Page images


Those laden Waggons, in return, impart

The Country-Produce to the City Mart;
Hark! to the Clamour in that miry Road,
Bounded and narrow'd by yon Vessels' Load;
The lumbering Wealth she empties round the place,
Package, and Parcel, Hogshead, Chest, and Case:
While the loud Seaman and the angry Hind,
Mingling in Business, bellow to the Wind.

Near these a Crew amphibious, in the Docks,
Rear, for the Sea, those Castles on the Stocks:
See! the long Keel, which soon the Waves must hide;
See! the strong Ribs which form the roomy Side;
Bolts yielding slowly to the sturdiest stroke,

And Planks which curve and crackle in the smoke. Around the whole rise cloudy Wreaths, and far Bear the warm pungence of o'er-boiling Tar.

Dabbling on shore half-naked Sea-Boys crowd, Swim round a Ship, or swing upon the Shrowd; Or in a Boat purloin'd, with Paddles play, And grow familiar with the Watery Way: Young though they be, they feel whose Sons they are, They know what British Seamen do and dare; Proud of that Fame, they raise and they enjoy The rustic wonder of the Village-Boy.

Before you bid these busy Scenes adieu, Behold the Wealth that lies in public view,

Those far-extended heaps of Coal and Coke,

Where fresh-fill'd Lime-kilns breathe their stifling Smoke.

This shall pass off, and you behold, instead,

The Night-fire gleaming on its chalky bed;

* The curvature of planks for the sides of a ship, &c. is, I am informed, now generally made by the power of steam. Fire is nevertheless still used for boats and vessels of the smaller kind.

When from the Light-house brighter beams will rise, To show the Shipman where the Shallow lies.

Thy Walks are ever pleasant; every scene
Is rich in beauty, lively, or serene

Rich-is that varied View with Woods around,
Seen from the Seat, within the Shrubb'ry bound;
Where shines the distant Lake, and where appear
From Ruins bolting, unmolested Deer;

Lively-the Village-Green, the Inn, the Place,
Where the good Widow schools her Infant-Race.
Shops, whence are heard the Hammer and the Saw,
And Village-Pleasures unreprov'd by Law;
Then how serene! when in your favourite Room,
Gales from your Jasmines soothe the Evening Gloom;
When from your upland Paddock you look down,
And just perceive the Smoke which hides the Town;
When weary Peasants at the close of Day
Walk to their Cots, and part upon the way;

When Cattle slowly cross the shallow Brook,

And Shepherds pen their Folds, and rest upon their Crook.

We prune our Hedges, prime our slender Trees, And nothing looks untutor'd and at ease,

On the wide Heath, or in the flow'ry Vale,

We scent the Vapours of the sea-born Gale;
Broad-beaten Paths lead on from Stile to Stile,
And Sewers from Streets, the Road-side Banks defile;
Our guarded Fields a sense of Danger show,
Where Garden-Crops with Corn and Clover grow;
Fences are form'd of Wreck and plac'd around,
(With Tenters tipp'd) a strong repulsive Bound;
Wide and deep Ditches by the Gardens run,
And there in ambush lie the Trap and Gun;
Or yon bread Board,which guards each tempting Prize,
"Like a tall Bully, lifts its head and lies.”

There stands a Cottage with an open door, Its Garden undefended blooms before:

Her Wheel is still, and overturn'd her Stool,

While the lone Widow seeks the neighb'ring Pool:
This gives us hope, all views of Town to shun-
No! here are tokens of the Sailor-Son;

That old blue Jacket, and that Shirt of Check,
And silken Kerchief for the Seaman's Neck;
Sea-spoils and Shells from many a distant Shore,
And furry robe from frozen Labrador.

Our busy Streets and Sylvan-Walks between,
Fen, Marshes, Bog and Heath all intervene ;
Here Pits of Crag, with spongy, plashy base,
To some enrich th' uncultivated space:

For there are Blossoms rare, and curious Rush,
The Gale's rich balm, and Sun-dew's crimson blush,
Whose velvet Leaf with radient beauty drest,
Forms a gay Pillow for the Plover's breast.

