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overwhelming rapidity earnestly successive despairing perceived delusion preservation surrounding cascade situation
encourage alleviating pyramids accomplished maintained
“We were now,” observes the officer alluded to, “uncertain of our distance from a place of safety : the surf broke over the vessel in a fearful cascade ; the crew despairing and clinging to her sides to avoid its violence, while the ship was breaking up with rapidity and crashing noise, which, added to the roar of the breakers, drowned the voices of the officers. The masts were cut away to ease the ship, and the cutter cleared and launched in readiness. When the long-wished-for dawn at length broke upon us, instead of alleviating, it rather added to our distress. found that the ship bad run on a south-east extremity of a coral reef, surrounding on the eastern side those sand-banks or islands in the Indian Ocean, called by the natives carajos : the nearest of these was about three miles distant, but not the least appearance of verdure could be discovered, or the slightest trace of anything on which we might hope to subsist. In two or three places some rocks in the shape of pyramids appeared above the rest like distant sails, and were repeatedly cheered as such by the crew, until it was perceived that they had no motion, and the delusion vanished. The masts had fallen towards the reef, the ship having fortunately canted in that direction, and the boat was therefure protected in some measure from the surf. Our commander, whom a strong sense of misfortune had entirely deprived of presence of mind, was earnestly requested to get into the boat, but he would not, thinking it unsafe He maintained his station on the mizzen-topmast that lay among the wreck, the surf which was rushing round the bow und stern continually overwhelming him. I was myself close to him on the spar, and in this situation we saw many of our shipmates meet an untimely end, being either dashed against the rocks or swept away by the breakers.
“ The large cutter full of officers and men now cleared a passage through the mass of wreck, ani being furnished with oars, watched the proper moment and pushed off for the coral reef, which she fortunately gained in safety, but they were all washed out of her in an instant by the tremendous surf; yet out of more than sixty persons whom she contained, only one man was drowned. Our captain, seeing this, wished he had taken advice which was now of no use. Finding I could not longer maintain myself on the same spar, and seeing the captain in a very exhausted state, I entreated him to return to the wreck; but he replied that since we must all inevitably perish, I should not think of him, but seek my own preservation. An enormous breaker now burst on us with tremendous violence, so that I scarcely noticed what had occurred to him afterwards, being washed down by successive seas.
“ At length, after some desperate efforts, I was thrown on the reef, half drowned and severely cut by the sharp coral, when I silently offered up thanks for my preservation, and crawling up the reef, waved my hand to encourage those who remained behind to make an effort. The captain, however, was not to be seen, and most of the others had returned to the wreck, and were employed in getting the small cutter into the water, which they accomplished, and safely
reached the shore. About noon, when we had all left the ship, she was entirely broken up. The whole of the upper works—from the after part of the forecastle to the break of the poop-deck-had separated, and was driving in towards the reef. Most of the lighter cargo had floated out of her: bales of cloth, cases of wine, puncheons of spirits, barrels of gunpowder, hogsheads of beer, and other articles, lay strewed on the shore, together with a chest of tools. Finding the men beginning to commit the usual excesses, we stove in the heads of the spirit-casks to prevent mischief, and endeavoured to direct their attention to the general benefit. The tide was flowing fast, and we saw that the reef must soon be covered; we therefore conveyed the boats to a place of safety, and filling them with all the provisions that could be collected, proceeded to the highest sand-bank, as the only place which held out the remotest chance of safety.
“Our process was attended with the most excruciating pain I ever endured, my feet being cut to the bones with the rocks, and my back blistered by the sun, exhausted by fatigue, up to the waist-sometimes to the neck-in water, and being obliged frequently to swim. Having set a watch, I sank exhausted on the sand, and fell into a sourd sleep.
“ The second night was passed like the first, all being huddled together under one large tent. In seven days after our stay upon the barren coral reef, the largest boat was repaired, and despatched for relief to the Isle of France. In four days the cutter reached Mauritius, and three days after the purser returned by the Gorernment vessels the ‘Magician and Challenger.' We were taken on board, after naving passed sixteen days on the reef, exposed to the greatest distress of body and mind."
THE THREE FISHERMEN.
Three fishers went sailing away to the West,
Away to the West as the sun went down; Each thought of his home and of those he loved best, And the children stood watching them out of the
town; For men must work, and women must weep, And there's little to earn and many to keep,
Though the harbour bar be moaning.
Three wives sat up in the lighthouse tower,
And they trimmed the lamps as the sun went down, They looked at the squall, and they looked at the
shower, And the night rack came rolling up ragged and
brown; But men must work, and women must weep, Though storms be sudden and waters deep,
And the harbour bar be moaning.
Three corpses lay out on the shining sands
In the morning gleam, as the tide went down, And the women are weeping and wringing their hands
For those who will never come home to the town. For men must work, and women must weep, And the sooner it's over the sooner to sleep; And good bye to the bar and its moaning
YE MARINERS OF ENGLAND.
Ye mariners of England !
The spirits of your fathers
Britannia needs no bulwark,