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OBSCUREST night involved the sky,
The Atlantic billows roar'd, When such a destined wretch as I,
Wash'd headlong from on board, Of friends, of hope, of all bereft, His floating home for ever left.
No braver chief could Albion boast
Than he with whom we went, Nor ever ship left Albion's coast
With warmer wishes sent. He loved thein both, but both in vain, Nor him beheld, nor her again.
Not long beneath the whelming brine,
Expert to swim, he lay; Nor soon he felt his strength decline,
Or courage die away; But waged with death a lasting strife, Supported by despair of life.
He shouted; nor his friends had failid
To check the vessel's course, But so the furious blast prevail'd,
That, pitiless perforce, They left their outcast mate behind, And scudded still before the wind.
Some succour yet they could afford;
And, such as storms allow,
Delay'd not to bestow :
Nor, cruel as it seem'd, could he
Their haste himself condemn,
Alone could rescue them ;
He long survives who lives an hour
In ocean, self-upheld ;
His destiny repellid :
At length, his transient respite pass’d,
His comrades, who before
Could catch the sound no more:
No poet wept him : but the page
Of narrative sincere,
Is wet with Anson's tear :
I therefore purpose not, or dream,
Descanting on his fate,
A more enduring date :
No voice divine the storm allay'd;
No light propitious shone; When snatch'd from all effectual aid,
We perish'd each alone: But I beneath a rougher sea, And whelm'd in deeper gulfs than he.