Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

STANZ AS.

BY 1. C. SNOWDEN.

Life is a faithless ocean !
Upon its tide awhile,
Our way is cheer'd by flattering gales,
And summer's gentle smile:
0, could it thus for ever be,
Our course were gladly run ;
Nor had my tears been shed for thee,
Thus early lost, my son!

Few saw, or seeing knew thee,
My bright and beauteous boy!
The world how little doth it heed
A parent's grief or joy!
We mourn thee, dear one, we alone-
Our woe shall sacred be;
The cold applause from others won,
We will not ask for thee.

Thy form of passing beauty
I see before me now,
The conscious look, the manly air
That graced thy lofty brow;
I saw in these, or deem'd I saw
The germ of noble things,
But now the thought exalts my pain-
A keener anguish brings.

'Twas not when thou wast dying,
I felt the weight of woe ,
Nor when, with solemn step and rite,
We placed thy limbs below;
It was the fearful moment, when,
With prescience sadly true,
I first the dreaded day beheld
In the dim distant view :

It came—the hour of parting !
O God! and must we part !
I gazed upon his fading face,
And press'd him to my heart :
And she was there, whose constant watch
Was kept his couch above,
Whose wasted form and sunken eye
Told of a mother's love.

Why should the tie be sever'd
It were so meet should last ?
Why should our hopes so fairly bloom,
To wither in the blast?
For thou wast all my wishes crav’d,
Joy of her heart and mine,
And all a parent's love could do
Was surely done by thine.

Beyond life's troubled ocean,
Thine is a better sphere,
And 'tis a soothing thought, to feel
We made thee happy here.
Beautiful Infant ! doubly blest ?
Two worlds 'twas thine to gain,
One that is far beyond all grief,
And this without its pain.

THE ICE ISLAND.

BY DR. R. M. BIRD

MASTLESS, helmless, gaping at every seam, and groaning and crashing at every pitch over the rolling surges, yet supported above the water by the buoyancy of the cargo, our miserable 'bark still struggled with the tempest. Sailors without further duty, and passengers without further hope, were seen in various parts lashing themselves to the rigging, and commending their souls to heaven.

It is always awful to die ; but when perishing in the unvisited solitudes of the deep, while the heavens and the seas are at war with each other, and nature herself seems to encourage the anarchy of her elements, awe is swallowed up in a more subduing horror. It was night, too, and there was a moon in the sky, but a moon that

Wandered darkling in the eternal space

covered and concealed by massy volumes of vapour, which, except when shooting forth sheets of living flame, enveloped the great abyss. with impenetrable darkness.

The uproar of the tempest was such as may be recalled by those who have witnessed similar scenes. Thunder that crashed, and rattled, and yelled through the firmament; winds that howled and whistled through the

bleak air ; and billows that put forth their voices in a hoarse, harsh roar-made up the music of the tempest.

A sudden dying away of the wind, and an unaccountable tranquillity-a comparative tranquillity of the waters, filled our souls with transport; and many of us were expressing our joy with loud shouts and congratulations, when a voice, deep and hoarse, but thrillingly distinct, exclaimed

among

us_ The ice islands !" “ The ice islands! It is not so : it cannot be,” replied a dozen trembling voices; “It cannot be the ice islands!"

“ It is, it is,” replied the same hoarse, deep voice ; 6 and God have mercy on us all!”

A flash of lightning, bright and universal, as if the whole sky were for an instant in a conflagration, revealed our situation to us. Masses of ice—the same that we had, in the evening, gazed upon with such pleasure and admiration (stretched about us to the northwest, rolling and rocking in the waves ; and near to us, very near to us, towered a vast and tremendous bulk, like some gigantic mountain, with its citadels and towers, undermined and sent drifting about in the shoreless seas. The flash was but momentary, yet it was sufficient to fill us with horror : and even after complete darkness had been restored the dashing of the billows over these floating desolations, heard above the general roar of the tempest; the grinding and crashing of the fragments, as they struck against each other with a violence, which, on the solid land, would have caused a shock like an earthquake; continued and aggravated our apprehension into a wild, ungovernable horror, little short of madness.

“ We are under its lee !_It is upon us !" shouted a voice that rang like the peal of a trumpet in our ears ; and at the same instant another bright and wide spread

.

flash discovered the tremendous object moving swiftly towards us. As if to increase the horrors of the scene, by blasting our eyes with continued sight of it, the moon, like a wan and haggard ghost, at the same time burst through the clouds ; and although the horizon around, on all quarters, still remained in frightful gloom, a circumscribed central spot, embracing within its limits the terrific island and the devoted vessel, now lay in a state of vivid illumination. There came the mighty desolation, its grand cathedral-like summits reflecting and refracting the lunar rays in many a wild and fantastic spectrum, and nodding to the force of the billows that drove it onwards.

I possess but little of that philosophic indifference of death which is found in some men: my fears distracted me. I remember nothing of the catastrophe but a loud, clamorous shock; a sinking of the broken deck; a whirling of the watery chaos ; a wild and congregated shriek, so piercing, so horrible, that even the savage waves seemed to restrain their fury for an instant, to listen ; and then I sank insensible

among

the waters. I awoke as from a painful and horrid dream, disturbed by something striking with repeated blows upon the back of my head-I lay on my face—and turning sluggishly round, I was startled by the rushing of wings. An albatross, or sea-eagle, or some fowl of the deep, darted with shrill cries before my vision. I put my hand to my head ; it was bleeding and mangled. My limbs were stiff and sore, and in many places severely lacerated.

I rose, and found myself in a hollow or cavern of the ice, the bottom of which was filled with fissures, underneath which I could hear the rumbling and dashing of waves; and fearing lest this frail floor, should give way,

« AnteriorContinuar »