The Pitcairn Anthology
The Plough Boy Anthology


Mary Russell Mitford

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CHRISTINA,

THE

MAID OF THE SOUTH SEAS.

a Poem.


BY

MARY RUSSELL MITFORD.


LONDON:

PRINTED BY A. J. VALPY, TOOK'S COURT,
CHANCERY LANE,
FOR F. C. AND J. RIVINGTON, ST. PAUL'S CHURCHYARD
SOLD ALSO
BY J. HATCHARD, PICCADILLY.

1811.


      


CHRISTINA,

THE

MAID OF THE SOUTH SEAS.

A Poem, in four Cantos,


      

TO

SIR WILLIAM ELFORD, BART.


HAVE you not mark'd, when sudden clouds arise,
And short-liv'd tempests threat fair April's skies,
The timid dove, of shadowy ills afraid,
Fly o'er the plain, and seek th' embowering glade;
Then plume her breast, and thro' the sheltering grove
Pour her mild notes of gratitude and love?
So, shrinking from the critic frown, I flew
On trembling wing to Genius and to you;
Proud with your wreath my Indian flower to blend,
ELFORD, far prouder thus to hail you Friend!

MARY RUSSELL MITFORD.     

      BERTRAM HOUSE, March, 1811.


      

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      THE following Poem is founded on a recent discovery, by an American vessel, of a small English colony, established by some of the mutineers of the Bounty, in one of the numerous islands of the South Seas. – In detailing an event, still remembered with anguish by those, who shared the sufferings of Captain Bligh, as well as by the friends and relations of the unfortunate persons, who occasioned those sufferings, it was difficult so to write, as to avoid on the one hand


viADVERTISEMENT.       

the charge of palliating a most fatal conspiracy, and, on the other, an imputation far more dreaded by the Author! – of irritating the feelings of a highly respectable family, and tearing open the scarcely healed wounds of kindred affection. Irresistibly attracted by the character of the gallant and amiable Christian, she yet distrusted the partiality, which might have led ber to extenuate his crime; and if she has erred, it bas been on the side of authority. "Fitzallan's Narrative," romantic and improbable as it appears, is entirely founded on facts; the authentic document, from which it is taken, is inserted in one of the notes to the third Canto. For many interesting particulars respecting the present situation of this infant colony she is indebted to the kindness of a


ADVERTISEMENT. ix

gentleman, who heard from several officers of the Topaz an account of the manners, the virtues, and the happiness, which she has attempted to pourtray.

      The Author is well aware that age and sex have no right to he urged at the critical bar in extenuation of literary errors; yet there may be some gentle readers, who will not refuse to a young and timid female the indulgence, which they would withhold from an older and more practised offender; to their mercy she appeals.

      She cannot conclude without expressing her grateful acknowledgements to Captain Burney, for the friendly assistance which he has rendered


xADVERTISEMENT.

her in arranging and revising her notes; an office which none would have performed so readily, and none could have performed so well.

      The scene of the Poem is laid in Pitcairn's Island (said to be la Encarnacion of Quiros) in the South Seas. The time occupied by the action is four nights and four days.


      

CHRISTINA,

THE

MAID OF THE SOUTH SEAS.


Canto the First.



"Ma per esser felici
"Che manca a noi? Qui siam sovrane. E questa
"Isoletta ridente il nostro regno;
"Sono i sudditi nostri
"Le Mansuete fiere. A noi produce
"La terra, il mar. Dalla stagione ardente
"Ci difendon le piante; i cavi sassi
"Dalla fredda stagion; ne forza, o legge
"Qui col nostro desio mai non contrasta,
"Or di', che baster, se ci non basta?"
METASTASIO.
O Love! in such a wilderness as this,
      Where transport and security entwine,
Here is the empire of thy perfect bliss,
      And here thou art a God indeed divine.
CAMPBELL.


      


Lately published, by the same Author,

A VOLUME OF

MISCELLANEOUS POEMS.

Price 7s.


      

CHRISTINA,

THE

MAID OF THE SOUTH SEAS.


CANTO I.


The setting sun, with lurid ray,
Crimson'd the vast Pacific's spray;
The lowering welkin darker grew;
The sable rack low threatening flew;
And, thro' the gathering mist, the sun
Subdu'd in blood-red lustre shone;
Awhile, like some dark oracle
Which deals around its deadly spell,


2CHRISTINA, THE MAID   

Upon the ocean's verge it stood,
Then sank beneath the heaving flood.
And sailors spoke the word of fear,
"A dreadful storm is gathering near!"
II.
Columbia's vessel rode the main,
And proudly plough'd the watery plain;
Yet quail'd the seamen's courage true,
To mark the high wave's lowering hue,
The deepening shades fast closing round,
The distant thunder's rumbling sound;
And the bold captain frown'd to see
The lightning's fearful revelry.
A Briton calmly pac'd the deck;
Can storms the British spirit check?
That spirit which still higher soars,
As tyrant threats, or cannon roars!


  OF THE SOUTH SEAS.. 3

No, firm as Albion's rugged rock,
He stemm'd old Ocean's rudest shock;
And, buoyant as the Highland gale,
Clung to the mast, and trimm'd the sail.
III.
Now the dark spirit of the storm
Uprears his grim and awful form!
The swelling waves rise mountain-high,
As if to search the viewless sky;
The ship, by struggling billows tost,
One moment, sinks between them lost,
Becalm'd and tranquil, as the lake
That smiles by Derwent's woody brake;
Whilst o'er her head, in dread repose,
The meeting waters seem to close:
The next, high o'er the ocean borne,
Sees her tough sails to atoms torn.


4CHRISTINA, THE MAID   

IV.
The dismal howling of the gale,
The thunder-claps, the rattling hail,
The wreck of elemental world,
In dizzy sound the senses whirl'd
Now the blue lightning flashes high
Like funeral torch across the sky!
Now deeper horrors shade the wave,
Like the chill darkness of the grave!
Scudding before the southern wind
The vessel's track lay far behind,
And midnight came amid their woes,
In tempests came, nor brought repose.
V.
Then to the sailor's anguish'd thought,
What pangs despair and memory brought!


  OF THE SOUTH SEAS.. 5

They mus'd upon their quiet home
"What dmon prompted them to roam?"
Of peace and comfort far away,
The tranquil cot, the woodfire gay;
And children, dearer far than life,
Betrothed maid, or faithful wife!
Whilst British Henry breath'd a prayer
For mother dear, for sister fair;
Then, with reliev'd and stainless heart,
Again resum'd his toilsome part.
VI.
The lightning ceas'd; the welkin clear'd,
And gayer hope each bosom cheer'd.
Still blew the gale, but milder far
Gleam'd silvery moon and twinkling star;
Slow roll'd the wave and regular,


6CHRISTINA, THE MAID   

And ere the lamp of night withdrawn,
Sunk in the first grey tints of dawn,
Bold Seymor, high upon the deck,
Descry'd afar a dusky speck;
And, onward as the vessel drew,
Darker and wider still it grew;
And all, who on the main deck stand,
Shout with according transport, "land!"
VII.
How many a fair and desert isle
Basks in the southern sunbeam's smile!
Numerous they glow upon the main,
Like stars that gem the peacock's train,
Whilst the high mountain's purpled blue
Brightens o'er Ocean's verdant hue.
Impatient for the dawn of day,
The sailors watch'd the glittering spray:


  OF THE SOUTH SEAS.. 7

The sun arose upon the deep,
Mild as a cherub from its sleep!
And from the bright and rosy sky,
Stream'd light, and life, and majesty.
VIII.
Like emerald set in silver, lay
The green isle, 'mid the ocean spray,
Rocks inaccessible and steep
Abruptly rise, or grandly sweep,
Save where one sheltering harbour gave
Protection from the boisterous wave:
There the cliffs parted, wide and far,
From basin semicircular;
And the sooth'd billows ceas'd to roar,
And dimpled on the pebbly shore,
As, charm'd by that enchanted land,
The Ocean kiss'd the peaceful strand.


8CHRISTINA, THE MAID   

IX.
With quick surprise, and new delight,
The sailors view'd that island bright:
Fair as the fabled isles it rose,
Where erst Ulysses found repose;
Fair as those isles, which to the eyes
Of death-struck mariners arise,
The visions of the phrensied brain!
Or bubbles of the treacherous main!
So sweetly, yet so strangely, bright:
There fruits of every clime unite,
As if some fay, from Europe's shores,
Had cull'd the best and purest stores;
Had borne them to that balmy air,
To bloom in fresher beauty there;
And show the more than magic power
Of tasteful art in nature's bower.


  OF THE SOUTH SEAS.. 9

X.
High to the clouds, on mountain free,
Rose plantain, palm, and cocoa tree;
Rose the gay fig, whose wondrous branch,
Bow'd down to earth, fresh roots can launch,
Which upward springs, to bend again,
And forms a thicket on the plain;
Rose too – unconscious instrument
Of crime and woe, to mortals sent!
That cane, whose luscious juice supplies
Europe's blood-purchas'd luxuries.
And there in native grandeur stood
Banana high, and Wharra's wood.
XI.
But not o'er hut or rude morai
Wav'd lofty bough or flexile spray;


10CHRISTINA, THE MAID     

No! those luxuriant branches fall
O'er garden trim, and cottage wall:
Cots, such as Thames' mild waters lave,
Or shine in Avon's mirror wave;
Where English peasants feel the power
Of evening's sweet domestic hour;
Where wearied veterans cease to roam;
Where comfort cries, "here is my home!"
XII.
Those gardens every beauty yield
Of Indian isle, or Europe's field.
Prone on the ground the melon lies,
Of different clime, of varied dyes;
That, of the tint of Hymen proud,
This, rosy as a summer cloud:
There, her rich fruit Anana rears
With coronet of verdant spears;


    OF THE SOUTH SEAS.. 11

There, round the slender palm, intwine
The tendrils of the Gallic vine:
And every flower of richest dye,
That shrinks from England's stormy sky,
And fades beneath our tenderest care,
Blossoms in healthful beauty there;
And mingles with bright Indian flowers,
To deck the jasmine's fragrant bowers.
XIII.
From the far hill a streamlet spread
Its limpid waters o'er the mead,
Proud to reflect the lovely scene,
By that fair cot it roll'd serene;
High o'er the stream from woody ridge
Was thrown a rude and rustic bridge:
And now from off the blooming bank
A bright pair trod the simple plank,


12CHRISTINA, THE MAID     

In baskets, gayly deck'd, they bore
Refreshing fruits and flowery store.
The towering youth, the graceful maid,
Were both in Indian garb array'd;
But not a trace of Indian feature
Appear'd in either glorious creature:
For his warm blood as brightly glow'd
As if in British veins it flow'd;
And she – the roses of her cheek
Might shame the dawn's refulgent streak.
XIV.
Short was the time the maid to view;
For down her fragrant load she threw,
And, bounding o'er the dewy lawn,
The covert sought, like timorous fawn:
The youth undaunted, but amaz'd,
Still on the stately vessel gaz'd:


    OF THE SOUTH SEAS.. 13

And Henry thro' his glass might spy
The quick glance of that eagle eye,
The lofty form, the stately grace,
The candor of that youthful face;
O never yet had Henry seen
So bright a form so sweet a mien!
Recovering from his short surprise,
Soon to the cottage door he flies;
Clears at a bound the cultur'd bed,
Nor breaks the fragile balsam's head.
XV.
Meanwhile the pinnace stands array'd,
To seek the stranger's generous aid:
And Henry, with youth's ardent hope,
Gave pride and fancy equal scope.
"Seymor," he cried, "the English air
"I trace in yonder blooming pair:


14CHRISTINA, THE MAID     

"And can we aught from Britons dread,
"When want and tempest rend our head?
"O we shall find safe harbour here!
"And greeting free, and friendly cheer!"
The captain smil'd; for well he knew
The fervor of that bosom true:
A smile, where transient doubt was mix'd,
With kindness warm, serene and fix'd.
XVI.
O there are few, when age's frost
Their fire has chill'd, their ardor crost;
Few, who the selfish joy forego,
Of checking youth's aspiring glow!
Still fewer, to whose generous hearts
Nature the genial flame imparts,
Which, unextinguishably bright,
Gives but in age a blander light,


    OF THE SOUTH SEAS.. 15

Which loves to catch the meteor blaze,
That darts across our early days:
Promethean fire! to mortals given,
The last best gift of bounteous Heaven!
Who the reflected warmth can feel,
And fan and feed the generous zeal!
XVII.
Such feeling in brave Seymor's breast,
All blame or bitter taunt represt.
Soon he an equal wonder felt,
Whilst on the bay his fix'd gaze dwelt:
There, in the self-same harbour, float
Indian canoe and English boat;
There gather'd soon a blooming band
Of youthful natives on the strand;
Clustering they sought the light canoe,
And o'er the glassy ocean flew.


