Imatges de pÓgina

A * Giant-bat, with leathern wings outspread,
Umbrella light. hangs quiv'ring o'er her head.
As o’er the cliff her graceful step she bends,
On glitt'ring wing her infect-train attends.
With diamond-eye her scaly tribes survey
Their Goddess-nymph, and gambol in the spray.

[ocr errors]

With earnest gaze the still, enamour'd crew Mark the fair forms; and, as they pass, pursue ; But round the tteepy rocks, and dangerous strand, Rolls † the white furf, and shipwreck guards the land.

So, when of old, Sicilian shores along,
Enchanting Syrens trill'd th' alluring song,
Bound to the mast the charm'd Ulysses hears,
And drinks the sweet tones with insatiate ears ;
Strains the strong cords, upbraids the profp'rous gale,
And fighs, as Wisdom spreads the flying fail.

Now leads HUMANITY the destin'd way, Where all the Loves in Otaheite ilray.

two little tufts of curled white feathers, called its poies, which, being the Otalieiican word for car-rings, occa. tioned ow giving that name to the bird; which is not more remarkabie for the beauty of its pluinage, thau for the exquisite melody of its note."

* Giant-bat.--The Wat: which Captain Cook faw in some of theie countries were of incredible dimentions, measuring three feet and a half in breadth, when their wings were exiendid.

+ Rolls tre quite furf.-" Ai we paid this island, many of its tree's had an unusual appearance, and the richness of the vegetation much invited our naturalists to land, but their earnest wishes were in vain, from the daug crolis ruilo ünü the violence of the surfs.”

To bid the Arts disclose their wondrous pow’rs,
To bid the Virtues consecrate the bow'rs,
She gives her Hero to its blooming plain-
Nor has he wander'd, has he bled in vain !
His lips persuasive charm the uncutur'd youth,
Teach Wisdom's lore, and point the path of Truth.
See! * chalten'd love in softer glances flows,
See! with new fires parental duty glows.

Thon smiling Eden of the southern wave,
Could not, alas! thy grateful wishes fave
That angel-goodness, which had bless'd thy plain ?-
Ah! vain thy gratitude, thv willies vain !
On a far diftant, and remorsele's shore,
Where human fiends their dire libations pour:
Where treachery, hov'ring o'er the blasted heath,
Poises with ghaftly smile the earts of death,
Pierc'd by their venom'd points, your favorite bleedls,
And on bis limbs the luft of hunger feeds!

[ocr errors]

Thus when, of old, the Muse-born Orpheus bore
Fair Arts and Virtues to the 'Thracian shore ;
Struck with sweet energy the warbling wire,
And pour'd perfuafion from the immortal lyre ;
As soften'd brutes, the waving woods among,
Bow'd their meek heads, and listen’d to the song ;
Near, and more near, with rage and tumult loud,
Round the bold bard th' inebriate maniacs crowd.
Red on th'ungrateful foil his life-blood swima,
And Fiends and Furies tear his quiv'ring limbs !

[ocr errors]

* Chaften'd love. -Captain Cook observes, in his fe. cond voyage,

that the women of Otaheite where grown more modest, and that the barbarous practice of destroying their.children was lefsened.

Gay Eden of the south, thy tribute pay,
And raise, in pomp of woe, thy Cook's * Morai!
Bid mild Omiah bring his choicest stores,
The juicy fruits, and the luxuriant flow'rs ;
Bring the bright plumes, that drink the torrid ray,
And strew each lavish spoil on Cook's Morai!

Come, Oberea, hapless fair-one ! come,
With piercing Prieks bewail thy Hero's doom'-
She comes !--hé gazes round with dire survey !
Oh! Ay the mourner on her frantic way.
See ! see! the pointed ivory wounds that head,
Where late the Loves impurpled roses spread ;
Now ftain'd with gore, her raven-tresses flow,
In ruthless negligence of mad'ning woe ;
Loud she laments and long the Nymph shall Atray
With wild uneqaal step round Cook's Morai !

[ocr errors]

But ah! - aloft on Albion's rocky steep,
That frowns incumbent o'er the boiling deep,
Solicitous, and sad, a softer form
Eyes the lone flood, and deprecates the storm.-
Ill-fated matron!for, alas! in vain
Thy eager glances wander o'er the main !--
'Tis the vex'd billows, that insurgent rave,
Their white foam filvers yonder distant wave,

* Morai. -The Morai is a kind of funeral altar, which the people of Otaheite raise to the memory

of their deceased friends. They bring to it a daily tribute of fruits, flowers, and the plumage of birds. The chief mourner wanders around it in a state of apparent distraction, shrieking furiously, and striking at intervals a shark's tooth into her head. All people fly her, as she aims at wounding not only herself, but others.

'Tis not his fails !-thy husband comes no more !
His bones now whiten an accursed shore !
Retire,- for hark! the sea-gull shrieking foars,
The lurid atmosphere portentous low’rs ;
Night's sullen spirit groans in ev'ry gale,
And o'er the waters draws the darkling veil,
Sighs in thy hair, and chills thy throbbing breall-
Go, wretched mourner !-weep thy griefs to reft!

Yet, tho' through life is loft each fond delight, Tho' set thy earthly fun in dreary night, Oh! raise thy thoughts to yonder starry plain, And own thy sorrow felfish, weak, and vain ; Since, while Brittannia, to his virtues just, Twines the bright wreath, and rears th' immortal bus ; While on each wind of heav'n his fame shall rise, In endless incense to the smiling skies ; THE ATTENDANT Power, that bade his fails expand, And waft her blessings to each barren land, Now raptur'd bears him to th' immortal plains, Where Mercy hails him with congenial strains ; Where foars, on Joy's white plume, his spirit free, And angels choir him, while he waits for Thee.

Y 3

[ocr errors][merged small]
« AnteriorContinua »