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And then relapsed into his sullen guise, As heedless of his further destinies.
But brief their time for good or evil thought;
I. WHITE as a white sail on a dusky sea, When half the horizon's clouded and half free Fluttering between the dun wave and the sky Is hope's last gleam in man's extremity. Her anchor parts, but still her snowy sail Attracts our eye amid the rudest gale; Though every wave she climbs divides us more, The heart still follows from the loneliest shore.
II. Not distant from the isle of Toobonai, A black rock rears its bosom o'er the spray, The haunt of birds, a desert to mankind, Where the rough seal reposes from the wind, And sleeps unwieldy in his cavern dun, Or gambols with huge frolic in the sun : There shrilly to the passing oar is heard The startled echo of the ocean bird, Who rears on its bare breast her callow brood, The feather'd fishers of the solitude. A narrow segment of the yellow sand On one side forms the outline of a strand Here, the young turtle, crawling from his shell Steals to the deep wherein his parents dwell; Chipp'd by the beam, a nursling of the day, But hatch'd for ocean by the fostering ray; The rest was one bleak precipice, as eler
A spot to make the saved regret the deck
III. Ere the canoes divided, near the spot, The men that mann'd what held her Torquil's lot, But her command removed, to strengthen more The skiff which wafted Christian from the shore. This he would have opposed; but with a smile She pointed calmly to the craggy isle, And bade him “speed and prosper.” She would taki The rest upon herself for Torquil's sake. They parted with this added aid; afar The proa darted like a shooting star, And gain’d on the pursuers, who now steer'd Right on the rock which she and Torquil near'd. They pull'd ; her arm, though delicate, was free And firm as ever grappled with the sea, And yielded scarce to Torquil's manlier strength. The prow now almost lay within its length Of the crag's steep, inexorable face, With nought but soundless waters for its base; Within a hundred boats' length was the foe, And now what refuge but their frail canoe This Torquil ask'd with half upbraiding eye, Which said—“Has Neuha brought me here to die Is this a place of safety, or a grave, And yon huge rock the tombstone of the wave?"
IV. They rested on their paddles, and uprose Neuha, and pointing to the approaching foes, Cried, “Torquil, follow me, and fearless follow' Then plunged at once into the ocean's hollow. There was no time to pause—the foes were nearChains in his eyes, and menace in his ear; With vigor they pull'd on, and as they came, Hail'd him to yield, and by his forfeit name. Headlong he leapt—to him the swimmer's skill Was native, and now all his hope from ill: But how, or where He dived, and rose no more; The boat's crew look'd amazed o'er sea and shore. There was no landing on that precipice, Steep, harsh, and slippery as a berg of ice. They watch'd awhile to see him float again, But not a trace rebubbled from the main : The wave roll'd on, no ripple on its face, Since their first plunge recall'd a single trace; The little whirl which eddied, and slight foam, That whiten’d o'er what scem'd their latest home, White as a sepulchre above the pair Who left no marble (mournful as an heir) The quiet proa wavering o'er the tide Was all that told of Torquil and his bride; And but for this alone the whole might seem The vanish'd phantom of a seaman's dream. They paused and search'd in vain, then pull'd arey Even superstition now forbade their stay. Some said he had not plung'd into the wave, But vanish'd like a corpse-light from a grave, Others, that something supernatural Glared in his figure, more than mortal tall; While all agreed that in his check and eye
Gave mariners a shelter and despair;
There was a dead hue of eter nity
Stilt as , i.eir oars receded from the crag,
V. And where was he, the pilgrim of the deep, Following the nereid Had they ceased to weep For ever ? or, received in coral caves, Wrung life and pity from the softening waves 2 Did they with ocean's hidden sovereigns dwell, And sound with mermen the fantastic shell ? Did Neuha with the mermaids comb her hair, Flowing o'er ocean as it stream'd in air Or had they perish'd, and in silence slept Beneath the gulf wherein they boldly leapt *
VI. Young Neuha plunged into the deep, and he Follow'd : her track beneath her native sea Was as a native's of the element, So smoothly, bravely, brilliantly she went, Leaving a streak of light behind her heel, Which struck and flashed like an amphibious steel. Closely, and scarcely less expert to trace The depths where divers hold their pearl in chase, Torquil, the nursling of the northern seas, Pursued her liquid steps with heart and ease. Deep—deeper for an instant Neuha led The way—then upward soar'd—and as she spread Her arms, and flung the foam from off her locks, Laugh'd, and the sound was answer'd by the rocks. They had gain’d a central realm of earth again, But look'd for tree, and field, and sky, in vain. Around she pointed to a spacious cave, Whose only portal was the keyless wave," (A hollow archway by the sun unseen, Save through the billows' glassy veil of green, In some transparent ocean holiday, When all the finny people are at play,) Wiped with her hair the brine from Torquil's eyes, And clapp'd her hands with joy at his surprise ; Led him to where the rock appear'd to jut, And form a something like a Triton's hut; For all was darkness for a space, till day Through clefts above let in a sober'd ray; As in some old cathedral's glimmering aisle The dusty monuments from light recoil, Thus sadly in their refuge submarine The vault drew half her shadow from the scene.
