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Still as a statue, with his lips comprest
To stifle even the breath within his breast,
Fast by the rock, all menacing, but mute,
He stood; and, save a slight beat of his foot,
Which deepen'd now and then the sandy dint
Beneath his heel, his form seem'd turn'd to flint.
Some paces further Torquil lean'd his head
Against a bank, and spoke not, but he bled,
Not mortally; his worst wound was within:
His brow was pale, his blue eyes sunken in,
And blood-drops, sprinkled o'er his yellow hair,
Show'd that his faintness came not from despair,
But nature's ebb. Beside him was another,
Rough as a bear, but willing as a brother, —
Ben Bunting, who essay'd to wash, and wipe,
And bind his wound - then calmly lit his pipe,
A trophy which survived a hundred fights,
A beacon which had cheer'd ten thousand nights.
The fourth and last of this deserted group
Walk'd up and down-at times would stand, then stoop
To pick a pebble up-then let it drop-
Then hurry as in haste- then quickly stop-
Then cast his eyes on his companions- then
Half whistle half a tune, and pause again -
And then his former movements would redouble,
With something between carelessness and trouble.
This is a long description, but applies
To scarce five minutes pass'd before the eyes;
But yet what minutes! Moments like to these
Rend men's lives into immortalities.
At length Jack Skyscrape, a mercurial man,
Who flutter'd over all things like a fan,
More brave than firm, and more disposed to dare
And die at once than wrestle with despair,
Exclaim'd, "G-d damn!"—those syllables intense,-
Nucleus of England's native eloquence,
As the Turk's "Allah !" or the Roman's more
Pagan" Proh Jupiter!" was wont of yore
To give their first impressions such a vent,
By way of echo to embarrassment.
Jack was embarrass'd, -never hero more,
And as he knew not what to say, he swore :
Nor swore in vain; the long congenial sound
Revived Ben Bunting from his pipe profound;
He drew it from his mouth, and look'd full wise,
But merely added to the oath his eyes;
Thus rendering the imperfect phrase complete,
A peroration I need not repeat.
But Christian, of a higher order, stood
Like an extinct volcano in his mood;
Silent, and sad, and savage, with the trace
Of passion reeking from his clouded face;
Till lifting up again his sombre eye,
It glanced on Torquil, who lean'd faintly by.
"And is it thus ?" he cried, "unhappy boy!
And thee, too, thee-my madness must destroy!
He said, and strode to where young Torquil stood,
Yet dabbled with his lately flowing blood;
Seized his hand wistfully, but did not press,
And shrunk as fearful of his own caress;
Inquired into his state; and when he heard
The wound was slighter than he deem'd or fear'd,
A moment's brightness pass'd along his brow,
As much as such a moment would allow.
"Yes," he exclaim'd, "we are taken in the toil, But not a coward or a common spoil;
Dearly they have bought us-dearly still may buy, -
And I must fall; but have you strength to fly?
'Twould be some comfort still, could you survive;
Our dwindled band is now too few to strive.
Oh! for a sole canoe! though but a shell,
To bear you hence to where a hope may dwell!
For me, my lot is what I sought; to be,
In life or death, the fearless and the free."
Even as he spoke, around the promontory,
Which nodded o'er the billows high and hoary,
A dark speck dotted ocean on it flew
Like to the shadow of a roused sea-mew:
Onward it came—and, lo! a second follow'd —
Now seen now hid- where ocean's vale was
And near, and nearer, till their dusky crew
Presented well-known aspects to the view,
Till on the surf their skimming paddles play,
Buoyant as wings, and flitting through the spray; -
Now perching on the wave's high curl, and now
Dash'd downward in the thundering foam below,
Which flings it broad and boiling sheet on sheet,
And slings its high flakes, shiver'd into sleet:
But floating still through surf and swell, drew nigh
The barks, like small birds through a lowering sky.
Their art seem'd nature-such the skill to sweep
The wave of these born playmates of the deep.
And who the first that, springing on the strand,
Leap'd like a nereid from her shell to land,
With dark but brilliant skin, and dewy eye
Shining with love, and hope, and constancy?
Neuha the fond, the faithful, the adored —
Her heart on Torquil's like a torrent pour'd:
And smiled, and wept, and near, and nearer clasp'd,
As if to be assured 't was him she grasp'd;
Shudder'd to see his yet warm wound, and then,
To find it trivial, smiled and wept again.
She was a warrior's daughter, and could bear
Such sights, and feel, and mourn, but not despair.
Her lover lived, -nor foes nor fears could blight
That full-blown moment in its all delight:
Joy trickled in her tears, joy fill'd the sob
That rock'd her heart till almost heard to throb;
And paradise was breathing in the sigh
Of nature's child in nature's ecstasy.