16CHRISTINA, THE MAID     

The link'd ivahas1, side by side,
Short poles at once, unite, divide:
In each four skilful rowers strain
Their sinewy limbs, and plough the main;
And either stem, high o'er the flood,
Like fabled mermaid, gorgeous stood:
Rose in the midst, the platform high,
With pillars deck'd and canopy,
Whose matted folds resplendent shone,
Like rainbow glittering in the sun.
XVIII.
Three youths it bore, of manly grace,
Of stature tall, and blooming face;
And one, on whose majestic form
Valour had stamp'd his signet warm,

1 The double canoes of Otaheite.


    OF THE SOUTH SEAS.. 17

Whilst wisdom dwelt within his eye,
And mercy breath'd in every sigh.
Such bark, on Otaheite's shore,
Full oft the feather'd warriors bore.
But these brave youths no breast-plates guard,
Nor spears to fling, nor shields to ward;
Freely their ample garments flow,
In graceful folds of spotless snow;
Save that a border richly dight,
Of vivid scarlet mantles bright,
And fringe, by rosy fingers twin'd,
Sports, like gay plumage, on the wind,
Where the long sash floats wild and free
In ever-varying drapery.
XIX.
Swift o'er the wave th' ivaha flew,
Till to the vessel's side she drew;


18CHRISTINA, THE MAID     

Then, on the seamen's wondering ear,
Fell their own native accents clear;
"Come ye from England o'er the sea?
"O welcome to our island free!
"To our rude fare, our prompt relief!"
(Cried the bright youth, who seem'd the chief,)
"For sure your vessel's shatter'd form,
"Bears tokens of the recent storm!"
"From England? No! Our course we bore;
"From the fair Trans-Atlantic shore;
"Branch torn from England's stately tree,
"Nurtur'd and watch'd by Liberty,
"Where Freedom, Nature, Man combine,
"To rear and guard the plant divine!
"To thee, most kind and generous youth,
"What thanks are due! In very truth
"The storm of yester-night has left,
"Our ship of all her stores bereft;


    OF THE SOUTH SEAS.. 19

"And sails, and rigging torn away;
"Most welcome is this tranquil bay!"
XX.
Brave Seymor paus'd. With curious glance
To the high deck the youths advance;
The stranger scene attracts their eyes,
Each unknown form they scrutinize;
But still, the same ennobled grace
In word, in act, the sailors trace,
Of polish'd life they own the sense,
Savage alone in innocence!
Soon the young chief to Henry drew,
With stedfast, yet delighted, view:
"American, I love thee well!
"Yet is my father wont to tell
"Your wily arts, and cunning spell –


20CHRISTINA, THE MAID     

XXI.
"O he was self deceiv'd, unjust,
"Who warn'd thee not that race to trust,
"For they are open, bold and free,
"Liberal on shore, and brave on sea;
"Yet might I challenge his belief,
"For I am English, generous chief!"
O then to either valiant breast,
The noble Islanders were prest!
"My father is a Briton too!
"Come let us seek my light canoe!
"I long his exil'd heart to cheer;
"Captain, from us, no treachery fear!
"Our limpid spring, our stores, our care,
"'Tis all we have, your crew shall share."


    OF THE SOUTH SEAS.. 21

XXII.
The captain, and a chosen train,
In the light pinnace cross'd the main.
The long ivaha led the way,
Majestic, o'er the tranquil bay;
And soon they trod the pebbly shore,
And soon they reach'd the cottage door.
There stood a man, whose forehead sage,
Seem'd mark'd by sorrow, more than age;
His sallow cheek, and sunken eye,
Bore trace of ruin'd dignity;
And that blue eye, with sudden flash,
Oft told of passion's youthful clash,
Till pious tears the lightning quench'd,
And dew'd his locks by anguish blench'd.
Tall, spare, majestic was his mien,
His looks commanding, firm and keen,


22CHRISTINA, THE MAID     

Yet courteous too; he mildly sway'd,
Belov'd by all, by all obey'd.
XXIII.
With free and liberal grace, he gave
A welcome to the strangers brave,
But chief on Henry fix'd his eyes,
Whilst fond emotions seem'd to rise:
"Rest freely here, till ship and men,
"Recruited, sigh for sea again!
"For well I know that sailor's soul,
"Loves not in lazy bay to roll;
"Rather the stormy winds they brave,
"And stem the rude impetuous wave.
"But leave we now all distant care,
"To seek our cottage maiden's fare."


    OF THE SOUTH SEAS. 23

XXIV.
They enter'd. Pleas'd humility
Was there, and there simplicity;
Yet elegance and rural grace,
Had join'd the lovely bower to trace.
Spacious, yet low, the casement round
A rich and clustering vine is bound;
Whose leaves exclude the sunbeams bright,
And shed a cool and tranquil light;
Yet, glancing thro' the foliage green,
One brilliant, trembling ray is seen,
Whose emerald lustre quivers round,
Like glow-worm's lamp on verdant mound.
On the white walls gay baskets hung,
With flowers in bright profusion flung,
Artless they seem'd. Yet art, amid
The rich confusion still was hid,


24CHRISTINA, THE MAID     

But dar'd not there assert her claim,
And borrow'd nature's honor'd name.
Between the baskets, charts appear'd,
And books in goodly rows were rear'd;
And wonder beam'd in every eye,
Such strange, unwonted sight to spy.
XXV.
High in the midst was spread a board,
With varied viands amply stor'd;
Yet scarcely gaze they on the fare,
Far brighter objects claim their care.
There a dark, graceful, matron band,
And there young, lovely maidens stand,
The Houri of that blissful land!
Like "black-ey'd girls of Paradise,"
Their witching smiles the soul entice:


    OF THE SOUTH SEAS. 25

Yet Henry sought the timid maid,
Who lightly flew across the glade;
But none so slender, tall and fair,
Or of so graceful form was there;
Young Hubert still, his Indian friend,
Sate by his guest his wants to tend.
"Say, fled there not, at peep of dawn,
"A stately maid across the lawn?
"With thee she pluck'd the flowery store,
"And wreaths of dewy blossoms bore."
XXVI.
"Yes: And she blooms the fairest flower
"That decks the isle, on hill, or bower;
"The purest, sweetest, loveliest, best;
"Idol of every generous breast!
"To day in solitude and gloom,
"She meant to watch her mother's tomb;


26CHRISTINA, THE MAID     

"For now a year its course has run,
"Since set in death Iddeah's sun:
"With me she sought for flowerets fair,
"To hang in mournful garlands there.
"She fled at sight of stranger race,
"Nor dar'd approach the hallow'd place,
"Lest boisterous tongues, or glances rude,
"Invade her sacred solitude.
"For never yet that maiden's woes,
"To check our social pleasure rose,
"Her joy she shares, her grief's her own,
" CHRISTINA CHRISTIAN weeps alone."
XXVII.
"Christian!" As Hubert breath'd the name,
Suspicion quick to Seymor came;
For well he knew – who knows it not?
Misguided Christian's ruthless plot.


    OF THE SOUTH SEAS. 27

And he had read, with horror pale,
The suffering Bligh's heart-thrilling tale,
When from his gallant vessel driv'n,
Of every earthly comfort riv'n;
Remote from kind and friendly land,
The rebels chas'd his faithful band.
Still faithful, tho' the crowded boat
Scarce on that Southern wave can float;
Tho' ceaseless rain, and famine's rage,
Within, without, dire warfare wage;
Tho' haggard, worn, and tempest-tost,
Unbounded Oceans must be crost,
Ere the sad wanderers cease to roam,
And find a country and a home.
XXVIII.
      Oft at that tale the sailor's tear
Has fall'n, for trials too severe;


28CHRISTINA, THE MAID     

Tear quickly dried by the warm rush,
Of admiration's ardent blush,
At that brave band's endurance high,
Their patience and their constancy!
And sudden as the thunder's clash,
The captain felt conviction's flash:
"It must be Christian whom I view!"
"Brave stranger would thy words were true!
"He lies where never mortal ken,
"Shall see the hero's form again.
"O would he were alive, to share
"My social joy, my pleasing care! –
"Yet well I read that asking eye;
"Tomorrow every doubt shall fly!
"'Tis a sad tale and long to tell;
"To-day I shun the mazy spell.
"But something I would ask – If still
"Bligh lives? – Oh! say we did not kill!"


    OF THE SOUTH SEAS. 29

XXIX.
      "Yes, still he lives!" Would you had seen
The pallid chieftain's alter'd mien!
Like wretch from torturing wheel unbound,
Bewilder'd first he gaz'd around;
Scarce the life-giving words believ'd,
By doubt, by fear, in turns deceiv'd.
But when at length assurance came,
Joy seem'd to renovate his frame,
To raise his form to statelier grace,
Nerve his firm step, illume his face.
It flush'd his cheek, it lit his eyes,
Stole down in tears, and burst in sighs;
And meek devotion's silent prayer,
And ardent gratitude were there.


30CHRISTINA, THE MAID     

XXX.
      At length the simple feast is o'er,
And Seymor quits awhile the shore.
Whilst Hubert and his father walk,
With Henry still in friendly talk;
The chief to the brave Briton clung,
And on each look, each accent hung;
He gaz'd upon his glowing face,
His slender form, his youthful grace;
And his admiring glance exprest
Warm kindness for his youthful guest.
"How cam'st thou here in foreign sail?"
And short was Henry's simple tale.
XXXI.
In lovely Monmouth's rural bowers
His mother past her widow'd hours:


    OF THE SOUTH SEAS. 31

Happy in age the peaceful home;
But youth adventurous loves to roam!
And he had sought that northern land,
Where nature frowns sublime and grand;
Where Mississippi's wondrous flood,
Bathes the tall giants of the wood;
And wild Ontario's lake rebounds
Niagara's hoarse deafening sounds.
With Seymor thence he came, to view
Scenes, manners, people, strange and new;
"And I have found," he said and smil'd,
"An Eden blooming in the wild."
Soon hospitable duty calls,
The chiefs within their cottage walls;
And Henry still enchanted, roves
Thro' deep ravines, or stately groves.


