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Yet if thou go'st by land, tho' grief possess
My soul ev’n then, my fears will be the less.
But ah! be warn'd to shun the watry way,
The face is frightful of the stormy sea :
For late I saw a-drift disjointed planks,
And empty tombs erected on the banks.
Nor let false hopes to trust betray thy mind,
fire in caves constrains the wind,
Can with a breath their clam'rous rage appeare,
They fear his whistle, and forsake the seas :
Not fo; for once indulg'd, they sweep the main ;
Deaf to the call, or hearing, hear in vain ;
But bent on mischief bear the waves before,
And not content with seas, insult the shore,
When ocean, air, and earth at once engage,
And rooted forests fly before their rage :
At once the clashing clouds to battle move,
And lightnings run across the fields above :
I know them well, and mark'd their rude comport,
While yet a child within my
father's court :
In times of tempests they command alone,
And he but fits precarious on the throne :
The more I know, the more my fears
And fears are oft prophetic of th' evēnt.
But if not fears, or reasons will prevail,
If fate has fix'd thee obstinate to fail,
Go not without thy wife, but let me bear
My part of danger with an equal share
And present, what I suffer only fear :
Then o'er the bounding billows shall we Ay;
Secure to live together, or to die.
These reasons mov'd her starlike husband's heart,
But still he held his purpose to depart:
For as he lov'd her equal to his life,
He would not to the seas expose his wife ;
Nor could be wrought his voyage to refrain,
But sought by arguments to footh her pain :
Nor these avail'd; at length he lights on one,
With which fo difficult a cause he won :
My love, so short an absence cease to fear,
For by my father's holy flame I swear,
Before two moons their orb with light adorn,
If heav'n allow me life, I will return.
This promise of fo short a stay prevails;
He foon equips the ship, supplies the fails,
And gives the word to launch; she trembling views
This pomp of death, and parting tears renews :
Last with a kiss she took a long farewel,
Sigh'd with a fad presage, and swooning fell :
While Ceyx seeks delays, the lusty crew,
Rais'd on their banks, their oars in order drew
To their broad breasts, the ihip with fury flew.
The queen recover'd, rears her humid
And first her husband on the poop espies,
Shaking his hand at distance on the main ;
She took the fign, and shook her hand again.
Still as the ground recedes, contracts her view
With sharpen'd fight, 'till she no longer knew
The much lov'd face; that comfort loft fupplies
With less, and with the galley feeds her eyes:
The galley borne from view by rising gales,
She follow'd with her fight the flying fails :
When ev’n the flying fails were seen no more,
Forsaken of all fight she left the shore.
Then on her bridal bed her body throws,
And fought in sleep her wearied eyes to close :
Her husband's pillow, and the widow'd part
Which once he press’d, renew'd the former sinart.
And now a breeze from shore began to blow,
The sailors ship their oars, and cease to row ;
Then hoist their yards a-trip, and all their fails
Let fall, to court the wind, and catch the gales :
By this the vessel half her course had run ;
And as much rested 'till the rising sun;
Both shores were lost to fight, when at the close
Of day a ftiffer gale at East arose :
The sea grew white, the rolling waves from far,
Like heralds, first denounce the watry war.
This seen, the master foon began to cry,
Strike, strike the top-fail; let the main-sheet fly,
And furl your fails: the winds repel the found,
And in the speaker's mouth the speech is drown'd.
Yet of their own accord, as danger taught
Each in his way, officiously they wrought :
Some stow their oars, or stop the leaky fides,
Another bolder yet the yard bestrides,
And folds the fails; a fourth with labour laves
Th’intruding seas, and waves ejects on waves.
In this confusion while their work they ply,
The winds augment the winter of the sky,
And wage intestine wars; the suff'ring seas
Are toss’d, and mingled, as their tyrants please.
The master would command, but in despair
Of safety, stands amaz’d with stupid care ;
Nor what to bid, or what forbid he knows,
Th’ungovern'd tempest to such fury grows :
Vain is his force, and vainer is his skill;
With such a concourse comes the flood of ill;
The cries of men are mix'd with rattling fhrowds;
Seas dash on seas, and clouds encounter clouds :
At once from East to West, from pole to pole,
The forky lightnings flath, the roaring thunders roll.
Now waves on waves ascending scale the skies,
And in the fires above the water fries :
When yellow sands are fifted from below,
The glittering billows give a golden show :
And when the fouler bottom spews the black,
The Stygian dye the tainted waters take :
Then frothy white appear the flatted seas,
And change their colour, changing their disease,
Like various fits the Trachin vessel finds :
And now sublime, she rides
the winds; As from a lofty fummit looks from high, And from the clouds beholds the nether sky;
Now from the depth of hell they lift their fight,
And at a distance fee fuperior light;
The lashing billows make a loud report,
And beat her fides, as batt’ring rams a fort:
Or as a lion bounding in his way,
With force augmented, bears against his prey.
Sidelong to seize; or unappalld with fear,
Springs on the toils, and rushes on the spear :
So seas impellid by winds, with added pow'r
Assault the sides, and o'er the hatches tow'r.
The planks (their pitchy cov’rings wash'd away)
Now yield; and now a yawning breach display:
The roaring waters with a hostile tide
Rush through the ruins of her gaping fide.
Meantime in sheets of rain the sky descends,
And ocean swell’d with waters upwards tends ;
One rifing, falling one, the heav'ns and fea
Meet at their confines, in the middle
The fails are drunk with show'rs, and drop with rain,
Sweet waters mingle with the briny main.
No star appears to lend his friendly light;
Darkness and tempeft make a double night;
But flashing fires disclose the deep by turns,
And while the lightnings blaze, the water burns.
Now all the waves their scatter'd force unite ;
And as a soldier foremost in the fight,
for others, and an host alone Still presses on, and urging gains the town ;