But brief their time for good or evil thought;
The billows round the promontory brought
The plash of hostile oars. — Alas! who made
That sound a dread? All around them seem'd array'd
Against them, save the bride of Toobonai:
She, as she caught the first glimpse o'er the bay
Of the arm'd boats, which hurried to complete
The remnant's ruin with their flying feet,
Beckon'd the natives round her to their prows,
Embark'd their guests and launch'd their light canoes;
In one placed Christian and his comrades twain ;
But she and Torquil must not part again,
She fix'd him in her own. Away! away!
They clear the breakers, dart along the bay,
And towards a group of islets, such as bear
The sea-bird's nest and seal's surf-hollow'd lair,
They skim the blue tops of the billows; fast
They flew, and fast their fierce pursuers chased,
They gain upon them — now they lose again,
Again make way and menace o'er the main;
And now the two canoes in chase divide,
And follow different courses o'er the tide,
To baffle the pursuit.-Away! away!
As life is on each paddle's flight to-day,
And more than life or lives to Neuha: Love
Freights the frail bark and urges to the cove
And now the refuge and the foe are nigh —
Yet, yet a moment! - Fly, thou light ark, fly !
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 amidst the rudest gale:
Though every wave she climbs divides us more,
The heart still follows from the loneliest shore.
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 dweil;
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 e'er Gave mariners a shelter and despair;
A spot to make the saved regret the deck
Which late went down, and envy the lost wreck.
Such was the stern asylum Neuha chose
To shield her lover from his following foes;
But all its secret was not told; she knew
In this a treasure hidden from the view.
Ere the canoes divided, near the spot,
The men that mann'd what held her Torquil's lot,
By 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 take
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? ?"
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 near-
Chains in his eye, and menace in his ear;
With vigour 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 seem'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 away;
Even superstition now forbade their stay.
Some said he had not plunged 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 cheek and eye There was a dead hue of eternity.
Still as their oars receded from the crag,
Round every weed a moment would they lag,
Expectant of some token of their prey;
But no he had melted from them like the spray.
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 ?
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 ?
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 flash'd like an amphibious steel.
Closely, and scarcely less expert to trace
The depths where divers hold the pearl in chase,
Torquil, the nursling of the northern seas,
Pursued her liquid steps with heart and ease.
- 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.
1 of this cave (which is no fiction) the original will be found in the ninth chapter of "Mariner's Account of the Tonga Islands." I have taken the poetical liberty to transplant it to Toobonai, the last island where any distinct account is left of Christian and his comrades. - [The following is the account given by Mariner : —
"On this island there is a peculiar cavern situated on the western coast, the entrance to which is at least a fathom beneath the surface of the sea at low water; and was first discovered by a young chief, whilst diving after a turtle. The nature of this cavern will be better understood if we imagine a hollow rock rising sixty feet or more above the surface of the water, into the cavity of which there is no known entrance but one, and that is in the side of the rock, as low down as six feet under the water, into which it flows; and, consequently, the base of the cavern may be said to be the sea itself. Finow, and his friends, being on this part of the island, proposed one afternoon, on a sudden thought, to go into this cavern and drink cava. Mr. Mariner was not with them at the time this proposal was made; but happening to come down a little while after to the shore, and seeing some of the young chiefs diving into the water one after another, and not rise again, he was a little surprised, and inquired of the last, who was just preparing to take the same step, what they were about! "Follow me," said he," and I will take you where you have never been before; and where Finow, and his chiefs and matabooles, are now assembled." Mr. Mariner, without any further hesitation, prepared himself to follow his companion, who dived into the water, and he after him, and, guided by the light reflected from his heels, entered the opening in the rock, and rose into the cavern. He was no sooner above the surface of the water than, sure enough he heard the voices of the king and his friends; being directed by his guide, he climbed upon a jutting portion of rock and sat down. The light was sufficient, after remaining about five minutes, to show objects with some little distinctness; and he could discover Finow and the rest of the company seated, like himself, round the cavern. Nevertheless, as it was desirable to have a stronger illumination, Mr. Mariner dived out again, and procuring his pistol, primed it well, tied plenty of gnatoo tight round it and wrapped the whole up in a plantain-leaf: he directed an attendant to bring a torch in the same way. Thus prepared, he re-entered the cavern, un
Around she pointed to a spacious cave,
Whose only portal was the keyless wave,1
(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.