Not distant far, a House commodious made,
(Lonely yet public stands) for Sunday-trade;
Thither for this day free, gay Parties go,
Their Tea-house Walk, their tipling Rendezvous;
There humble Couples sit in Corner-Bowers,
Or gaily ramble for th' allotted hours;
Sailors and Lasses from the Town attend,
The Servant-Lover, the Apprentice-Friend;
With all the idle social Tribes who seek,
And find their humble Pleasures once a Week.

Turn to the Watery World!---but who to thee (A wonder yet unview'd) shall paint-the Sea? Various and vast, sublime in all its forms,

When lull'd by Zephyrs, or when rous'd by Storms, Its colours changing, when from Clouds and Sun Shades after shades upon the surface run;

Embrown'd and horrid now, and now serene,

In limpid blue, and evanescent green;

And oft the foggy banks on Ocean lie,
Lift the fair Sail, and cheat th' experienced Eye*.
Be it the Summer-Noon: a sandy space

The ebbing Tide has left upon its place;
Then just the hot and stony Beach above,
Light twinkling Streams in bright confusion move;
(For heated thus, the warmer air ascends,
And with the cooler in its fall contends)-
Then the broad bosom of the Ocean keeps
An equal motion; swelling as it sleeps,
Then slowly sinking; curling to the Strand,
Faint, lazy Waves o'ercreep the ridgy Sand,
Or tap the tarry Boat with gentle blow,
And back return in silence, smooth and slow.
Ships in the calm seem anchor'd; for they glide
On the still Sea, urg'd solely by the Tide;
Art thou not present, this calm Scene before,
Where all beside is pebbly length of Shore,
And far as eye can reach, it can discern no more?
Yet sometimes comes a ruffling Cloud to make
The quiet surface of the Ocean shake;

As an awaken'd Giant with a frown,

Might show his wrath, and then to sleep sink down,
View now the Winter-Storm! above, one Cloud,
Black and unbroken all the Skies o'ershroud;
Th' unwieldy Porpoise through the day before,
Had roll'd in view of boding men on shore;

* Of the effect of these mists, known by the name of fog-banks, wonderful and indeed incredible relations are given; but their property of appearing to elevate ships at sea, and to bring them in view, is, I believe, generally acknowledged.

And sometimes hid and sometimes show'd his form,
Dark as the cloud, and furious as the storm.

All where the eye delights, yet dreads to roam,
The breaking Billows cast the flying Foam
Upon the Billows rising-all the Deep

Is restless change; the Waves so swell'd and steep,
Breaking and sinking, and the sunken swells,
Nor one, one moment, in its station dwells:
But nearer Land you may the Billows trace,
As if contending in their watery chace;

May watch the mightiest till the Shoal they reach,
Then break and hurry to their utmost stretch;
Curl'd as they come, they strike with furious force,
And then re-flowing, take their grating course,
Raking the rounded Flints, which ages past
Roll'd by their rage, and shall to ages last.

Far off the Petrel in the troubled way
Swims with her Brood, or flutters in the Spray;
She rises often, often drops again,

And sports at ease on the tempestuous Main.

High o'er the restless Deep, above the reach
Of Gunner's hope, vast flights of Wild-Ducks stretch;
Far as the eye can glance on either side,

In a broad space and level line they glide;
All in their wedge-like figures from the North,
Day after day, flight after flight, go forth.

In-shore their passage Tribes of Sea-Gulls urge,
And drop for Prey within the sweeping Surge;
Oft in the rough opposing Blast they fly

Far back, then turn, and all their force apply,

While to the Storm they give their weak complaining


Or clap the sleek white Pinion to the breast,
And in the restless Ocean dip for rest.

« PreviousContinue »