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The boat is lower'd with all the haste of hate,¦
With its slight plank between thee and thy fate;
Her only cargo such a scant supply,

As promises the death their hands deny;
And just enough of water and of bread

To keep, some days, the dying from the dead:

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Some cordage, canvas, sails, and lines, and twine,

But treasures all to Hermits of the brine,
Were added after, to the earnest prayer
Of those who saw no hope save sea and air;
And last, that trembling vassal of the Pole,
The feeling compass, Navigation's Soul.

VI.

And now the self elected Chief finds time
To stun the first sensation of his crime,
And raise it in his followers-Ho! the bowl!»
Rest passion should return to reason's shoal.

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Brandy for heroes!» Burke could once exclaimNo doubt a liquid path to epic fame;

And such the new-born heroes found it here,
And drain'd the draught with an applauding cheer.
<< Huzza! for Otaheite! » was the cry;

How strange such shouts from sons of Mutiny!
The gentle island, and the genial soil,

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The friendly hearts, the feast without a toil,
The courteous manners but from Nature caught,
The wealth unhoarded, and the love unbought;
Could these have charms for rudest sea-boys, driven
Before the mast by every wind of Heaven?
And now, even now prepared with others' woes
To earn mild Virtue's vain desire-repose?

Alas! such is our nature! all but aim

At the same end, by pathways not the same;
Our means, our birth, our nation, and our name,
Our fortune, temper, even our outward frame,
Are far more potent o'er our yielding clay
Than aught we know beyond our little day,
Yet still there whispers the small voice within,
Heard through Gain's silence, and o'er Glory's din:
Whatever creed be taught or land be trod,

Man's conscience is the oracle of God!

VII.

The launch is crowded with the faithful few
Who wait their Chief, a melancholy crew :
But some remain'd reluctant on the deck
Of that proud vessel-now a moral wreck-
And view'd their Captain's fate with piteous eyes;
While others scoff'd his augur'd miseries,

Sneer'd at the prospect of his pigmy sail.
And the slight bark, so laden and so frail.
The tender Nautilus who steers his prow,
The sea-born sailor of his shell canoe,
The ocean Mab, the fairy of the sea,
Seems far less fragile, and, alas¡ more free!
He, when the lightning-wing'd Tornados sweep
The surge, is safe-his port is in the deep-
And triumphs o'er the Armadas of mankind,
Which shake the world, yet crumble in the wind.

VIII.

When all was now prepared, the vessel clear
Which hail'd her master in the mutineer—
A seaman, less obdurate than his mates,
Show'd the vain pity which but irritates;

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Watch'd his late Chieftain with exploring eye,
And told, in signs, repentant sympathy;
Held the moist shaddock to his parched mouth,
Which felt exhaustion's deep and bitter drouth.
But, soon observed, this guardian was withdrawn,
Nor further Mercy clouds rebellion's dawn.
Then forward stepp'd the bold and froward boy
His Chief had cherish'd only to destroy,
And, pointing to the helpless prow beneath,
Exclaim'd, « Depart at once! delay his death! »
Yet then, even then, his feelings ceased not all :
In that last moment could a word recal
Remorse for the black deed as yet half done,
And, what he hid from many, show'd to one :
When Bligh, in stern reproach, demanded where
Was now his grateful sense of former care ?—
Where all his hopes to see his name aspire
And blazon Britain's thousand glories higher?
His feverish lips thus broke their gloomy spell,
<< 'Tis that! 'tis that! I am in Hell, in Hell! »
No more he said; but, urging to the bark
His Chief, commits him to his fragile ark:
These the sole accents from his tongue that fell,
But volumes lurk'd below his fierce farewell.

IX.

The artic sun rose broad above the wave;

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The breeze now sunk, now. v whisper'd from his cave; As on the Æolian harp, his fitful wings Now swell'd, now flutter'd o'er his ocean strings. With slow, despairing oar, the abandon'd skiff loughs its drear progress to the scarce-seen cliff, Which lifts its peak a cloud above the main :

That boat and ship shall never meet again!
But 'tis not mine to tell their tale of grief,
Their constant peril and their scant relief;

Their days of danger, and their nights of pain;
Their manly courage, even when deem'd in vain; 180
The sapping famine, rendering scarce a son
Known to his mother in the skeleton;

The ills that lessen'd still their little store,

And starved even Hunger till he wrung no more;
The varying frowns and favours of the Deep,
That now almost engulphs, then leaves to creep
With crazy oar and shatter'd strength along
The tide, that yields reluctant to the strong;
Th' incessant fever of that arid thirst

Which welcomes, as a well, the clouds that burst 190
Above their naked bones, and feels delight
In the cold drenching of the stormy night,
And from the outspread canvas gladly wrings
A drop to moisten Life's all-gasping springs;
The savage foe escaped, to seek again
More hospitable shelter from the main;
The ghastly spectres which were doom'd at last
To tell as true a tale of dangers past,

As ever the dark annals of the deep
Disclosed for man to dread or woman weep.

X.

We leave them to their fate, but not unknown
Nor unredress'd! Revenge may have her own:
Roused discipline aloud proclaims their cause,
And injured navies urge their broken laws.
Pursue we on his track the mutineer,

Whom distant vengeance had not taught to fear.

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Wide o'er the wave-away! away! away!

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Once more his eyes shall hail the welcome bay;
Once more the happy shores without a law
Receive the outlaws whom they lately saw;
Nature, and Nature's Goddess-Woman-wooes
To lands where, save their conscience, none accuse;
Where all partake the earth without dispute,

And bread itself is gather'd as a fruit *;

Where none contest the fields, the woods, the streams:
The Goldless Age, where Gold disturbs no dreams,
Inhabits or inhabited the shore,

Till Europe taught them better than before,
Bestow'd her customs, and amended theirs,
But left her vices also to their heirs.
Away with this! behold them as they were,
Do good with Nature, or with Nature err.
<< Huzza! for Otaheite! » was the cry,
As stately swept the gallant vessel by.
The breeze springs up; the lately flapping sail
Extends its arch before the growing gale;

In swifter ripples stream aside the seas,

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Which her bold bow flings off with dashing ease.
Thus Argo plough'd the Euxine's virgin foam;

But those she wafted still look'd back to home- 230
These spurn their country with their rebel bark,
And fly her as the raven fled the ark;

And yet they seek to nestle with the dove,
And tame their fiery spirits down to love.

* The now celebrated bread-fruit, to transplant which Captain Bligh's expedition was undertaken.

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