VII. Forth from her bosom the young savage drew A pine torch, strongly girded with gnatoo; A plantain leaf o'er all, the more to keep Its latent sparkle from the sapping deep. This mantle kept it dry; then from a nook Of the same plantain leaf a flint she took, A few shrunk wither'd twigs, and from the blade Of Torquil's knife struck fire, and thus array'd The grot with torchlight. Wide it was and high, And show'd a self-born Gothic canopy; The arch uprear'd by nature's architect, The architrave some earthquake might erect; The buttress from some mountain's bosom hurl'd, When the Poles crash'd, and water was the world; Or harden'd from some earth-absorbing fire, While yet the globe reek'd from its funeral pyre; The fretted pinnacle, the aisle, the nave,? Were there, all scoop'd by Darkness from her cave.
wrapped the gnatoo, a great portion of which was perfectly dry, fired it by the flash of the powder, and lighted the torch. The place was now illuminated tolerably well, for the first time, perhaps, since its existence. It appeared (by guess) to be about forty feet wide in the main part, but which branched off, on one side, in two narrower portions. The medium height seemed also about forty feet. The roof was hung with stalactites in a very curious way, resembling, upon a cursory view, the Gothic arches and ornaments of an old church. After having examined the place, they drank cava, and passed away the time in conversation upon different subjects." The account proceeds to state that the mode in which the cavern was discovered, and the interesting use made of the retreat by the young chief who found it out, were related by one of the matabooles present. According to his statement, the entire family of a certain chief had been in former times condemned to death in consequence of his conspiring against a tyrannical governor of the island, One of the devoted family was a beautiful daughter, to whom the young chief who had accidentally discovered the cave had long been ardently attached. On learning her danger, he bethought himself of this retreat, to which he easily persuaded her to accompany him, and she remained concealed within it, occasionally enjoying the society of her lover, until he was enabled to carry her off to the Fiji islands, where they remained until the death of the governor enabled them to return. The only part of this romantic tale which seemed very improbable was the length of time which the girl was said to have remained in the cavern, two or three months. To ascertain whether this was possible, Mr. Mariner examined every part of it, but without discovering any opening. If the story be true, in all likelihood the duration of her stay in the cavern was not much more than one fourth of the time mentioned; as the space would not contain a quantity of air sufficient for the respiration of an individual for a longer period.]
2 This may seem too minute for the general outlines (in Mariner's Account) from which it is taken. But few men have travelled without seeing something of the kind-on land, that is. Without adverting to Ellora, in Mungo Park's last journal, he mentions having met with a rock or mountain so exactly resembling a Gothic cathedral, that only minute inspection could convince him that it was a work of nature.
There, with a little tinge of phantasy,
Fantastic faces mop'd and mow'd on high,
And then a mitre or a shrine would fix
The eye upon its seeming crucifix.
Thus Nature play'd with the stalactites,
And built herself a chapel of the seas.
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 soothe 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
Borne of the fruit; for board the plantain spread
With its broad leaf, or turtle-shell which 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.
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: 1
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 woe ;
How, when the storm of war was still'd, he led
His island clan to where the waters spread
Their deep-green shadow o'er the rocky door,
Then dived-it seem'd as if to rise no more:
His wondering mates, amazed within their bark,
Or deem'd him mad, or prey to the blue shark;
Row'd round in sorrow the sea-girded rock,
Then paused upon their paddles from the shock;
When, fresh and springing from the deep, they saw
A goddess rise-so deem'd they in their awe;
The reader will recollect the epigram of the Greek anthology, or its translation into most of the modern languages:
"Whoe'er thou art, thy master see― Ile was, or is, or is to be."
And their companion, glorious by her side,
Proud and exulting in his mermaid bride;
And how, when undeceived, the pair they bore
With sounding conchs and joyous shouts to shore;
How they had gladly lived and calmly died,
And why not also Torquil and his bride?
Not mine to tell the rapturous caress
Which follow'd wildly in that wild recess
This tale; enough that all within that cave
Was love, though buried strong as in the grave
Where Abelard, through twenty years of death,
When Eloisa's form was lower'd beneath
Their nuptial vault, his arms outstretch'd, and press'd
The kindling ashes to his kindled breast.2
The waves without sang round their couch, their roar
As much unheeded as if life were o'er ;
Within, their hearts made all their harmony,
Love's broken murmur and more broken sigh.
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 ?
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 which must be wielded here?
They landed on a wild but narrow scene,
Where few but Nature's footsteps yet had been;
Prepared their arms, and with that gloomy eye,
Stern and sustain'd, of man's extremity,
When hope is gone, nor glory's self remains
To cheer resistance against death or chains,
They stood, the three, as the three hundred stood
Who dyed Thermopyla with holy blood.
But, ah! how different! 't is the cause makes all,
Degrades or hallows courage in its fall.
O'er them no fame, eternal and intense,
Blazed through the clouds of death and beckon'd hence;
No grateful country, smiling through her tears,
Begun the praises of a thousand years;
No nation's eyes would on their tomb be bent,
No heroes envy them their monument ;
However boldly their warm blood was spilt,
Their life was shame, their epitaph was guilt.