32CHRISTINA, THE MAID     

XXXII.
Far from the cot a path he found,
Which thro' a craggy valley wound;
On either side the foliage spread,
In verdant arches o'er his head;
Deep in the midst a chrystal rill,
Ooz'd gently from the lofty hill;
Whilst higher still the pathway bore,
And farther from the cultur'd shore;
Yet still the ocean's murmurs clear,
Soothing and calm salute his ear,
And fairer still the valley seems,
And brighter the sun's setting beams.
At length he reach'd a verdant mound,
With towering rocks and thickets bound:
There rose a sweet and shelter'd bower,
Deck'd with each gay and brilliant flower;


    OF THE SOUTH SEAS. 33

High o'er the arch the blossoms twin'd,
In one gay knot their charms combin'd;
He thought – what will not lovers think?
CHRISTINA'S name compos'd the link.
And softer seem'd the turfy seat!
And lovelier bloom'd the fair retreat!
XXXIII.
The rippling brook, the whispering breeze,
The chirping birds that sought the trees;
To lull him to repose combin'd,
Fatigue of limb, and peace of mind;
But more than all, of recent birth
That form, which blended Heaven with earth,
And these shy hopes, which oft I deem,
Both lull to sleep and mould the dream.
He dream'd, – and still he thought he slept,
That to his side CHRISTINA crept;


34CHRISTINA, THE MAID     

Radiant, as when he saw the fair,
Her basket stor'd with flowerets rare;
To rouse him bent, the fragrant race
In vain she flung, with sportive grace;
Amidst his golden ringlets wound,
Or twin'd in rosy fetters round. –
Then chang'd the scene, – and he again,
View'd his dear home and native plain;
His sister, bright in maiden charms,
His mother clasp him in their arms;
And joyful friends his presence greet,
And rush, his warm embrace to meet.
Oh pure delight! O joy supreme!
Bliss unalloy'd! – 'twas but a dream.
XXXIV.
'Twas but a dream! – And what is all,
That erring mortals pleasure call;


    OF THE SOUTH SEAS. 35

What is dominion? Kings can tell!
To ebb and flow in ceaseless swell,
Now rob'd in plenitude of power,
To sit in grandeur's stately tower,
Dethron'd and kill'd in one short hour! –
What countless wealth? The cherish'd pain,
The care, the doubt, the hope of gain.
Vain hope! were his Potosi's store,
The miser's soul would crave for more. –
What beauty? 'Tis the mirror's shade,
As fast the fairest features fade,
Till youth and charms and lovers gone,
Sad vanity remains alone. –
What literary fame? The strife
Of boundless mind with narrow life. –
What friendship? The poor man's last fall! –
What love? The veriest dream of all! –


36CHRISTINA, THE MAID     

XXXV.
At eventide the ocean crew,
Back to their stately vessel drew;
They deem'd, that by the chief retain'd,
Henry within the cot remain'd;
And he ne'er doubted, but in haste,
Unseen, amid the throng, he past;
Still slept the youth within the bower,
For many a calm refreshing hour;
And when he woke, the golden ray,
Which richly lit the jasmine spray;
Was chang'd to the fair silver stream,
Of the pale moon's faint quivering beam;
The breeze which lull'd him to repose,
With soften'd balm no longer blows;
But on his cold and icy cheeks,
The chilly gale of midnight breaks.


    OF THE SOUTH SEAS. 37

XXXVI.
He started up with wild surprise,
And scarce could trust his wondering eyes;
Scarce tell what power his form convey'd,
To that fair seat and fragrant shade.
Awaken'd memory soon recalls,
The chieftain's hospitable halls;
He strove the cheerful spot to gain,
And wander'd on, but still in vain;
For the wild wood and quivering light,
Obstruct his steps, delude his sight.
At length he came where shrubs were drawn,
Close round a smooth and level lawn:
In centre of the circle small,
Arose a rustic pedestal;
On which, in sweet and simple taste,
A monumental urn was plac'd.
Fair pillar! now, how richly grac'd!


38CHRISTINA, THE MAID     

XXXVII.
In flowing drapery array'd,
There stood a tall and slender maid.
O'er the smooth urn her form reclin'd,
One graceful arm around it twin'd;
Her lovely head was upward cast,
And caught the moon-beams as they past,
Shed their soft radiance, silvery cold,
On features of celestial mould;
Or wanton'd in the raven hair,
That floated on the midnight air.
Quench'd was the lightning of her eye,
Pale her fair cheeks' effulgent dye;
But beauty's pensive hour had given
An higher grace, a look of heaven.
She seem'd a sainted spirit hovering there,
Weeping for human sins and human care.


    OF THE SOUTH SEAS. 39

XXXVIII.
How wondrous in that tranquil hour,
Seem'd that still form in fairy bower!
You might have thought some magic hand,
Fix'd the fair statue on the strand,
Enchantress of that lovely land;
And tale, romance and legend high,
Press'd on the wanderer's fantasy.
He dar'd not move, he dar'd not speak,
So much he fear'd the spell to break;
His very breath he strove to stay,
Lest that fair form should fade away.
A cloud across the moon had past,
And deepening shades the tomb o'ercast;
Yet still young Henry linger'd nigh,
For he had heard a deep drawn sigh;


40CHRISTINA, THE MAID     

And soon, in accents soft and clear,
As ever breath'd in mortal ear,
In strains with silvery cadence fraught,
From the pure spring of feeling caught,
Seraphic strains, by nature given,
Arose a daughter's woe to heaven.
XXXIX.
Christina's Song.
O chilly and damp is the mossy tomb!
      And dark is the cheerless night!
But sadder far is the mourner's gloom,
      Who wails o'er her lost delight!
The maidens they deck'd thy grave with flowers,
The death-dirge rang thro' the island bowers,


    OF THE SOUTH SEAS. 41

But sighs and groans were all that I gave,
And my tears alone bedewed thy grave.
The flowers are wither'd, the garlands are gone,
      The dirge died away in the air;
And thou wert forgotten by all but one,
      Ere the wreath had faded there.
They took me to dwell in the cot of the chief,
They said to me, Calm thy restless grief!
But her who is gone they cannot restore,
And still as they chide, I weep the more.
O mother! my mother! since thou art dead,
      What comfort have they to give!
My only delight on earth is fled,
      And still must CHRISTINA live!
Yet oft will I steal at midnight hour,
To deck thy cold tomb with tear and flower,


42CHRISTINA, THE MAID     

And when the rude storms of life are past,
With thee I will find my home at last.
XL.
Ceas'd the sweet strain. No echo shrill
Prolong'd the sound on dale or hill;
For echo loves the measure high,
Of proud and lordly minstrelsy;
The wild notes of the hunter's horn,
That rouse the stag at break of morn;
The clang of steel, the volleying roar,
That swells along the lake's steep shore;
War's noisy pomp, and deafening state,
The willing nymphs reverberate.
But the low notes of woe represt,
Their echo is the feeling breast.
Still, still in Henry's ear they dwelt,
Still his fond soul their magic felt.


    OF THE SOUTH SEAS. 43

XLI.
Oft had he bow'd to beauty's power,
In mirth and fashion's brilliant hour;
Hung on fair woman's playful wit;
Mark'd in the dance her light form flit;
Own'd her mute eloquence of eye;
And felt the magic of her sigh.
And he had seen her soft tear flow,
Dissolv'd in sympathetic woe.
Till changing like an April day,
Some frolic chac'd the gem away.
But never, never had he felt,
Such fleeting tears his bosom melt.
Ne'er seen that majesty of grief,
Which seeks nor pity nor relief;
Ne'er seen the silent drops, which lave
A cherish'd parent's humble grave.


44CHRISTINA, THE MAID     

And scarce the conscious youth can tell,
What stranger pangs his bosom swell;
For new-born love, and new-born awe,
Rule his fond heart with iron law;
And check the step that would pursue,
Her light form thro' the glittering dew,
As slow and sad the fair withdrew.
XLII.
Again the moon's pale rays illume,
And he has sought the rustic tomb;
Knelt where CHRISTINA trod the ground;
And clasp'd the urn's chill circle round.
Fresh flowerets deck the lowly shrine,
And gemm'd with dew drops, sparkling shine;
And he has stol'n a fragile stem,
Where trembling hangs the crystal gem,


    OF THE SOUTH SEAS. 45

"Too bright for earthly dew," he cries,
"It fell from sweet CHRISTINA's eyes!"
The floweret to his heart he prest,
It seem'd to cool his burning breast;
He mus'd upon the lovely maid;
"Dwells she not with the chief?" he said;
"Dwells she not with the chief? Again
" CHRISTINA shall I hear thy strain!"
Then swift as roebuck sought the plain.
XLIII.
He gain'd the fair cot in the dale,
Awoke the chief and told his tale,
Of boat long gone, and comrades lost,
And fancy charm'd at hunger's cost;
But nothing said he of the maid,
Nor tongue nor mien his love betray'd;


46CHRISTINA, THE MAID     

Save that his piercing eye, intent
Upon the simple latch, was bent;
And every sound his light form shook,
Like winds that stir the ruffled brook.
The chieftain with attentive care,
Produc'd the sweet and simple fare,
And wisdom gay, good humor free,
Gave grace to hospitality.
Then to the sailor's hardy bed
His blooming guest assiduous led;
"Farewell! Fear nought from friends or foes,"
He said, and left him to repose.


    

CHRISTINA, &c.



Canto the Second.


    

CHRISTINA,

THE

MAID OF THE SOUTH SEAS.


CANTO II


I.
Our native land, how poor soe'er it be,
      However sunk in ignorance and woe,
Or bent beneath the yoke of tyranny,
      That native land still wakes the bosom's glow!
At that dear name the wanderer's tears o'erflow,
      Whether he roam thro' India's spicy groves,
Or Afric's sands, or Kaff's eternal snow;
      Still sever'd from the seat of all he loves,
      Unfriended and alone the heart-sick exile roves.

1 Mount Caucasus.


50CHRISTINA, THE MAID     

Gem of the world! Bright empress of the main!
      England, my country! That some patriot hand
From thy majestic brow would wipe this stain!
      How many banish'd from thy rocky strand
Pour forth their sad lament in foreign land!
      How many exil'd from each kindred tie,
Friends, home and children, wail the stern command!
      Obdurate – still the guilty traffic ply;
      Repentant – hopeless live, and unregarded die.
Felt he not this, the man of many griefs,
      Sad hopeless exile from his native vale;
Felt he not this, the while the ocean chiefs,
      Listen impatient for the promis'd tale?
Oh yes! mantled that cheek serenely pale,
      With sudden glow, fire in his mild eyes shone,


    OF THE SOUTH SEAS. 51

Whilst, as young Henry breathless sought the dale,
      He mus'd upon thy white cliffs, Albion,
      And many a lovely maid, and many a gallant son!
II.
"O England! dearest, fairest, best,
Home of the stranger and th' opprest,
Of all who banish'd from their land,
Seek refuge on a foreign strand,
Whose liberal mercy never knows
In danger or in want thy foes;
Whose equal justice guards the shed,
That shields the exil'd peasant's head,
As fondly as the bed of state
That canopies the courtly great.
Queen of the sea! to me thy skill
Is death, and yet I love thee still;


52CHRISTINA, THE MAID     

Still when I catch thine accents clear,
My senses seem absorb'd in ear;
Still when thy yellow locks I view,
Thy sparkling eyes' refulgent blue,
The youthful blush so rosy bright,
Taste, hearing, feeling, all are sight,
But at the touch of English hand,
I seem to tread thy lovely strand;
And thro' my veins the current high
Thrills with the new-born ecstacy.
III.
"O had I always lov'd thee so,
What varied scenes of crime and woe,
Had I escap'd! yet 'vails it not
To weep o'er man's unhappy lot.
Like some rude stream my course I ran;
Pure, limpid, sparkling it began;


    OF THE SOUTH SEAS. 53

Anon, o'er rocks and fragments cast,
Wild, angry, and tempestuous past;
Then, hidden in the tangled linn,
Slept stagnant in the gulph of sin;
Again emerging, forth it leads
Thro' flowery vales and verdant meads;
Oh that like that small stream my course
May gently spend its waning force!
In lustre bland, in soften'd flow,
Diffusing life and gladness go;
Still ebbing onward till it laves
Eternity's unruffled waves!"
IV.
He paus'd awhile – the woe how keen,
To tell of joys that once have been!
Of passion's wild tempestuous swell,
Love, fears, and woes, long past to tell!


54CHRISTINA, THE MAID     

Confus'd and like a dream they prest
His fever'd brain and laboring breast:
He paus'd – whilst nearer still the crew,
And island youths and maidens drew:
They cluster'd round the plantain's shade,
Where bright the chequering sunbeams play'd;
And never yet that brilliant sun,
Upon a lovelier landscape shone!
V.
Meandering round the woody knoll,
The streamlet's crystal waters roll;
And you might hear the murmurs low,
Mingled with ocean's distant flow;
And you might watch the small stream's course,
From yonder hill its verdant source,
Till in the main it spent its force.


    OF THE SOUTH SEAS. 55

Most lovely was the course it wound,
Now seen, now lost, in woods profound.
First welling from the lofty hill,
Scarce could you trace the slender rill,
It seem'd – so small its puny form, –
The sweeping of a summer storm;
Now on the plain a streamlet fair;
Now in the woods a mirror rare;
Reflecting flower, and tree, and grot,
It sought at length the rustic cot;
Thence, widening still, its waters free
Stretch'd o'er the valley to the sea.
VI.
So sweet the scene, young Henry cried,
"Not brighter Wye's pellucid tide,
"So fair the cottage in the shade!
"So lovely the fair cottage maid!"