Forth from her bosom the young savage drew
* of this cave (which is no fiction) the original will be found in the ninth rapter of “Marner's Account of the Tonga Islands." I have taken the oxal illerty to transplant it to Toobonai, the last islaud where any distinct wount is kit of Chrisuu, and his comrades.
The buttress from some mountain's bosom hurled,
VIII. And Neuha took her Torquil by the hand. And waved along the vault her kindled brand, And led him into each recess, and show'd The secret places of their new abode. Nor these alone, for all had been prepared Before, to sooth the lover's lot she shared: The mat for rest; for dress the fresh gnatoo, And sandal-oil to fence against the dew; For food the cocoa-nut, the yam, the bread Born of the fruit; for board the plantain spread With his broad leaf, or turtle-shell he bore A banquet in the flesh it cover'd o'er; The gourd with water recent from the rill, The ripe banana from the mellow hill; A pine torch-pile to keep undying light. And she herself, as beautiful as night, To fling her shadowy spirit o'er the scene And make their subterranean world serene. She had foreseen, since first the stranger's sail Drew to their isle, that force or flight might fail. And form'd a refuge of the rocky den For Torquil's safety from his countrymen. Each dawn had wafted there her light canoe Laden with all the golden fruits that grew; Each eve had seen her gliding through the hour With all could cheer or deck their sparry bower; And now she spread her little store with smiles, The happiest daughter of the loving isles.
IX. She, as he gazed with grateful wonder, press'd Her shelter'd love to her impassion'd breast; And suited to her soft caresses, told An olden tale of love, for love is old, Old as eternity, but not outworn With each new being born or to be born : T How a young chief, a thousand moons ago, Diving for turtle in the depths below, Had risen, in tracking fast his ocean prey, Into the cave which round and o'er them lay; How in some desperate feud of after time, He shelter'd there a daughter of the clime. A foe beloved, and offspring of a foe, Saved by his tribe but for a captive's wo; How, when the storm of war was still'd, he led His island clan to where the waters spread
* This may seem too minute for the general outline (in Mariner's Accoung from which it is taken. But few inen have travelled without seeing son rething of the kind—on land, that is. Without adverting to Ellora, in Murga Park's last journal, (if my memory do not err, for there are eight years ance I read the book, he mentions having met with a rock or mountain so exactly resembling a Gothic cathedral, that only a minute inspection could convince him that it was a work of nature.
t The realer will recollect the epigram of the Greek anthology, or is translation into most of the modern languages:
“Whoe'er thou art, thy master see,
Their deep green shadow o'er the rocky door,
X. And they, the cause and sharers of the shock Which left them exiles of the hollow rock, Where were they O'er the sea for life they plied, To seek from Heaven the shelter men denied. Another course had been their choice—but where 2 The wave which bore them still their foes would bear, Who disappointed of their former chase, In search of Christian now renew'd their race. Eager with anger, their strong arms made way Like vultures baffled of their previous prey. They gain'd upon them, all whose safety lay In some bleak crag or deeply-hidden bay: No further chance or choice remain'd; and right For the first further rock which met their sight They steer'd, to take their latest view of land, And yield as victims, or die sword in hand; Dismiss'd the natives and their shallop, who Would still have battled for that scanty crew; But Christian bade them seek their shore again, Nor add a sacrifice which were in vain; For what were simple bow and savage spear Against the arms that must be wielded here 2
They landed on a wild but narrow scene,
No grateful country, smiling through her tears
The boat drew nigh, well arm'd, and firm the crew
* The tradition is attached wo the story of Eloisa, that when her body was kwered into the grave of Abelard, (who had been buried twenty yearn) bo spened his arms to receive her.
