here, every mountain, every winding dell (Haunt of the Dryads ; where, beneath the shade Of broad-leafed china, idly they repose, Charmed with the murmur of the tinkling rill, Charmed with the hummings of the neighboring
THE LASH NOT NEEDED.
HARVEST-SONGS. - EFFECTS OF SONG. - SCOTCH SHEPHERDS.
With well-wet blankets guard your cypress-roofs ; | The senior swaing, with sharpened shears, cut off And where thy dried canes in large stacks are The fleecy vestment ; others stir the tar ;
Efforts but serve to irritate the flames : [piled. And some impress upon their captive's sides Naught but thy ruin can their wrath appease. Their master's cipher ; while the infant throng Ah, my Palæmon! what availed thy care,
Strive by the horns to hold the struggling ram, Oft to prevent the earliest dawn of day,
Proud of their prowess. Nor meanwhile the jest And walk thy ranges at the noon of night?
Light-bandied round, but innocent of ill;
Nor need the driver, Æthiop authorized,
Thence more inhuman, crack his horrid whip; THE RIPE CROP ; COPPERS, NEGROES, MILLS.
From such dire sounds the indignant Muse averts 0, may the cane-isles know few nights like this !
Her virgin ear, where music loves to dwell : For now the sail-clad points, impatient, wait
"T is malice now, 't is wantonness of power, The hour of sweet release, to court the gale.
To lash the laughing, laboring, singing throng. The late-hung coppers wish to feel the warmth Which well-dried fuel from the cane imparts : The Negro-train, with placid look, survey
What cannot song? all nature feels its power : Thy fields, which full perfection have attained,
The hind's blithe whistle, as through stubborn soils And pant to wield the bill (no surly watch
He drives the shining share, more than the goad Dare now deprive them of the luscious cane):
His tardy steers impels. — The Muse bath seen, Nor thou, my friend, their willing ardor check ;
When health danced frolic in her youthful veins, Encourage rather ; cheerful toil is light.
And vacant gambols winged the laughing hours So from no field shall slow-paced oxen draw
The Muse hath seen on Annan's pastoral hills, More frequent loaded wains ; which many a day,
Of theft and slaughter erst the fell retreat, And many a night, shall feed thy crackling mills
But now the shepherd's best beloved walk — With richest offerings : while thy far-seen flames,
Hath seen the shepherd, with his sylvan pipe, Bursting through many a chimney, bright emblaze
Lead on his flock o'er crags, through bogs, and The Ethiop-brow of night. And see, they pour
A tedious journey ; yet not weary they, (streanis, (Ere Phosphor his pale circlet yet withdraws,
Drawn by the enchantment of his artless song. What time gray dawn stands tip-toe on the hill)
What cannot music? - When brown Ceres asks O'er the rich cane-grove : Muse, their labor sing.
The reaper's sickle, what like magic sound, CANE-CUTTING; VARIOUS MODES ; LEAVES, TOPS, STALK
Puffed from sonorous bellows by the squeeze
or tuneful artist, can the rage disarm Some, bending, of their sapless burden ease Of the swart dog-star, and make harvest light? The yellow-jointed canes (whose height exceeds
FEEDING THE CANE-MILL. THE MAIMED SLAVE. A mounted trooper, and whose clammy round Measures two inches full); and near the root
And now thy mills dance eager in the gale ; Lop the stem off, which quivers in their hand
Feed well their eagerness : but, 0, beware ; With fond impatience : soon its branchy spires
Nor trust between the steel-cased cylinders
The hand incautious : off the member snapt (Food to thy cattle) it resigns; and soon Its tender prickly tops, with eyes thick set,
Thou 'lt ever rue, sad spectacle of woe !
Are there — the Muse can scarce believe the tale To load with future crops thy long-hoed land.
Are there, who, lost to every feeling sense, These with their green, their pliant branches bound (For not a part of this amazing plant
To reason, interest, lost, their slaves desert, But serves some useful purpose), charge the young :
And manumit them — generous boon !- to starve, Not laziness declines this easy toil ;
Maimed by imprudence, or the hand of Heaven? Even lameness from its leafy pallet crawls,
The good man feeds his blind, his aged steed, To join the favored gang. What of the cane
That in his service spent his vigorous prime : Remains
And dares a mortal to his fellow-inan – and much the largest part remains Cut into junks a yard in length, and tied [wain,
(For, spite of vanity, thy slaves are men) In small light bundles, load the broad-wheeled
Deny protection ? Muse, suppress the tale ! The mules crook-harnessed, and the sturdier crew,
CULLING THE CANES. - DISTILLING. - USK OF BAD STALKS. With sweet abundance.
Ye, who in bundles bind the lopt-off canes, THE LINCOLN SHEEP-SHEARINGS.
But chiefly ye who feed the tight-braced mill, As on Lincoln plains In separate parcels far the infected fling : (Ye plains of Lincoln, sound your Dyer's praise !) Of bad cane-juice the least admixture spoils When the laved snow-white flocks are numerous The richest, soundest ; thus, in pastoral walks, penned,
One tainted sheep contaminates the fold.