56CHRISTINA, THE MAID     

And many a smiling maid was there
With sparkling eye and raven hair;
And many a sailor look'd away
His soul, in that bright summer day.
But not those laughing beauties won
The heart of England's gallant son:
That nymph whose plaintive accents still,
Ring in his ears, his life blood thrill,
That nymph whose flowerets still are prest,
Like relics, to his beating breast;
That nymph, in daylight beauty fair,
CHRISTINA, mournful maid, is there:
Hush'd is the sigh, and dried the tear,
Her dark eye sparkles bright and clear;
So soft her cheek's effulgent glow,
He seem'd to see the pure blood flow;
Yet heav'd her breast with sorrow pent,
Yet was that bright eye downward bent;


    OF THE SOUTH SEAS. 57

And the gay flowerets in her hair,
They suited ill that look of care.
VII.
Soon Henry sought CHRISTINA's side,
Henry, in youthful beauty's pride,
With sunny locks and brow of snow,
With ruddy lips and manly glow,
With limbs the graces might have form'd,
By youth and health and passion warm'd;
'Twas like young Pleasure blithe and jolly,
Wooing the fair nun Melancholy;
Yet modesty and awe represt
The ardor of his generous breast;
Little he spoke, but what he said
CHRISTINA with a smile repaid;
A smile so holy, sad and faint,
It might have grac'd a dying saint:


58CHRISTINA, THE MAID     

But now the chieftain's tale began,
And thro' the group attention ran.
VIII.
Fitzallan's Narrative.
Why should I stain a noble name,
By a degraded exile's claim?
How proud, dar'd I that name avow!
Fitzallan you must call me now.
Why should I say in what fair scene
I pass'd my infant days serene?
Enough to tell that fondly bred
On luxury's enfeebling bed,
By folly tost, by passion whirl'd,
Misfortune cast me on the world;
That world, which in my prosperous hours,
Seem'd one fair vale of blooming flowers,


    OF THE SOUTH SEAS. 59

Now, a bleak heath, no charm retain'd,
The roses past, the thorns remain'd;
And parents, friends, and kindred gone,
On that wild waste I trod alone.
IX.
On phrenzy's dizzy verge I stood,
And mus'd in my distemper'd mood;
Oft had I read of those fair isles,
Where never changing summer smiles;
Those isles where dark-eyed maidens lave
Their beauties in the southern wave;
And oft, when England's wintry day
Marr'd some wild scheme of boyish play;
In sportive anger I have cried,
"I'll seek the vast Pacific's tide,
"There no rude storms the world annoy!
"There all is mirth, and sport, and joy!"


60CHRISTINA, THE MAID     

I mus'd not long, for in my soul
Adventurous ardor spurn'd control;
I long'd on other worlds to gaze,
New friends, new hopes, new bliss to raise,
Climes, uncorrupted yet, to scan,
And mark the race of savage man.
X.
With Bligh I sail'd – Whence comes so chill
At that once hated name the thrill?
He lives! he lives! my heart be still!
With Bligh I sail'd, no hostile train
Launch'd the proud vessel on the main;
On cares benevolent intent,
Mild as her name the Bounty went,
And bound to Otaheite's shore,
The wealth of art and nature bore;


    OF THE SOUTH SEAS. 61

But, in return, by wisdom taught,
That vegetable wonder sought,
That tree, which in unfailing stores,
The staff of life spontaneous pours,
And to our southern islands yields
The produce of your labor'd fields;
That would they bring, with nicest care,
To western India's sultry air.
How thought they aught could florish there?
Where slaves would tend Heaven's purest food,
Water'd with tears, manur'd with blood!
XI.
Fair, easy, prosperous was our way,
Nor tempests threat, nor calms delay;
The Peak of Teneriffe we past,
Where the high rock to Heaven is cast


62CHRISTINA, THE MAID     

So awfully, it seems to rise
A pillar to support the skies;
Thence, eastward still, we took our way
By Hope's good Cape, and Table Bay,
For all too late our course was borne,
To weather thy rude storms, Cape Horn!
Pleasant the gale, and light my heart,
Friendship had heal'd my bosom's smart;
Christian was that dear friend – Alas!
That I should live to say he was!
XII.
A friend more noble, or more true,
Ne'er from the sheath his falchion drew;
His was the firm and zealous truth,
The candor of undoubting youth;
His, that stern honor, proud and high,
Which scorn'd to bend, but knew to die;


    OF THE SOUTH SEAS. 63

A heart which woman's glance could lead
To high emprize, or desperate deed;
A temper fiery, hot and bold,
Which manly friendship well might mould,
But which at accent of command,
Like charger in a warrior's hand,
Flash'd from his eye the lightning brand.
XIII.
'Twixt Bligh and Christian difference rose,
Scarce were they friends, not yet were foes;
But as the air, dense, still and warm,
Gives token of th' approaching storm,
So in each warrior's silence stern,
The gathering malice you might learn;
Swift fled each thought of discord now,
Clear'd Christian's and the Captain's brow;


64CHRISTINA, THE MAID     

For now we near'd the green isle's strand,
The haven of our wish'd for land;
In Otaheite's fairest bay,
We touch'd the shore of Matavai.
XIV.
As bees that seek the heathery pride,
The natives climb the ship's tall side;
Scarce could the crowded deck sustain
The pressure of the eager train,
Then names were chang'd in friendly form,
With welcome free and greeting warm:
What though upon the cheated ear,
Still vainly fell those accents clear;
Yet the warm pressure of the hand,
The courteous voice, the gesture bland.
The dullest heart might understand.


    OF THE SOUTH SEAS. 65

Language unknown may mock the sense,
Thou need'st no tongue, benevolence!
XV.
O generous people! Thou art call'd
A land by vice and folly thrall'd;
Immers'd in ignorance and woe,
Savage and lowest of the low,
And they are great that call thee so!
But were some wondrous chance to guide,
Thy light canoes across the tide,
To polish'd Europe, free and fair,
Say what would be thy welcome there?
Would she thy slender stores recruit,
With flesh and fowl, and balmy fruit?
Would she her little all bestow,
On strangers plung'd in want and woe?


66CHRISTINA, THE MAID     

Or would she from thy miseries fly,
And turn thee from her coast to die?
O generous people! whilst my blood
Pours round my heart in crimson flood,
Never can that warm heart forget,
Never repay its mighty debt!
XVI.
Why say – for all are seamen here –
The joy how sweet, the hour how dear,
When, after braving many a day
The perils of the watery way,
On land we set our weary feet,
And beauty's witching glances meet.
And never sailor's eye has seen,
An isle more lovely or serene;
And never sailor's heart has bounded,
To maids with brighter charms surrounded;


    OF THE SOUTH SEAS. 67

With melting look, with merry glance,
They glided thro' the wanton dance;
Or softly trill'd the plaintive measure,
Or wak'd the song to notes of pleasure,
Told tales of love and joy elate,
Nor miss'd one art to fascinate.
XVII.
Not mine the soul, nor mine the eye,
Such wanton grace could gratify.
For modesty I gaz'd around;
Enchantress! O too quickly found!
Our brave commander, in whose smile
Bask'd every earie of the isle,
Selected from the courtly croud,
A chief of birth and lineage proud;


68CHRISTINA, THE MAID     

Each virtue grac'd Poeeno's name,
His valor great, and high his fame;
Lovely his wife, their blooming train
Of cherub children trod the plain;
And one more fair, more innocent,
Join'd in their sportive merriment.
XVIII.
Avanna she, his sister mild,
Not woman yet, yet more than child;
Not in the vales of England blows
Less conscious of its charms the rose;
Not purer that bright stainless flower, –
Man had not told her of her power;
On nature's beauties she would dwell,
On floweret fair and brilliant shell,
But never did the maiden guess
Her own unrivall'd loveliness.


    OF THE SOUTH SEAS. 69

Full soon I learnt that foreign tongue,
Full soon each love-lorn lay I sung;
And soon Avanna bent her ear,
The flattering tale of love to hear;
Soon she an answering tale could tell, –
Oh pardon that on this I dwell!
XIX.
But Christian lov'd, and in his soul
The restless feeling mock'd control:
Love, such wild war his passions wage,
Took in his breast the form of rage:
Like cataract from mountain height,
It rush'd tempestuous, wild and bright,
A foaming torrent dash'd its spray,
And swept opposing rocks away:
His passion soar'd on eagle wing,
He lov'd the sister of the king.


70CHRISTINA, THE MAID     

And she with kindred ardor fir'd,
The hero's daring soul admir'd.
XX.
She too – CHRISTINA! dearest, why
Pours the big tear-drop from thine eye?
Why weep'st thou, sweet? Her sad offence
Was sure redeem'd by penitence!
Thy virtues and thy life alone,
A parent's errors might atone;
"Retire, my child!" The fair obey'd,
And Henry join'd the weeping maid;
With tender care, and fond delay,
He sought to cheer her on the way;
Nor till she smil'd, and wept no more,
Would leave her at the cottage door!


    OF THE SOUTH SEAS. 71

XXI.
Fitzallan's penetrating eye
That tender glance could well espy;
O! in that look could he have known
That Henry's ardent soul had flown;
Had he but guest how midnight past,
That tender glance had been the last:
But little reck'd he, English heart
So soon should feel love's bitter smart!
There was an eye, that mark'd the flush
Of love in Henry's kindling blush;
There was an ear, whose quicken'd sense
Caught the sweet thanks of innocence;
A heart, whose jealous pangs confest
CHRISTINA'S empire o'er the breast! –
Again the Briton sought the vale,
Again the chief pursu'd his tale.


72CHRISTINA, THE MAID     

XXII.
Narrative continued.
"Iddeah, she whom Christian woo'd,
Was fram'd to feed his fiery mood:
A heroine she! her form, her mind,
Scorn'd the soft graces of her kind.
Sweet woman, like the mantling vine,
Was born round lordly man to twine;
Supported, yet adorning, live,
And strength receive and beauty give.
But, like yon stately cocoa tree,
Proudest of either sex was she!
Affording, not demanding, aid,
Tower'd haughtily the royal maid:


    OF THE SOUTH SEAS. 73

She lov'd with all her ardor high,
Her wild, ungovern'd energy;
And prudence soon, and virtue fly.
XXIII.
Too quickly past the winged hours,
In Otaheite's pleasant bowers;
Days, weeks, and months, unheeded flow,
And we must o'er the ocean go;
Must leave, for aye, this lovely isle,
Iddeah's sense, Avanna's smile;
Nor hope to tread the verdant plain,
Nor see that love-fraught smile again.
On my fond grief I will not dwell;
How may I Christian's anguish tell!
I would have sought his soul to calm,
Pour on his heart soft friendship's balm;


74CHRISTINA, THE MAID     

But wild and frantic was his tone,
Deep his sad bosom's hollow groan;
At length he sought my listening ear,
His tale of crime and woe to hear;
It chill'd my blood that tale of fear!
XXIV.
"Iddeah! – O what frenzied tears!
"A living pledge of love she bears, –
"Slaves to their superstition wild,
"Th' Arreoys will destroy my child!
"With its first breath will seize their prize,
"Unfather'd, unreveng'd it dies!
"Iddeah's child! – my first-born! – No,
"Save if high Heaven should deal the blow,
"Thou shalt not die! no ruffian hand
"Shall dare apply the murdering band;


    OF THE SOUTH SEAS. 75

"Thou shalt not die! thy father's heart
"Shall shield thee from the ruthless dart!"
"Are there no means? Might we not bear
"To Britain's coast the royal fair?
"Say, would not Bligh!" "O! name him not;
"From nature's scroll that foul line blot;
"He has refus'd a husband's prayer,
"Refus'd! and fears not my despair!" –
He paus'd – but in that pause I read
The gathering of a purpose dread.
XXV.
Our hearts – ah me! what anguish rent,
When homeward first our way we bent!
There was no eye that did not spend
A warm tear for some Indian friend;
There was no bosom but had left
Some dark-eyed girl of peace bereft.


