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e morn

At nightfall, walking on the cliff-crown'd shore,
Where sea and sky were in each other lost ;
Dark ships were scudding through the wild uproar,
Whose wrecks ere morn must strew the dreary coast;
I mark'd one well-moor’d vessel tempest-tost,
Sails reefd, helm lash'd, a dreadful siege she bore,
Her deck by billow after billow crossid,
While every moment she might be no more:
Yet firmly anchor'd on the nether sand,
Like a chain’d Lion ramping at his foes,
Forward and rearward still she plunged and rose,
Till broke her cable ; – then she fled to land,
With all the waves in chace ; throes following throes ;
She’scaped,—she struck-she stood upon the strand.

The morn was beautiful, the storm gone by ;
Three days had pass’d; I saw the peaceful main,
One molten mirror, one illumined plane,
Clear as the blue, sublime, o'erarching sky:
On shore that lonely vessel caught mine eye,
Her bow was sea-ward, all equipt her train,
Yet to the sun she spread her wings in vain,
Like a chain’d Eagle, impotent to fly;
There fix'd as if for ever to abide ;
Far down the beach had roll’d the low neap-tide,
Whose mingling murmur faintly lull’d the ear :
“ Is this,” methought, “ is this the doom of pride,
Check'd in the onset of thy brave career,
Ingloriously to rot by piece-meal here?”


Spring-tides return'd, and Fortune smiled; the bay
Received the rushing ocean to its breast;
While waves on waves, innumerably prest,
Seem'd, with the prancing of their proud array,
Sea-horses, flash'd with foam, and snorting spray;
Their power and thunder broke that vessel's rest;
Slowly, with new expanding life possest,
To her own element she glid away;
Buoyant and bounding like the polar Whale,
That takes his pastime; every joyful sail
Was to the freedom of the wind unfurl'd,
While right and left the parted surges cursd:
- Go, gallant Bark, with such a tide and gale,
I'll pledge thee to a voyage round the world.


What bird in beauty, flight, or song,
Can with the Bard compare,
Who sang as sweet, and soar'd as strong,
As ever child of air ?

His plume, his note, his form, could BURNS,
For whim or pleasure, change ;
He was not one, but all by turns,
With transmigration strange.

The Blackbird, oracle of spring,
When flow'd his moral lay ;
The Swallow wheeling on the wing,
Capriciously at play :

The Humming-Bird, from bloom to bloom,
Inhaling heavenly balm ;
The Raven, in the tempest's gloom ;
The Halcyon, in the calm :

In “auld Kirk Alloway,” the Owl,
At witching time of night;
By“ bonnie Doon,” the earliest Fowl
That caroll’d to the light.

He was the Wren amidst the grove,
When in this homely vein ;
At Bannockburn the Bird of Jove,
With thunder in his train :

The Woodlark, in his mournful hours ;
The Goldfinch, in his mirth ;
The Thrush, a spendthrift of his powers,
Enrapturing heaven and earth :

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