Tne crag, as doth a falcon reft of young. The sound revived him, or appear'd to wake
|Some passion which a weakly gesture spake,
He beck n'd to the foremost, who drew nigh,
XIII. The deed was over ! All were gone or ta'en, The fugitive, the captive, or the slain. Chain'd on the deck, where once, a gallant crew, They stood with honor, were the wretched few Survivors of the skirmish on the isle; But the last rock left no surviving spoil. Cold these lay where they fell, and weltering, While o'er them flapp'd the sea-bird's dewy wing, Now wheeling nearer from the neighboring surge, And screaming high their harsh and hungry dirge: But calm and careless heaved the wave below, Eternal with unsympathetic flow; Far o'er its face the dolphins sported on, And sprung the flying fish against the sun,
• In Thibault's account of Frederic the Second of Prussia, there is a sintular relation of a young Frenchman, who with his mistress, appeared to be w wide rank. He onlisted and deserved at Scweidnitz: and after a desperate roanize was retaken, having killed an officer, who attempted to seize him after he was wounded, by the lischarge of his musket loaded with a button of Mio uniform. Some circumstances on his court martial raised a great unterest autong his judges, who wished to "incover his real situation in life, which he wdered to tie-loo, but to the king only, to whom he requested permission wo write. This was refused, and Frederic was filled with the greatest insigna. *on, from taoled curiosity or some ou.or motive, when he understood that his *quest had been denied--8ee Thitau.'s Work, vol. ii-II quote from mem.
Till its dried wing relapsed from its brief height. To gather moisture for another flight.
XIV. 'Twas morn; and Neuha, who by dawn of day Swam smoothly forth to catch the rising ray, And watch if aught approach'd the amphibious laii Where lay her lover, saw a sail in air: It flapp'd, it fill'd, and to the growing gale Bent its broad arch : her breath began to fail With fluttering fear, her heart beat thick and high, While yet a doubt sprung where its course might lie. But no it came not; fast and far away The shadow lessen’d as it clear'd the bay. She gazed and flung the sea-foam from her eyes. To watch as for a rainbow in the skies. On the horizon verged the distant deck, Diminish'd, dwindled to a very speck— Then vanish'd. All was ocean, all was joy! Down plunged she through the cave to rouse her boy Told all she had seen, and all she hoped, and all That happy love could augur or recall; Sprung forth again, with Torquil following free His bounding nereid over the broad sea; Swam round the rock, to where a shallow cleft Hid the canoe that Neuha there had left Drifting along the tide, without an oar, That eve the strangers chased them from the shore But when these vanish'd, she pursued her prow, Regain'd, and urged to where they found it now . Nor ever did more love and joy embark, Than now was wafted in that slender ark.
XV. Again their own shore rises on the view, No more polluted with a hostile hue ; No sullen ship lay bristling o'er the foam, A floating dungeon:—all was hope and home ! A thousand proas darted o'er the bay, With sounding shells, and heralded their way; The chiefs came down, around the people pour'd, And welcome Torquil as a son restored; The women throng'd, embracing and embraced By Neuha, asking where they had been chased, And how escaped 2 The tale was told ; and then One acclamation rent the sky again; And from that hour a new tradition gave Their sanctuary the name of “Neuha's Cave.” A hundred fires, far flickering from the height, Blazed o'er the general revel of the night, The feast in honor of the guest, return'd To peace and pleasure, perilously earn'd : A night succeeded by such happy days As only the yet infant world displays.
APPENDIX TO THE ISLAND.
EXTRACT FROM THE VOYAGE OF CAPTAIN BLIGH.