76CHRISTINA, THE MAID     

Christian alone was sternly calm:
No tears his buried hope embalm:
Portentous calmness! soon I found,
Soon prob'd his bosom's festering wound;
Soon, in kind friendship's generous glow,
His inmost councils did he show.
XXVI.
"Yon lovely isle, where plantains shade
"The dwelling of thy lovelier maid;
"Where oft for thee Avanna pull'd
"Ripe avees, or gay garlands cull'd;
"Wouldst thou not like, rich, young, and free,
"That isle, that maid, again to see?
"Well can I read that mournful smile: –
"Listen! and thou shalt see that isle!
"First swear, – By her who gave thee birth,
"Thy hopes in Heaven, thy peace on earth,


    OF THE SOUTH SEAS. 77

"Swear by Avanna, maid ador'd,
"And seal the oath on thy good sword,
"That force, or treachery, ne'er shall wrest
"This fateful secret from thy breast!"
XXVII.
I swore: and Christian told me then,
That three and twenty valiant men
Like oath had sworn: at his command
Was each brave heart, and trusty hand.
"Then shall yon hated tyrant rue,
"Th' unwonted tears from me he drew:
"Iddeah's woes all mercy seal!
"Iddeah's wrongs shall nerve my steel!"
"What shall an English seaman's blade
"Reek with the blood of man betray'd?
"It may not be!" "My friend, no more,
"I will not stain it with his gore,


78CHRISTINA, THE MAID     

"A Briton's life I may not spill;
"But let him dread my vengeance still!
"Adrift within his own proud boat
"Shall he and all his minions float;
"Or swim, or sink, as fate decree;
"This gallant ship remains with me! –
"To-morrow the third watch I hold, –
"Be secret, confident, and bold!"
XXVIII.
And we did meet the fated few,
The bravest hearts of all the crew!
We met: and in each gloomy eye
There gleam'd so stern a constancy,
That needless seem'd the oaths we swore:
Each heart had inly sworn before.


    OF THE SOUTH SEAS. 79

XXIX.
Bligh! when upon the ocean's breast
The orb of day sank down to rest;
Beam'd not that mild refulgent ray
On one more blest, more proudly gay!
Lord of a vessel, whose white sails
Swell'd gently in the prosperous gales;
Lord of a band, of valor prov'd,
He reign'd, and thought he was belov'd!
His ruling star's auspicious light
Seem'd as that parting sunbeam bright.
O Bligh! how different rose the morn
To thee, a hopeless wretch forlorn!
That ship no longer shalt thou see,
That rebel crew abandon'd thee!


80CHRISTINA, THE MAID     

XXX.
Christian had dragg'd him from his bed,
And to the deck his captive led;
There too were dragg'd, surpriz'd and scar'd,
All who their captain's favor shar'd.
I did not mock their misery,
Yet still that scene of woe I see! –
Soon swam the boat upon the tide,
We forc'd our victims down the side;
Bligh was the last, – then once again
He sought for grace; alas, in vain!
Yet Christian seem'd to mercy turning,
But soon his brain with frenzy burning,
"Iddeah!" twice he breath'd the name,
It fed revenge's furious flame;
"Iddeah! mercy such as thou
"Hast shown to her, such feel'st thou now!


    OF THE SOUTH SEAS. 81

XXXI.
Biscuit and water then we threw,
Scant portion for the crowded crew,
As it descended, o'er my soul
Thought of Rome's buried vestal stole,
As useless yon poor pittance seems,
Save to prolong life's torturing dreams;
What earthly help can save them there,
In bark o'erladen, frail and bare?
From that vast Ocean's whelming wave,
Nought but a miracle can save.
I watch'd the bark; we veer'd about,
Rung to the skies the joyous shout,
"For Otaheite!" was the cry,
The small boat vanish'd in the sky.


82CHRISTINA, THE MAID     

XXXII.
I tried to still my beating breast,
To lull the gnawing worm to rest;
Of sweet Avanna's joy I thought,
And found awhile the bliss I sought.
But Christian, on his brow of care
He wore the livery of despair,
Flash'd his wild glances, sternly beaming,
Like lightning on the dark clouds gleaming;
Gone was the frank and open grace,
That wont to deck that manly face;
The bounding step, alert and free,
The cheering voice, the jocund glee,
Fled with his bosom's harmony.


    OF THE SOUTH SEAS. 83

XXXIII.
Still prosperous was the gale – Again
We trod on Matavai's fair plain;
Again each friendly hand we grasp'd,
Again each lovely maid we clasp'd;
Our fancied wrongs we told not there,
We shunn'd that tale of guilt and care,
"Our captain, he was gone," we said,
"Another bark the band convey'd,
"To England bound – whilst friendship bore
"Us back to Otaheite's shore."
In beauty's soft enchantment wrapt,
In love, in joy, in pleasure lapt,
Flew the soft days – whilst gifted thus,
Far higher duties call'd on us;


84CHRISTINA, THE MAID     

We were not born unnerv'd to lie
Basking in woman's sunny eye,
Neglecting every nobler claim,
Soft ditties to those eyes to frame.
XXXIV.
No! far from that enfeebling land,
To seek some fair, yet lonely strand,
Where comrades, servants, children, wives,
Might gild with tranquil beams our lives,
Where joys, which virtue can bestow,
Where piety's diffusive glow,
Where years to peaceful duty given,
Might lead each wandering soul to Heaven,
Was Christian's plan. But there were few
So wise among the rebel crew:


    OF THE SOUTH SEAS. 85

In luxury and vice they trod,
Woman their idol, sense their God.
Few were there wise. Well was it time
To quit this soft voluptuous clime.
XXXV.
'Till now, in peaceful ease secure,
Blood had not stain'd their rites impure;
But now the plantain tree no more,
Symbol of peace, the Earie bore;
Huaheine's warriors menac'd there
With massy club, and trenchant spear.
Now priests and earies march along,
Sovereign and slaves, with shout and song;
Brave Christian join'd the motley mass,
And mark'd the feathery pageant pass,
By river, meadow, wood and bay,
They pass'd, and reach'd the high morai.


86CHRISTINA, THE MAID     

XXXVI.
Now on their prophet's ravings wild
The people hung; the Briton smil'd.
But smil'd he, that brave Briton, when
He saw the forms of murder'd men?
Hair from each bleeding victim torn!
Eyes from their lifeless sockets borne!
Scenes on which nature may not dwell!
Outrage which memory weeps to tell!
Dismay'd and shuddering at the sight,
He turn'd him from the Druid rite!
XXXVII.
A braver man than Christian, ne'er
Did England's conquering broadsword wear,
Oft had he dealt its sturdy blow
On all who call'd that England foe,


    OF THE SOUTH SEAS. 87

Fac'd death in his most horrid form,
The lightning of the sea-fight's storm;
Amid the cannon's ceaseless roar,
Waded thro' streams of brains and gore,
O'er decks with mangled comrades spread,
Piles of the dying and the dead!
And he had heard – War, fiend accurst!
Of all thy countless plagues the worst,
Where varied elements conspire
Arm'd in thy cause, air, water, fire;
Heard the tremendous burst that whirl'd
A floating people from the world!
Where, in one mingled mass, have flown
Vessel and men to atoms blown.
Not to the bolt of angry Heaven,
More dread, more sudden power is given!
This had he view'd with tearless eyes,
Yet wept at that fell sacrifice.


88CHRISTINA, THE MAID     

XXXVIII.
"We must away! in haste," he cried,
"We must away! prepare thy bride!
"Not for the Earie-Rahie's sway,
"Would I among these pagans stay.
"Yet secret must we be; 'twill mar
"Their projects for the coming war
"To lose our ship, and arms, and skill
"Pre-eminent in arts to kill.
"Fitzallan! Friend! Does not thy sense
"Revolt at that bad eminence?"
All was prepar'd. Nine comrades true,
Compos'd our small but gallant crew;
With each a fair selected dame,
With each a chosen servant came;
Iddeah and Avanna fair,
In triumph from their shores we bear,


    OF THE SOUTH SEAS. 89

Some natural tears their bright eyes shed,
Some natural tremors woke their dread;
But love soon hush'd those truant fears,
And love soon wip'd those tender tears;
Propitious beams and favoring gales
Illum'd and fill'd our parting sails."
XXXIX.
Fitzallan paus'd – Emotion strong
With memory's tide had rush'd along;
Remorse, which penitence and pain
Had soften'd, rack'd his heart again.
Alone he sought the strife to end,
And thus bespoke each stranger friend.
"Within my cot a simple feast
"Awaits each dear and honor'd guest;
"The sun rides high; the plantain trees
"No longer wave in murmuring breeze:


90CHRISTINA, THE MAID     

"To-morrow, in the grotto's gloom,
"My tale of woe I will resume."
XL.
They sought the cot, and smiling there
Was pil'd the vegetable fare;
The fragrant fruit, with flowerets spread,
Gay tints and richer odors shed;
And black-eyed maidens smil'd to see
Each happy sailor's revelry.
CHRISTINA too, at Henry's side,
Now blush'd, now smil'd, like bashful bride,
Whilst every timid accent stole,
With soft enchantment to his soul.


    OF THE SOUTH SEAS. 91

XLI.
The banquet past, for manly sport
To the smooth plain the youths resort,
Some rocky fragments hurl on high,
In proud defiance to the sky;
Some launch the pebble from the sling;
Some with sure aim the light spear fling;
Some in the race swift bounding, strain
Each sinew firm and starting vein;
Some in the glittering Ocean lave,
And stem with ample breast the wave;
Some venturous seek the liquid balm,
From the high top of cocoa palm,
Climbing with firm set foot and free,
Or swinging bold from tree to tree.
In all was Hubert's agile grace
Pre-eminent o'er all the race;


92CHRISTINA, THE MAID     

And every sport's sublimest zest
Dwelt in the unpolluted breast.
Not in one blooming face around
Could envy's festering mark be found;
The fire of youth, the rose of health,
The lightsome heart, was all their wealth.
Here might the world's wild discord cease,
Here all was virtue, all was peace.
XLII.
Still breathless from their sports advance
The youths, to join the maiden's dance;
And Henry now CHRISTINA leads,
His blushing partner, o'er the meads.
There was no eye that did not trace
That nymph-like form, that lovely face;


    OF THE SOUTH SEAS. 93

In slender foot, in rounded arm,
They mark'd the evanescent charm,
Now in her seraph head it lies,
Now o'er her swelling bosom flies,
Whilst all that sweet attraction claim,
Charm undefin'd! and grace its name.
There was no eye, that was not bent
On that fair form, in gaze intent;
But not a tongue in all the crowd
Spoke one admiring thought aloud;
For still, as thro' the dance she past,
A softer spell was round her cast,
It check'd her step alert and high,
It downward bent her radiant eye;
That holy charm was modesty.


94CHRISTINA, THE MAID     

XLIII.
O happy was that twilight hour
To him, the slave of love's soft power!
The boat has sought the silver strand,
And Henry drops CHRISTINA's hand;
Yet has that hand been fondly prest,
With sweet reluctance to his breast;
Yet, as he climb'd the vessel trim,
She breath'd a sigh – perhaps for him.
Go, happiest of the Ocean train,
And dream that twilight hour again!
XLIV.
Far different dream, far different thought,
That balmy hour to Hubert brought:
His brain, his heart, they seem'd on fire,
With jealous rage, and smother'd ire;


    OF THE SOUTH SEAS. 95

" CHRISTINA! – No it cannot be,
"Angels are not more pure than she!
"I'll quiet my distemper'd soul,
"My wayward fancy I'll control;
"I'll seek the couch which thou hast spread,
"And it will still my throbbing head."
No! not the lov'd-one's magic touch
That night could smooth his restless couch.


    

CHRISTINA, &c.



Canto the Third.


    

CHRISTINA,

THE

MAID OF THE SOUTH SEAS.


CANTO III.