And this they knew and felt, at least the one,
The leader of the band he had undone ;
2 The tradition is attached to the story of Eloisa, that when her body was lowered into the grave of Abelard (who had been buried twenty years), he opened his arms to receive her.
Who, born perchance for better things, had set
His life upon a cast which linger'd yet:
But now the die was to be thrown, and all
The chances were in favour of his fall:
And such a fall! But still he faced the shock,
Obdurate as a portion of the rock
Whereon he stood, and fix'd his levell'd gun,
Dark as a sullen cloud before the sun.
The boat drew nigh, well arm'd, and firm the crew
To act whatever duty bade them do;
Careless of danger, as the onward wind
Is of the leaves it strews, nor looks behind.
And yet perhaps they rather wish'd to go
Against a nation's than a native foe,
And felt that this poor victim of self-will,
Briton no more, had once been Britain's still.
They hail'd him to surrender - no reply;
Their arms were poised, and glitter'd in the sky.
They hail'd again—no answer; yet once more
They offer'd quarter louder than before.
The echoes only, from the rock's rebound,
Took their last farewell of the dying sound.
Then flash'd the flint, and blazed the volleying flame,
And the smoke rose between them and their aim,
While the rock rattled with the bullets' knell,
Which peal'd in vain, and flatten'd as they fell;
Then flew the only answer to be given
By those who had lost all hope in earth or heaven.
After the first fierce peal, as they pull'd nigher,
They heard the voice of Christian shout, "Now, fire!"
And ere the word upon the echo died,
Two fell; the rest assail'd the rock's rough side,
And, furious at the madness of their foes,
Disdain'd all further efforts, save to close.
But steep the crag, and all without a path,
Each step opposed a bastion to their wrath,
While, placed midst clefts the least accessible,
Which Christian's eye was train'd to mark full well,
The three maintain'd a strife which must not yield,
In spots where eagles might have chosen to build.
Their every shot told; while the assailant fell,
Dash'd on the shingles like the limpet shell;
But still enough survived, and mounted still,
Scattering their numbers here and there, until
Surrounded and commanded, though not nigh
Enough for seizure, near enough to die,
The desperate trio held aloof their fate
But by a thread, like sharks who have gorged the bait;
Yet to the very last they battled well,
And not a groan inform'd their foes who fell.
Christian died last- - twice wounded; and once more
Mercy was offer'd when they saw his gore;
Too late for life, but not too late to die,
With, though a hostile hand, to close his eye.
A limb was broken, and he droop'd along
The 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 beckon'd to the foremost, who drew nigh,
But, as they near'd, he rear'd his weapon high-
In Thibault's account of Frederic the Second of Prussia, there is a singular relation of a young Frenchman, who with his mistress appeared to be of some rank. He enlisted and deserted at Schweidnitz; and after a desperate resistance was retaken, having killed an officer, who attempted to seize him after he was wounded, by the discharge of his musket loaded with a button of his uniform. Some circumstances on
His last ball had been aim'd, but from his breast
He tore the topmost button from his vest,
Down the tube dash'd it, levell'd, fired, and smiled
As his foe fell; then, like a serpent, coil'd
His wounded, weary form, to where the steep
Look'd desperate as himself along the deep;
Cast one glance back, and clench'd his hand, and
His last rage 'gainst the earth which he forsook;
Then plunged the rock below received like glass
His body crush'd into one gory mass,
With scarce a shred to tell of hunian form,
Or fragment for the sea-bird or the worm;
A fair-hair'd scalp, besmear'd with blood and weeds,
Yet reek'd, the remnant of himself and deeds;
Some splinters of his weapons (to the last,
As long as hand could hold, he held them fast)
Yet glitter'd, but at distance-1
- hurl'd away
To rust beneath the dew and dashing spray.
The rest was nothing-save a life mis-spent,
And soul-but who shall answer where it went?
'Tis ours to bear, not judge the dead; and they
Who doom to hell, themselves are on the way,
Unless these bullies of eternal pains
Are pardon'd their bad hearts for their worse brains.
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 honour, were the wretched few
Survivors of the skirmish on the isle;
But the last rock left no surviving spoil.
Cold lay they where they fell, and weltering,
While o'er them flapp'd the sea-birds' dewy wing,
Now wheeling nearer from the neighbouring 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,
Till its dried wing relapsed from its brief height,
To gather moisture for another flight.
'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 lair
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;
his court-martial raised a great interest amongst his judges, who wished to discover his real situation in life, which he offered to disclose, but to the king only, to whom he requested permission to write. This was refused, and Frederic was filled with the greatest indignation, from battled curiosity or some other motive, when he understood that his request had been denied.