ON the 27th of December it blew a severe storm of wind from the eastward, in the course of which we suffered greatly. One sea broke away the spare yards and spars out of the starboard main-chains; another broke into the ship and stove all the boats. Several casks of beer that had been lashed on deck broke ioose, and were washed overboard; and it was not without great risk and difficulty that we were able to secure the boats from being washed away entirely. A great quantity of our bread was also damaged and rendered useless, for the sea had stove in our stern, and filled the cabin with water. On the 5th of January, 1788, we saw the island of Teneriffe about twelve leagues distant; and next day being Sunday, came to an anchor in the road of Santa Cruz. There we took in the necessary supplies, and, having finished our business, sailed on the 10th. I now divided the people into three watches, and ave the charge of the }. watch to Mr. Fletcher É. one of the mates. I have always considered this a desirable regulation when circumstances will admit of it; and I am persuaded that unbroken rest not only contributes much towards the health of the ship's company, but enables them more readily to exert themselves in cases of sudden emergency. As I wished to proceed to Otaheite without stopping, I reduced the allowance of bread to twothirds, and caused the water for drinking to be filtered through drip-stones, bought at Teneriffe for that purpose. I now acquainted the ship's company of the object of the voyage, and gave assurances of certain promotion to every one whose endeavors should merit it. On Tuesday the 26th of February, being in south latitude 29 degrees, 38 minutes, and 44 degrees, 44 minutes west longitude, we bent new sails, and made other necessary preparations for encountering the weather that was to be expected in a high latitude. Our distance from the coast of Brazil was about one hundred leagues. On the forenoon of Sunday the 2d of March, after seeing that every person was clean, divine service was performed, according to my usual custom on this day. I gave to Mr. Fletcher Christian, whom I had before directed to take charge of the third watc.), a written order to act as lieutenant. The change of temperature soon began to be sensibly felt, and that the people might not suffer from their own negligence, I supplied them with thicker elothing, as better suited to the climate. A great number of whales of an immense size, with two o on the back of the head, were seen on the llth. On a conplaint made to me by the master, I found it necessary to punish Matthew Quintal, one of the seamen, with two dozen of lashes, for insolence and mutinous behaviour, which was the first time that there was any occasion for punishment on board.
through Straits le Maire. We passed New Year', Harbor and Cape St. John, and on Monday the 31st were in latitude 60 degrees 1 minute south. But the wind became ... and we had bad weather. Storms, attended with great sea, prevailed until the 12th of April. The ship began to leak, and requir ed pumping every hour, which was no more than we had reason to expect from such a continuance of gales of wind and high seas. The decks also became so leaky, that it was necessary to allot the great cabin, of which I made little use except in fine weather, to those people who had not berth- to hang their hammocks in, and by this means the space between decks was less crowded. With all this bad weather, we had the additional mortification to find, at the end of every day, that we were losing ground; for, notwithstanding our utmost exertions, and keeping on the most advantageous tracks, we did little better than drift before the wind. On Tuesday the 22d of April, we had eight down on the sick list, and the rest of the peo ple, though in good health, were greatly fatigued; but I saw, with much concern, that it was impossible to make a passage this way to the Soviety Is lands, for we had now been thirty days in a tempestuous ocean. Thus the season was too far advanced for us to expect better weather to enable us to double Cape Horn ; and, from these and other considerations, I ordered the helm to be put a-weather, and bore away for the Cape of Good Hope, to the great joy of every one on board. We came to an anchor on Friday the 23d of May in Simon's bay, at the Cape, after a tolerable run. The ship required complete caulking, for she had become so leaky, that we were obliged to pump hourly in our passage from Cape Horn. The sails and rigging also required repair, and on examinin the provisions, a considerable quantity was foun damaged. Having remained thirty-eight days in this place, and my people having received all the advantage that ... be derived from refreshments of every kind that could be met with, we sailed on the 1st of July. A gale of wind blew on the 20th, with a high sea: it increased after noon with such violence, that the ship was driven almost forecastle under before we could get the sails clewed up. The lower yards were lowered, and the topgallant-masts got down upon deck, which ... her much. We lay to all night, and in the morning bore away under a reefed foresail. The sea still running high, in the afternoon it became very unsafe to stand on ; we therefore lay to all night, without any accident, excepting that a man at the steerage was thrown over the wheel and much bruised. Towards noon the violence of the storm abated, and we again bore away under the reefed foresail. In a few days we passed the island of St. Paul, where there is good fresh water, as I was informed by a Dutch captain, and also a hot spring, which
We were off Cape St. Diego, the eastern part of boils fish as completely as if done by a fire. Apthe Terra del Fuego, and, the wind being unfavor-proaching to Van Dieman’s land, we had much bad able, I thought it more advisable to go round to the weather, with snow and hail ; but nothing was seen eastward of Staten-land than to attempt passing to indicate our vicinity on the 13t'l of August, ex