I.
Whence springs the joy, ye gentle lovers tell!
      To hover round the mistress of your heart,
As if enchanted by some magic spell,
      Of witch accurst, or merry fairy art,
To feed, for aye, your bosom's raging smart?
      Still at the hour, when all but lovers sleep,


100CHRISTINA, THE MAID       

Reckless tho' rivers, woods, or mountains part,
      Still to the maiden's lov'd abode ye creep,
      There, thro' the lingering night, for her dear sake to weep.
Such joy the Spanish cavalier oft feels,
      When to the lattic'd window of his fair,
At midnight hour, with noiseless step, he steals,
      Content to breathe the love-perfumed air,
That fans her cheek, and wantons in her hair.
      How sweetly then the tender serenade
Tells of his love as her own beauty rare;
      The whilst, half kind, half coy, the listening maid
      At times her veil'd form shows, at times is lost in shade.
'Twas this soft charm that with resistless force,
      Drew Henry to the cot ere break of day,
With vigorous stroke he steer'd his watery course,
      Sprang o'er the wave, and bounding thro' the spray,


      OF THE SOUTH SEAS. 101

Swift to Fitzallan's dwelling took his way.
      Where the vine mantles o'er the casement small
He stands, breathing the love inspiring lay
      On the soft flute: lay that may well enthral,
      So mellow those wild notes, so sweet that dying fall.
II.
CHRISTINA rose in strange delight,
As if to meet some angel bright;
For as those strains unknown and clear,
Fell softly on her waking ear,
Her sense in sweet delirium whirl'd,
Deem'd it the sound of higher world.
Around her still, the maiden gaz'd
With holy joy, and awe amaz'd;
"Blest vision! for what purpose given?"
Alas! it sprang from earth not Heaven!


102CHRISTINA, THE MAID       

Too soon the lovely maid has seen
The bright musician's glowing mien;
And as, with cheek of crimson hue,
From open casement she withdrew:
Unbidden gush'd a crystal tear,
"Ah why so excellent, so dear?
"Or why, so gifted, might not I" –
She check'd her speech, but not her sigh.
Again she caught that melting air,
Then bounded down the narrow stair,
Whilst pleasure strange, and sweet surprise
Beam'd joyous in her speaking eyes.
III.
The master's soul on her intent,
Soon paus'd the magic instrument.


      OF THE SOUTH SEAS. 103

Yet had the gentle damsel spied
The polish'd tube by Henry's side;
"And did those sounds seraphic spring,
"Such wondrous charm, from this bright thing?
"Yet have I heard Fitzallan tell
"Of music's ever varying spell;
"Call you it harp, guitar, or lute?"
"Neither, fair maid, a rustic flute:
"The sylvan pipe of England, still
"It cheers the shepherd on the hill,
"And less than his my simple skill."
Fearful, yet curious much, the maid
The little talisman essay'd;
With fond impatience still she strove,
To swell again those notes of love;
No echoing nymph awoke the strain,
She spent her fragrant breath in vain.


104CHRISTINA, THE MAID       

IV.
Gaily she gave it to his hand,
"It bows but to its Lord's command;
"And, like a Briton bold and free,
"Will own no foreign mastery:
"Yet once again that strain to hear,
"Were it too much to ask?" – "Oh ne'er
"In vain can sweet CHRISTINA ask,
"Tho' Henry's death were in the task."
Her breath on the smooth ivory dwelt,
His lips the balmy moisture felt,
While to his heart's emotion true,
Trembling and faint the notes he drew;
Yet could those trembling notes entrance
That girl of love – inspiring glance, –
Bewitching in her ignorance.


      OF THE SOUTH SEAS. 105

V.
That soft strain past; – o'er flowery meads
The unreluctant fair he leads;
He speaks of holy charms, which dwell
In pealing organ's awful swell,
Of power to sacred music given,
To bear the raptur'd thought to Heaven.
Now of creative art he told,
High gift! the massy rock to mould;
Now of that power, more wondrous still,
The painter's imitative skill;
Power, on small surface to compress
Nature's wide spreading loveliness;
Power, which can scenes long past revive,
And bid the buried beauty live.


106CHRISTINA, THE MAID       

Next of the bard's enraptur'd measure,
He told with sympathetic pleasure:
Whilst still the maid, with ravish'd sense,
Hung on his glowing eloquence;
Well to that maid the muse was known,
The voice of genius on his throne; –
Shakespeare and genius they are one!
VI.
In luxury of kindred taste,
Unheeded the blest moments past:
No more he check'd love's generous flame,
But fondly woo'd the matchless dame:
"Christina, dearest, fairest maid!
"Rose, withering in the lonely shade!
"O quit this solitude profound!
"O come where kindred souls are found!


      OF THE SOUTH SEAS. 107

"Where taste, and art, and music free,
"With faithful love, shall wait on thee!
"I have a lovely home, amid
"Soft vales and woody mountains hid;
"A gentle sister, young and fair,
"A tender mother shelter there.
"O come to that sweet sister's breast!
"O come by that dear mother blest!
"O come to grace that peaceful home!
"My love, my wife, to England come!"
VII.
He paus'd; that maiden's changeful hue
Was to her varying feelings true.
The flush of joy and virgin shame
Those rosy blushes well might claim:
But was it awe or fear that cast


108CHRISTINA, THE MAID       

The lillies, which those roses blast?
Or was it hopeless love that past?
Like one from some bright dream awoke,
Trembling she stood, at length she spoke.
VIII.
"My thanks, unskill'd in courtly art,
"Dwell not in words, but in my heart;
"Yet, gentle Henry, we must part.
"The wild rose in its native wood
"May please the wanderer's wanton mood,
"Within his breast the modest flower,
"Secure may pass its brilliant hour;
"But, sever'd from the parent tree,
"How short that blissful hour would be!
"Pale, wither'd, drooping, and forlorn,
"Soon would it drop the wild winds scorn. –


      OF THE SOUTH SEAS. 109

"No; blushing rose and island maid
"Rest safest in their native shade."
IX.
Firm were her words; but trembling speech
A softer lesson seem'd to teach;
" CHRISTINA, hear!" for she would fly
The pleading of that azure eye;
" CHRISTINA, hear! If, cruel fair,
"My friends, my home, thou wilt not share;
"Yet here consent my bride to be,
"And I shall find them all in thee!"
He gaz'd upon her angel face
An answering look of love to trace;
But pale, and paler still, she grew,
Fainter her quivering breath she drew,
That face so innocent, so fair,
It breath'd the sadness of despair.


110CHRISTINA, THE MAID       

X.
Again she turn'd; he sought not now
To look upon that anguish'd brow;
Again she turn'd, but starting stood,
As if grim death had chill'd her blood.
'Twas Hubert, who, with angry eyes,
Mark'd sternly her dismay'd surprise:
Sullen he spoke. – "The chief for you
"Attends with all your comrades true,
"Lady, within the cottage gate,
"Anna for you and Helen wait."
Silent they parted; for the grot
The youths; CHRISTINA to the cot.
XI.
Slop'd in the misty mountain's side,
The grot o'erhung the streamlet's tide;


      OF THE SOUTH SEAS. 111

Shallow, yet cool, the fair alcove
Was deck'd like the gay bower of love:
Bright garlands, streaming wild afar,
Hung from the arch irregular;
Each lowly herb that loves the shade,
Mosaic sweet! the ground inlaid;
Fond creepers round the grey rocks climb,
Aspiring flowerets rise sublime.
XII.
The scene has caught young Henry's glances,
Whilst he at Hubert's side advances,
Alone they stood, – the massy rock
Parted abrupt with sudden shock:
The yawning stone admittance gave,
Strange entrance to a wondrous cave!
High swell'd the cavern's vaulted dome,
Stupendous, like some giant's home,


112CHRISTINA, THE MAID       

Fissures, impervious to the sight,
Serv'd to admit a wavering light:
Glancing upon that dome erect,
Pois'd by no human architect,
On pillars that around it stand, –
Pillars not rais'd by mortal hand!
Pile most majestic, vast, and grand!
XIII.
How oft the mournful joy has rung,
By travellers told, by poets sung,
The mournful joy to wander, where
Palmyra moulders in the air;
Where many a temple's holy fane
With sculptur'd fragments strews the plain,
'Dust unto dust' return'd again.
Where Desolation to the heart
Cries, "Perish thus thy triumphs, Art!"


      OF THE SOUTH SEAS. 113

Eternal nature! when to man
Unveil'd appears thy mighty plan;
Imperishable, high design,
A sweeter, holier voice is thine!
A voice which leads where saints have trod,
"Thro' nature up to nature's God." –
With pious awe and wonder pale,
The strangers heard Fitzallan's tale.
XIV.
Fitzallan's Narrative concluded.
Most lovely was the dawning ray
That lit the bowers of Matavai,
Lit palmy grove, and verdant plain,
And hills, we ne'er should see again;


114CHRISTINA, THE MAID       

Awhile those hills like grey clouds rise,
Then fade before our lingering eyes.
By many an isle of emerald hue,
By many a mount of misty blue,
We past; but still beside the flood,
With anxious gaze, the Indians stood;
Still, by the mountain's side so calm,
The light smoke curl'd above the palm;
Still open hut, or rude morai,
Peep'd out from mountain, wood, or bay.
XV.
Onward we past; till now no more,
We met the ship-encumbering shore:
Upon the smooth and glassy sea,
We sail'd in tranquil majesty.


      OF THE SOUTH SEAS. 115

How different were the feelings then
Of our new friends, and England's men!
Those o'er the clear and wide expanse,
Cast many a wild and fearful glance,
Each breeze that o'er the billows past,
Seem'd to their ears the death-fraught blast;
Each gentle undulating wave,
Seem'd to their eyes their yawning grave;
Whilst these, on future hopes intent,
Fearless and full of gay content,
Blest the propitious element.
XVI.
Soon hopes and fears all past away,
In certainty's refulgent ray.
We mark'd the fair isle's verdant hue,
The lonely Incarnation knew,
And joyful to the harbour drew.


116CHRISTINA, THE MAID       

For trace of foot, or work of hand,
In vain we search'd the fertile land;
A lovely desart we had found,
If desart 'twere, where all around
Liv'd plant, and flower, and flowering tree,
A silent world of fary!
Soon felt the vale the British spade;
Soon rose the cottage in the shade.
One wish had they, one wish had I,
"Here let us live, here let us die,
"By natural toil win nature's wealth,
"Food, raiment, cheerfulness, and health.
Love at our side, we heard the call
Of blameless hope – and listen'd all!


      OF THE SOUTH SEAS. 117

XVII.
Save one alone, condemn'd to bear
The pangs of conscience, and despair;
Save Christian! – From the fatal hour,
He seiz'd on Bligh's long envied power,
And the fell stroke of vengeance dealt,
No joy, no comfort had he felt.
He spoke not of his grief; 'twas known,
By haggard eye, by hollow tone;
In heart, in brain, the pent up woe
Work'd to his senses' overthrow.
XVIII.
If ever o'er his gloomy soul
One hope of future blessing stole,
'Twas when the father's feelings mild
Dwelt fondly on the coming child;


118CHRISTINA, THE MAID       

Then would a soften'd sorrow teach
The sweet relief of friendly speech;
Blunted awhile remorse's force,
The parent's hopes would have their course.
It came at length, that anxious hour,
Pain's keenest thorn, hope's gayest flower!
It came, that hour of fearful joy!
The mother clasp'd her cherub boy;
The father gaz'd with father's pride,
The infant feebly gasp'd – and died!
XIX.
All who with parent's raptures swell,
A parent's sorrows well can tell;
But Christian's anguish, Christian's woe,
Guilt, misery, frenzy only know;


      OF THE SOUTH SEAS. 119

Fill'd to the brim, this draught of care
O'erflow'd the cup of his despair;
Silent by fits, by fits he spoke,
By fits in dreadful laughter broke;
Now would his wife adoring greet,
Now madly spurn her from his feet;
But still his ravings, loud and wild,
Turn'd on his captain and his child.
"Bligh! must I see that pale form still?
"Why frown on me? – I did not kill! –
"He is not dead! – He had a charm,
"See how he gnaws that little arm!
"The ocean bends not to his tread,
"He feeds with sharks upon the dead!
"Has he not robb'd my baby's grave?
"Oh! save my infant! Save him! save!


120CHRISTINA, THE MAID       

XX.
Days, weeks, and months, had roll'd away,
In silence, or in frenzy's sway;
At length more mild, more calm he grew,
Or seem'd: his friends, his wife he knew.
Again Iddeah's girdle bound
A pledge of Christian's love around:
He was so peaceful and so calm,
She thought to pour the healing balm,
Whilst walking on the cliff's high brow
The matron made the fond avow.
He stopp'd, he gaz'd upon the main, –
"See where the spectre comes again!
"He waits! I'll save this one!" he cried,
"Take me!" then plung'd into the tide.


