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counterpart of it by Mr. Clarke, in a note to his beautiful edition of Falconer's Shipwreck, a work in which the noble spirit of poetry, the uncommon naval erudition, the subject itself untrod, and intractable as it should seem to numbers, the tender sympathy of wounded friendship and separated love, all conspire to rank the author high in the list of fame, and to draw the tear of sensibility from the compassionate reader. Much as the poem itself deserves encomium, the language of his commentator must be allowed to possess all the warmth and energy of orientalism in the description of the storm to which I allude.
"We were cruizing off Ushant, in the Impetueux, during an evening at the close of October, and the dreary coast so continually present to our view, created a painful uniformity, which could only be relieved by observing the variations of the expanse that was before us. The sun had just given its parting rays, and the last shades of day lingered on the distant waves, when a sky most sublime and threatening, attracted all our attention, and was immediately provided against by the vigilant officers of the watch. To the verge of the horizon, except where the sun had left some portion of its departing rays, a hard, lowering, blue firmament presented itself; on this floated light yellow clouds, tinged with various hues of crimson, the never-failing harbingers of a gale. A strong vivid tint was reflected from them on the sails and rigging of the ship, which rendered the scene more dreadful. The very calm that prevailed was portentous—the sea-bird shrieked as it passed! As the tempest gradually approached, and the winds issued from the treasuries of God, the thick darkness of an autumnal night closed the whole in horrid uncertainty."
"It was a dismal and a fearful night;
This concluded our adventures on the voyage from India to Europe; for after encountering the last storm, and getting clear of the Sargasso, we were favoured by strong westerly gales, which conveyed us seven or eight miles an hour without intermission, until the 13th of July; when perceiving the water to be discoloured, we sounded, and had ground at eighty fathoms. On the 15lh we saw the verdant hills on the coast of Devonshire, and I once more experienced those emotions of pain and pleasure which sicken the heart: they are only to be felt on such occasions, nor can language describe them. When I considered the age of my venerable parents, the uncertainty of their being yet alive, and the variety of circumstances which awaited me at this important era, I found every nerve of sensibility awakened. On landing at Portsmouth, on the 17th, I met a friend, who informed me that all our friends were well, and with fond impatience expecting their long absent children. We were soon restored to their embraces; and at their respective rural residences enjoyed the most ineffable sensations of love and friendship in the bosom of tranquillity, in the sweetest season of the year; with nothing to diminish the joy of returning to our native country but a regret for the absence of those friends whom we had left behind us in the torrid zone.
"O quid solutis est beatius curis!