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“From Bristol once to Pernambuco came A handsome brig, th’ Eliza was her name, Well rigged, well stored, well manned as craft could
Like some bright bird she bounded o'er the sea.
An ample cargo ready there she found,
Staid but ten days, and she was homeward bound.
As back to Bristol swift she made her way,
At night the skipper in his cabin lay;
The mate, a sullen man, with murderous hand,
Stifled the slumbering chief, and took command,
And coined a story that the skipper died
In a strong fit, while he was by his side.
The crew suspected how the matter stood,
But had no proof to make their notions good.
Arrived at home, the owner straight received
The murderer's tale, the others disbelieved,
And, to evince he thought the mate was right,
Confirmed his sway, and gave a handsome freight.
And now, when twice six tedious years were told,
And twice six summers in their course had rolled,
Again the ship for Pernambuco sailed,
And the old mate was as the skipper hailed.
In ten short weeks their steps they did retrace.
And soon were passing o'er the very place
Where twelve years back the ancient captain died,
And his cold corse was lowered o'er the side.
All of a sudden here they were becalmed,
The skipper's aspect shewed he was alarmed;
Nine days they lay without a breath of wind,
And yet the crew no hour of rest could find.
They saw strange sights, all in the dead of night,
Strange whispering voices froze them with affright;
They scarce dared speak, except in murmurs low,
And looked like mourners sore oppressed with woe.
On the tenth eve, just when the sun had set,
The night had settled, gloomy, dark, and wet,
A piercing shriek the solemn stillness broke,
And each one from his short-lived slumbers woke;
Abaft they ran to where the skipper lay,
The guilty man—some power—had snatched away!
At once the wind came sighing o'er the sea,
And on the foaming wave the brig did flee.”
The steward stopped, his hearers' faces pale
Shewed with what interest they had heard his tale.
Each in his hammock soundly snored at last,
And thus the Sailor's Christmas Eve was passed.
“Nay, all of you that stand and look upon me,
Whilst that my wretchedness doth bait myself,--
Though some of you, with Pilate, wash your hands,
Shewing an outward pity, yet you Pilates
Have here delivered me to my sour cross,
And water cannot wash away your sin."
SHAKSPEARE, Richard II., Act IV.
'Twas in the witching hour of night,
When sprites perform the mystic rite,
When blithesome elves and frolic fays
Do chant their jocund roundelays,
Where fresh the verdant herbage springs
To form Titania’s fairy rings,
I laid me down where poppies wreathed,
And sweet somniferous odour breathed.
Whilst gentle Morpheus o’er me threw
His mantle of star-spangled blue,
A phantom rose that still remains
Detained in Memory's strongest chains,
Firm riveted on Fancy's sight,
In blood-stain'd colours richly dight.
Where Vistula’s argentine wave
Rolls noiselessly along,
Sarmatia's pastures fair to lave,
I saw a murmuring throng,
And straight approached, intent to see
The reason of this company.
Low on the ground, in dismal weeds arrayed,
Sat, in sad sorrowing guise, a mournful maid;
The scalding tears besprent her pallid cheeks,
And all her aspect fierce affliction speaks.
Whilst from her veins the crimson life-blood ran,
A voice from out the gently gliding stream,
A voice more thrilling than of man,
Declared her sorrows, which I deem
Surpassing aught that mind below
Could picture to itself of woe.
I've been a sea-boy in forgotten times,
And roamed afar to Afric's burning climes,
On the resounding billow sank to sleep,
“Rocked in the cradle of the raging deep,”
And out upon the groaning yard have sped,
And raised the anchor from its rocky bed;
But never, when the sullen tempest wailed,
And e’en the stoutest, bravest heart has quailed,
Did shrieking sea-mew's plaint assail mine ear
With such a thrill of undefined fear,
As when, while silence stilled the curious crowd,
That harrowing Spirit's voice proclaimed aloud.
Nations! why gaze ye thus on Poland's shame?
Why come to comfort, come to soothe, with blame?
Interrogate her in determined plan,
And work out her salvation, if you can?
Says England, “ Where is thy machinery?”
“Where are thy systems ?” chimes in Germany;
“Have you no works of art, like Italy?”.
Would you heap up the gold, the blood, the zeal,
Each has expended for the general weal,
Efforts of true, disinterested mould,
And profitable only to the world,