      OF THE SOUTH SEAS. 121

XXI.
Vain was all help; – the sudden shock
Scatter'd his brains upon the rock.
Vain was all help! – all hope was gone,
Vain was each comrade's heart-felt groan;
Vain his sad widow's ceaseless moan!
Of all his love, and crime, and pains,
CHRISTINA only now remains!
Yet died not then Iddeah! She
Bore with unyielding constancy;
For her child's sake she nobly strove,
To live for her, tho' dead to love;
Each care, each duty to fulfil,
And in Christine find Christian still.


122CHRISTINA, THE MAID       

XXII.
In virtue and in friendship strong,
Years, all unheeded, past along;
Our peace, our bliss knew no alloy,
Save from one Otaheitean boy,
Tupia, a wild and wayward youth,
Unknown to gratitude or truth;
Kindness was lost on him, he laugh'd
At generous care, and call'd it craft;
Never an angry word forgot,
But knew each virtuous deed to blot.
We fear'd him not, for even in ill
We deem'd that weak mind wanted skill;
We fear'd him not, that fickle slave,
Alas, too credulously brave!
The scorpion, with its deadly sting,
Crawls on, an unregarded thing;


      OF THE SOUTH SEAS. 123

Abject and slow it trails the ground,
Till in our breast we feel the wound.
And, serpent like, that ruffian boy
Spread his fell poison to destroy.
XXIII.
By wily words, by specious arts,
He won his faithless comrades' hearts;
"See ye not, countrymen!" he cried,
"Each white man with his lovely bride?
"For them we fish, we plant, we toil,
"Our's is the labor, their's the spoil!
"Are not our limbs as well compact?
"Lack we the will, or power to act?
"We have the power, we have the skill,
"The tyrants' hated blood to spill!
"Still will ye hug the galling chain,
"Still slaves, base crouching slaves, remain?


124CHRISTINA, THE MAID       

"Or, by one noble effort, try
"To win life, land, and liberty?"
XXIV.
Fast spread the bosom-storm, but still,
As tempests gather on the hill,
It burst at last, and burst to kill. –
'Twas on a summer's eve, – O ne'er
Was eve so balmy, scene so fair!
The setting sun with tranquil ray
Gilt inland bower, and ocean spray;
Hush'd was the whispering wave, no breeze
'Woke the low murmuring of the trees;
The lovely scene cast o'er the sense
Its own enchanting indolence.
No longer sporting on the tide,
The dolphin gleams in azure pride;


      OF THE SOUTH SEAS. 125

No longer from the mountain height,
Peers the wild goat in rude affright;
No longer on the pebbly strand,
The faithful dogs obsequious stand,
Sporting with fond, yet cautious glee,
With joyous infants, gay and free;
No longer sounds along the beach
The baby laugh, the half-form'd speech.
XXV.
The happy children, tir'd of sport,
Seek their sweet slumbers, mild and short;
Some round those dogs of generous race,
Twine the small limbs and blooming face;
Some clinging to a mother's charms,
Some cradled in a father's arms;
The parents watch'd, with tearful joy,
Each rosy girl, each dark-hair'd boy;


126CHRISTINA, THE MAID       

But not a sigh, and not a word,
Not e'en a fond caress was heard;
The very birds gay carols cease,
And man and nature seem'd at peace.
XXVI.
'Twas seeming all – Inconstancy,
Thou dwellest not in sea or sky!
What tho' the sailor, tempest-tost,
What tho' the wanderer, lightning-crost,
Tell of their limbs by foul storms rent,
And curse each treacherous element;
Yet are they fix'd, that wave and wind,
Fix'd, when compar'd to mortal mind;
There is thy dwelling, there thy rest,
Thy empire there; – in man's light breast!


      OF THE SOUTH SEAS. 127

XXVII.
I mark'd Avanna, bending, mild,
With graceful fondness, o'er her child.
'Twas not the blushes mantling warm,
'Twas not the round and perfect form,
'Twas not the sparkling eye, that caught
My ardent gaze, my raptur'd thought;
But the soft bliss those blushes spoke,
The glance of joy thro' tears that broke,
The chaste maternal happiness;
Exstacy, where is no excess!
Delirium, which we wish not less!
XXVIII.
I gaz'd entranc'd; the sleeping child
In some gay vision sweetly smil'd;


128CHRISTINA, THE MAID       

The mother rais'd her eye so keen,
To mark if I that smile had seen;
She laugh'd – but, in one instant's space,
Grim horror chang'd that angel face!
She saw fell Tupia's dark eyes beaming!
Saw at my breast his dagger gleaming!
Like arrow rush'd; – like maniac spoke; –
I heard the scream; – I felt the stroke; –
In dear Avanna's arms I fell,
And faintly breath'd a sad farewell.
XXIX.
Beneath the Otaheitean knife,
Each Briton yielded up his life;
In that one breath of love and dread,
All fell, and all but I were dead:
Stunn'd, bleeding, like to death, I lay,
And Tupia revell'd o'er his prey.


      OF THE SOUTH SEAS. 129

Not even that war-yell loud and clear
Could pierce my dull and palsied ear;
Nor shrieks of widow'd anguish wild,
Nor screams of each affrighted child;
Sav'd from such scene of hopeless woe,
'Twas mercy dealt that death-like blow!
XXX.
Scene of triumphant guilt! how faint
Are words those fiend-like slaves to paint;
On each devoted dame they seize,
And mock their frantic miseries;
The hands with recent slaughter red,
Hands, which their husbands' blood have shed,
Now woo them to the nuptial bed!
Is there no hope, no help? must all
Dishonor'd live, self-murder'd fall?


130CHRISTINA, THE MAID       

Life, the sad widow scorns to share!
Death, the fond mother may not dare!
A living death the mourners bear.
XXXI.
Yet there is hope; fatigued at length
With bootless prayers and useless strength,
Tupia, and his wild savage crew,
Baffled, from those chaste matrons drew.
Yes, there was hope; Iddeah then
Sought the fierce tyger in his den;
To Tupia's self, in accents bold,
She told of wine in secret hold:
(Wine cordial still, or poison, given
Blessing or curse by bounteous Heaven!)
Eager they hail'd the precious boon,
Eager they drank; but slumber'd soon:


      OF THE SOUTH SEAS. 131

Sleep on, ye dark and murderous train,
Ne'er shall ye wake on earth again!
XXXII.
Christian's brave dame the daggers bore,
Still dripping with the white men's gore;
The bright steel caught the silvery gleam,
Her dark hair floated in the beam,
Hung round that sad and pallid face,
And that tall form of loftiest grace;
Like prophetess in gifted mood,
Before the widow's eyes she stood. –
"Revenge! revenge! this life blood cries,
"The murderers sleep. Arise! Arise!"
They rose. The soft and gentle fair,
Who even the creeping worm would spare,
Who wept the kid's gay life to spill,
Those fearful women rose – to kill!


132CHRISTINA, THE MAID       

XXXIII.
All slept; but Tupia wildly dream'd,
Even in his sleep the wretch blasphem'd;
Avanna bent, in anguish'd fear,
Shuddering his vision'd threats to hear,
Curses, half-mutter'd, still he breath'd,
Whilst in his breast her blade she sheath'd;
Swift as the thunder-bolt of Heaven,
Deep were the buried poniards driven:
Fir'd with thy energy, despair!
No weak or wavering stroke was there!
No time for speech, or shriek, or groan,
Life past in one low hollow moan,
The feeble cry, the writhing limb,
Soon sunk in death, mute, stiff, and grim!


      OF THE SOUTH SEAS. 133

XXXIV.
Heroines! what Greek or Roman name
To glory boasts a purer claim?
Alone, upon a desert soil,
Who shall relieve their ceaseless toil?
Who shall recruit their finny store?
Who drag the long canoe to shore?
If storms arise, who shall direct?
If the fell spoilers, who protect?
Remote from their dear native land;
Bereft of every succouring hand;
They bow'd them to th' avenging rod,
They sought His help – the Christian's God!
But prayer – the wounded spirit's balm –
Not yet their frantic grief could calm:
Extended on the bloody ground,
Their warm tears wash each yawning wound;


134CHRISTINA, THE MAID       

Wipe the stiff gore with silken tress,
Chafe the cold limbs, the pale lips press,
As if the pure and balmy breath
Could quicken the still pulse of death.
XXXV.
How many a mourner, in that hour,
Woo'd fancy's visionary power!
Thought that again the fond heart beat,
The bosom own'd its vital heat,
The stiffen'd lungs began to play,
The dull eyes caught the visual ray.
Delusive hopes! Upon thy cheeks
'Tis the chill breeze of midnight breaks;
'Tis thy own tremors that impart
The quivering motion to his heart;
'Tis thy own fever'd breast which gives
The glow, that on his bosom lives;


      OF THE SOUTH SEAS. 135

'Tis thy own tear-drop's crystal gleam,
That glimmers in the bright moon-beam;
Silent and stiff the lov'd-one lies;
Death chills his blood! Death seals his eyes!
XXXVI.
Avanna sate, in tearless woe,
Till rose a wail, sad, faint, and low;
The mother's heart the summons knew, –
To her neglected babe she flew.
Iddeah bent to drop a tear
O'er one to her lov'd Christian dear,
Starting, she breath'd an anxious cry,
For she has caught a feeble sigh;
Soon has she staunch'd the gaping wound,
Soon has she rais'd me from the ground; –
Hoping and doubting, her firm soul
Could fear and hope and doubt controul;


136CHRISTINA, THE MAID       

She would not to Avanna's care
Add the sad hope, that feeds despair;
Yet still with fond attention strove
To bring me back to life and love;
Nor vain her aid: – I breath'd again
To hear a wild and plaintive strain;
Motionless, speechless, on the verge
Of death, I caught the widow's dirge.
XXXVII.
The Widow's Dirge.
Fly, night of murder, woe and dread,
      Fly, for thy work is done!
The dawn will wake in blushes red,
Will glance on every honor'd head;


      OF THE SOUTH SEAS. 137

      But when shall rise our sun?
They who gave life, and light, and love,
Warm as the day spring from above,
      Their glorious race is run!
Babes! who in peaceful slumbers steep
      Those eyes of softest blue,
To-morrow to our knees ye'll creep
To ask if still your fathers sleep,
      And seek them thro' the dew,
To rouse them try each fondling art; –
Will it not break the mother's heart
      To think on them, to look on you?
Britons! the widow's mournful tear
      Alone bedews the brave!
Past the gay hope, the tender fear,
Which many an agonizing year


138CHRISTINA, THE MAID       

      Friends, parents, kindred gave.
We weep alone; – but with the flood,
In mingled tide, the murderers' blood
      Sweeps o'er the heroes' grave!
XXXVIII.
Slow rose the morn. Thro' misty tears
The glorious orb of day appears;
The rosy clouds around him roll'd
Awhile his radiant beams enfold;
As draperies, in sculptur'd art,
New charms to loveliness impart,
So the bright vapor's changeful hue
Attraction gave, attraction drew:
The Ocean, mingling with the sky,
Reflected back that rosy dye,
As smooth that glassy surface seems,
As bright that diamond radiance beams!


      OF THE SOUTH SEAS. 139

From pebbly sand and dewy flower
Shone that bright ray on beach and bower,
Floated the fragrance on the breeze,
Caroll'd the small birds from the trees.
Nature, fair bride, in all her charms,
Woo'd her gay bridegroom to her arms.
But yester-morn, that ray so bright
Wak'd eyes as sheen, and hearts as light;
But yester-morn across the dew,
With buoyant step the Britons flew;
But yester-morn, the carol gay,
Was echo'd back with cheerful lay,
That hail'd and blest the coming day!
XXXIX.
Oh! who could hail or bless the morn
Amid these scenes of horror born?


140CHRISTINA, THE MAID       

Lo! on the unpolluted ground
Where never mortal strife had frown'd,
Murder'd and murderers, side by side
Lie weltering in the gory tide:
Both, unprepar'd, unwarn'd, were driven
To meet their dread account in Heaven!
Yet might the retributive sword
Pardon for one foul crime afford,
I would not of Almighty power
Implore to die in happier hour,
Than when upon the feelings press
The husband's, father's tenderness;
When all the stormy passions cease,
And all is gratitude and peace.
For Otaheite's men, – 'tis not
For me to judge their final lot,
But they were ta'en even in the prime
Of heinous unrepented crime,
Scarce match'd in the long roll of time!


