"Lines Written on the Sea-Coast." by Mary Darby Robinson (1758-1800)
SWIFT o'er the bounding deep the VESSEL glides,
Its streamers flutt'ring in the summer gales,
The lofty mast the breezy air derides,
As gaily o'er the glitt'ring surf she sails.
Now beats each gallant heart with innate joys,
Bright hopes and tender fears alternate vie,
Dear schemes of pure delight the mind employs,
And the soul glistens in the tearful eye.
The fond expecting Maid delighted stands
On the bleak summit of yon chalky bourn,
With waving handkerchief and lifted hands
She hails her darling Sailor's safe return.
Ill-fated Maid, ne'er shall thy gentle breast
The chaste reward of constant passion prove,
Ne'er shall that timid form again be press'd
In the dear bondage of unsullied love:
Stern Heaven forbids–the dark o'erwhelming deep
Mocks the poor pilot's skill, and braves his sighs;
O'er the high deck the frothy billows sweep,
And the fierce tempest drowns the sea boy's cries.
The madd'ning ocean swells with furious roar,
See the devoted bark, the shatter'd mast,
The splitting hulk dash'd on the rocky shore,
Rolls 'midst the howlings of the direful blast.
O'er the vex'd deep the vivid sulphur flies,
The jarring elements their clamours blend,
The deaf'ning thunder roars along the skies,
And whistling winds from lurid clouds descend.
The lab'ring wreck, contending with the wave,
Mounts to the blast, or plunges in the main,
The trembling wretch suspended o'er his grave,
Clings to the tatter'd shrouds, the pouring rain
Chills his sad breast, methinks I see him weep,
I hear his fearful groan his mutter'd pray'r,
O, cease to mourn, behold the yawning deep
Where soon thy weary soul shall mock Despair,
Yes, soon thy aching heart shall rest in peace,
For in the arms of Death all human sorrows cease.