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Clivonim fluerent in littora prona, solutae
Sole, nives, propero tendentes in mare cursu,
Ilia gelu fixit. Paulatim attollere sese
Mirum ccepit opus; glacieque ab origine rerum
In glaciem aggesta sublimes vertice tandem
TEquavit montes, non crescere nescia moles.
Sic immensa diu stetit, aeternumque stetisset
Congeries, hominum neque vi neque mobilis arte,
Littora ni tandem declivia deseruisset,
Pondere victa suo. Dilabitur. Omnia circum
Antra et saxa gemunt, subito concussa fragore,
Dum ruit in pelagum, tanquam studiosa natandi,
Ingens tota strues. Sic Delos dicitur olim,
Insula, in ^Egaeo fluitasse erratica ponto.
Sed non ex glacie Delos; neque torpida Delum
Bruma inter rupes genuit nudum sterilemque.
Sed vestita herbis erat ilia, ornataque nunquam
Decidua lauro; et Delum dilexit Apollo.
At vos, errones horrendi, et caligine digni
Cimmeria, Deus idem odit. Natalia vestra,
Nubibus involvens frontem, non ille tueri
Sustinuit. Patrium vos ergo requirite caelum!
Ite! Redite! Timete moras ; ni leniter austro
Spirante, et nitidas Phcebo jaculante sagittas
Hostili vobis, pereatis gurgite misti!
March 11, 1799.

ON THE ICE ISLANDS,

SEEN FLOATING IN THE GERMAN OCEAN.

What portents, from what distant region, ride,

Unseen till now in ours, the astonished tide?

In ages past, old Proteus, with his droves

Of sea-calves, sought the mountains and the groves;

But now, descending whence of late they stood,

Themselves the mountains seem to rove the flood;

Dire times were they, full-charged with human woes;

And these, scarce less calamitous than those.

What view we now? More wondrous still! Behold!

Like burnished brass they shine, or beaten gold;

And all around the pearl's pure splendour show,

And all around the ruby's fiery glow.

Come they from India, where the burning earth,

All bounteous, gives her richest treasures birth;

And where the costly gems that beam around

The brows of mightiest potentates are found?

No. Never such a countless dazzling store

Had left, unseen, the Ganges' peopled shore;

Rapacious hands, and ever-watchful eyes,

Should sooner far have marked and seized the prize.

Whence sprang they then? Ejected have they come

From Ves'vius', or from Etna's burning womb?

Thus shine they self-illumed, or but display

The borrowed splendours of a cloudless day?

With borrowed beams they shine. The gales, that breathe

Now landward, and the current's force beneath,

Have borne them nearer; and the nearer sight,

Advantaged more, contemplates them aright.

Their lofty summits crested high, they show,

With mingled sleet, and long-incumbent snow:

The rest is ice. Far hence, where, most severe,

Bleak Winter well-nigh saddens all the year,

Their infant growth began. He bade arise

Their uncouth forms, portentous in our eyes.

Oft as, dissolved by transient suns, the snow

Left the tall cliff to join the flood below,

He caught and curdled with a freezing blast

The current, ere it reached the boundless waste.

By slow degrees uprose the wondrous pile,

And long successive ages rolled the while,

Till, ceaseless in its growth, it claimed to stand

Tall as its rival mountains on the land.

Thus stood, and, unremovable by skill

Or force of man, had stood the structure still;

But that, though firmly fixed, supplanted yet

By pressure of its own enormous weight,

It left the shelving beach,—and with a sound

That shook the bellowing waves and rocks around,

Self-launched, and swiftly, to the briny wave,

As if instinct with strong desire to lave,

Down went the ponderous mass. So bards of old

How Delos swam the .Egcan deep have told.

But not of ice was Delos. Delos bore

Herb, fruit, and flower. She, crowned with laurel, wore,

Even under wintry skies, a summer smile;

And Delos was Apollo's favourite isle.

But, horrid wanderers of the deep, to you

He deems Cimmerian darkness only due.

Your hated birth he deigned not to survey,

But, scornful, turned his glorious eyes away.

Hence! Seek your home, nor longer rashly dare

The darts of Phcebus, and a softer air;

Lest ye regret, too late, your native coast,

In no congenial gulf for ever lost!

March 19, 1799.

ON A MISTAKE IN HIS TRANSLATION OF HOMER.

Cowper had sinned with some excuse,

If, bound in rhyming tethers,
He had committed this abuse

Of changing ewes for wethers.

But male for female is a trope,

A rather bold misnomer,
That would have startled even Pope,

When he translated Homer.

THE CASTAWAY.

Obscurest night involved the sky,
The Atlantic billows roared,

When such a destined wretch as I,
Washed headlong from on board,

Of friends, of hope, of all bereft,

His floating home for ever left.

No braver chief could Albion boast
Than he with whom he went,

Nor ever ship left Albion's coast
With warmer wishes sent.

He loved them both, but both in vain,

Nor him beheld, nor her again.

Not long beneath the whelming brine,

Expert to swim, he lay; Nor soon he felt his strength decline,

Or courage die away; But waged with death a lasting strife, Supported by despair of life.

He shouted: nor his friends had failed
To check the vessel's course,

But so the furious blast prevailed,
That, pitiless perforce,

They left their outcast mate behind,

And scudded still before the wind.

Some succour yet they could afford;

And such as storms allow,
The cask, the coop, the floated cord,

Delayed not to bestow.
But he (they knew) nor ship nor shore,
Whate'er they gave, should visit more.

Nor, cruel as it seemed, could he Their haste himself condemn,
Aware that flight, in such a sea,
March 20, 1799.

Alone could rescue them;
Yet bitter felt it still to die
Deserted, and his friends so nigh.

He long survives, who lives an hour

In ocean, self-upheld;
And so long he, with unspent power,

His destiny repelled;
And ever, as the minutes flew,
Entreated help, or cried " Adieu!"

At length, his transient respite past,

His comrades, who before
Had heard his voice in every blast,

Could catch the sound no more:
For then, by toil subdued, he drank
The stifling wave, and then he sank.

No poet wept him; but the page

Of narrative sincere,
That tells his name, his worth, his age,

Is wet with Anson's tear:
And tears by bards or heroes shed
Alike immortalize the dead.

I therefore purpose not, or dream,

Descanting on his fate,
To give the melancholy theme A more enduring date:But misery still delights to trace
Its semblance in another's case.

No voice divine the storm allayed,

No light propitious shone, When, snatched from all effectual aid,

We perished, each alone: But I beneath a rougher sea, And whelmed in deeper gulfs than he.

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