      OF THE SOUTH SEAS. 141

On each dark face and stiffen'd form
Still dwelt rude passion's furious storm.
XL.
Such scene of bloody sacrifice
Struck on my dim and wandering eyes,
When, as one risen from the dead,
I lifted up my drooping head.
Of doubt, of joy, the mingled feeling
From each sad dame to Heaven is pealing!
But not a word Avanna spoke,
She sunk beneath the sudden stroke;
Short was her swoon. – 'Tis thine, bright joy,
To jar the frame, but not destroy!
What bliss was her's! Yet she represt
The swelling transport of her breast;


142CHRISTINA, THE MAID       

To her lov'd friends she strove to spare
The sight of joy, they could not share.
Her cares alone my life could save
From man's last narrow home, – the grave.
XLI.
Long time the widow'd fair ones wept;
Unburied long their lords they kept;
Remnant of Otaheitean rite,
They dwelt upon the dismal sight;
Long in this cave the pile of woe
They watch'd; – and now it rests below.
Here sleeps Avanna too. That form
So fragile sank beneath the storm;
Awhile she liv'd, a drooping flower,
Then yielded to the tempest's power,
Dropt to the ground in youth's fair pride,
Blest me, and her young boys, – and died!


      OF THE SOUTH SEAS. 143

I wept not then – Imperious duty
Forbade to mourn o'er virtuous beauty;
Mine was the task to rouse the soul,
Subdu'd by sorrow's fond control;
To wipe the widow'd mourner's tear;
The orphan's tender form to rear,
To guide them on the virtuous way;
Sweet task! how fill'd I may not say, –
But how rewarded would you know,
Friends, sisters, children, ye can show!"
He ceas'd, – Around him fondly prest
Striving for speech each generous breast.
XLII.
Oft, soaring on the wings of thought,
The bard the patriot's flame has caught;
With force resistless, pour'd along
The rousing eloquence of song;


144CHRISTINA, THE MAID       

Till, fir'd by brave and warlike speech,
Even "to the imminent deadly breach,"
Start from their sheaths a thousand swords
To prove the omnipotence of words. –
But who can wake the tuneful shell,
The pause of gratitude to tell?
The tear-drop quivering in the eye,
The fond speech check'd by fonder sigh;
The pressure of the hand, the blush
Where tenderest feelings kindling rush,
Emotion thrilling every sense,
Silence more blest than eloquence!
The generous heart's ennobling zeal,
Ah! none can tell, – but all can feel!


      

CHRISTINA, &c.



Canto the Fourth.


      

CHRISTINA,

THE

MAID OF THE SOUTH SEAS.


CANTO IV.


I.
What grief it is to part! When kindred minds,
      And friendly hands co-mingle heart with heart;
When the strong tie of obligation binds
      The generous soul, what grief it is to part!
What thoughts across the sadden'd fancy dart
      Of pleasures past; Ah never to return!
What fears awake the bosom's throbbing smart!
      With restless pangs th' impatient spirits burn,
      Or, all dissolv'd in woe, with softer sorrow mourn.


148CHRISTINA, THE MAID       

Such grief it is, e'en when short interval
      Again shall bring that social happiness;
Oft turn the friends, and turning still recall
      Some parting word, some cherish'd kind caress,
Or fond behest of anxious tenderness;
      Oh there they dwell in memory's treasur'd store,
The silent kiss, the eloquent distress!
      Each word, each look, each sigh we number o'er;
      And hope full soon to meet, yet fear to meet no more.
How deeper far their woe, whose hope is none
      Again to greet the friendly beaming eye,
When from that kind and generous people gone,
      Hope, fear, and doubt, subside in certainty.
Oh ne'er again that lovely isle to see,
      Those voices hear, those clasping hands to strain,


      OF THE SOUTH SEAS. 149

Where, but upon the sailor's memory
      Shall trace of thy benignant race remain?
      "Race most belov'd, ne'er shall we meet again!"
II.
'Twas Seymor spoke. "To-morrow's dawn
"Must view us from your isle withdrawn,
"Your hospitable isle! No more
"To linger on its pleasant shore!
"Refitted by your generous care,
"The bark we hasten to prepare,
"Reluctantly we haste: – How new
"To sailors' hearts such sad adieu! –
"Peace, bliss, and love, remain with you!"
Wringing Fitzallan's hand, he tried
The tear that fain would drop to hide;
Yet was that tear a brighter gem,
Than shone in Valor's diadem!


150CHRISTINA, THE MAID       

III.
Fitzallan still the hand retain'd,
And still with generous fervor strain'd;
"To-morrow," quoth the chieftain, "No,
"To-morrow must no touch of woe
"Invade our joys: we part not so.
"Seymor, I conjure thee, by all
"Which can a sailor's heart enthral,
"By joys, which war and victory prove,
"By friendship's smile, by woman's love,
"For Hubert, for CHRISTINA, stay,
"And grace their happy bridal day."
He turn'd to the betrothed pair; –
Look'd they like love's gay votaries there,
Or the sad victims of despair?


      OF THE SOUTH SEAS. 151

IV.
Not Henry, when he shuddering heard
His valiant Captain's parting word;
Not Henry, when he caught the sound
Of sweet Christine to Hubert bound;
Not Henry's self more tremors knew,
Or sterner frown'd, or paler grew,
Than Hubert, when that maiden's eye
Sought a last glance so mournfully;
Than Hubert, when that maiden's ear
Was bent a sad farewell to hear;
Than Hubert, when in Henry's arms,
All lifeless lay those maiden charms.
V.
Oh! never in these regions cold,
Where barter'd beauty yields to gold,


152CHRISTINA, THE MAID       

Where love's a shade, and vows are air,
Was seen a more reluctant fair:
Nor in the genial clime of Spain,
Where Hymen drags his firm-link'd chain,
(Not fabulous, alas, nor light!)
More jealous bridegroom e'er was dight:
Nor truer lover e'er was seen,
Than that bright youth of anxious mien,
Who o'er the fainting fair reclin'd,
As if his life with her's was twin'd;
Who thought it death from her to fly,
Who deem'd it bliss with her to die.
VI.
Fitzallan mark'd the gathering harm,
And snatch'd Christine from Henry's arm –
"And was it well, rash youth," he cried,
"To seek the love of Hubert's bride?


      OF THE SOUTH SEAS. 153

"Rob her of health, and peace, and fame,
"To feed thy light and fickle flame?
"Thy short-liv'd passion's wavering dream,
"Will fly like the blue lightning's beam.
"Soon some fair girl, whose azure eye
"Reflects the tints of England's sky,
"Columbian nymph, or dame of France,
"Shall charm thee with her witching glance,
"From fair to fair still shalt thou rove,
"And sigh and woo, – but never love.
"But yon poor maid, how sad her lot!
"For thee her plighted love forgot;
"For thee the fondest youth forsaken,
"That ever nuptial vow has taken, –
"My orphan girl! – my noble boy! –
"Oh, thou hast murder'd all my joy!
"But all may yet be well: – Away!
"Seymor, I press not now thy stay."


154CHRISTINA, THE MAID       

VII.
One moment with indignant glance,
Saw Henry to the chief advance; –
His eyes that trembling fair one meet, –
The next beheld him at his feet.
There, with the eloquence of love,
To win the matchless girl he strove,
To England's shores convey the fair,
Or dwell her willing captive there!
With chasten'd flow, with purest fires,
With all that hallow'd love inspires,
Glows the high strain; but vainly glows
When duty, reason, love oppose.
Oft Hubert strove his speech to stay,
But yielded to his father's sway;
His father who to passion cold,
Well knew the fiery youth to mould.


      OF THE SOUTH SEAS. 155

At length the death-like pause he broke,
And mild, but resolute, he spoke.
VIII.
"Henry, this orphan claims a part
"With Hubert in my 'heart of heart;'
"At her dear mother's dying bed
"I swore to guard her helpless head;
"By her lov'd father's lowly tomb
"I swore thro' life to watch her doom.
"And shall I send this lily fair
"To that wide world of strife and care?
"And shall I trust my spotless flower
"Where cankers threat, and tempests lower;
"Where calumny her bloom may stain,
"Where love's fierce beam may death contain?
"No; sweetest bud of innocence,
"Kings shall not dare to snatch thee hence!


156CHRISTINA, THE MAID       

IX.
"Rash youth!" his words in milder mood
The aged chieftain thus pursued;
"Is there no link of power, to bind
"The Briton's self-dependent mind?
"Yes; parent, kindred, native land,
"The patriot tie, the filial band,
"All draw thee from this lonely strand:
"Again to see thy native vale,
"Again to breathe thy mountain gale,
"To see thy mother's fond tears streaming,
"To see thy sister's eyes bright beaming,
"To feel the gratulating clasp
"Of manly friendship's generous grasp;


      OF THE SOUTH SEAS. 157

"But most of all, society
"Chains thee with sympathetic tie.
X.
He ceas'd. On Henry's burning cheek
Hope's glowing colors brightly break.
"Fitzallan! vain the high appeal
"To filial love, to patriot zeal.
"Long from that cherish'd mother fled,
"Ere now perchance she deems me dead;
"Long us'd the stormy seas to roam,
"The world my land, the wave my home,
"Here, in this sea-green isle I rest,
"Like Halcyon on his watery nest.
"To trill at dawn my matin song,
"To skim at eve the stream along;
"Unwearied seek the finny food,
"For my lov'd mate and callow brood;


158CHRISTINA, THE MAID       

"Short toil with lengthen'd joys to blend,
"And many a grateful carol send, –
"Such life, such pleasures, we shall prove, –
"O father! What is life but love?"
XI.
"Love!" Hubert cried, with rising flame,
"Love! dar'st thou thus profane the name?
"Thy love, like beauty's brilliant flower,
"Blooms, fades, and dies in one short hour.
"Mine, from the cradle to the grave,
"Was doom'd the dear CHRISTINA's slave:
"In infancy to me she clung,
"And caught each accent from my tongue;
"Her tottering steps I guided still
"To flowery plain, or sunny hill;
"Her mother was my mother too;
"My father her's; alike we grew;


      OF THE SOUTH SEAS. 159

"She call'd me brother, but such love
"For sister ne'er did brother prove. –
"What tho' her heart to mine was cold,
"Retiring, coy, of icy mould,
"No rival yet that heart had gain'd,
"By treachery won, by fraud retain'd."
XII.
"Peace for thy life!" fierce Henry cry'd,
And grasp'd the cutlass by his side. –
"Peace for my sake!" shriek'd fair Christine ,
Darting the angry youths between.
"Henry, unless you wish my death,
"Restore thy falchion to its sheath!
"Hubert, my brother, say, canst thou,
"So long my friend, forsake me now?
"Is it for me that ye contend?
"Oh! grief will soon the combat end;


160CHRISTINA, THE MAID       

"Soon will this rash and fatal strife,
"That rends my heart, destroy my life!"
XIII.
Subdued to female gentleness,
Remorse and shame on Henry press;
Yet when he to the maiden turn'd,
Impetuous love bright blazing burn'd;
And when on young Fitzallan look'd,
Rage scarce the sway of reason brook'd.
Hubert, in calm, yet dauntless mood,
Self-master'd, and collected, stood.
Christine would speak; tho' spake her look,
No words her moving lips forsook!
In shame each struggling sound expir'd;
Tho' all the pitying crowd retir'd.
The rival youths, the luckless maid,
Fitzallan, Seymor, only staid.


      OF THE SOUTH SEAS. 161

At length from that strong trance she broke
Of agony, and faltering spoke.
XIV.
"Henry, to thee most kind, most true,
"My best, my ardent thanks are due,
"My simple tale, my last adieu.
"Hubert my wayward heart has told,
"In friendship warm, in passion cold;
"Has told our childhood's silken tie,
"Our sweet fraternal amity.
"Our pleasures, friends, and parents shar'd,
"The same our task, and our reward.
"He said my virgin heart was cold,
"Cast in a rough and icy mould;
"But that heart's debt he left untold.


162CHRISTINA, THE MAID       

XV.
"He said not that 'twas his to save,
"My life from the devouring wave;
"Rear o'er my father's grave the tomb;
"Cheer my dear mother's widow'd gloom;
"Each pain, each care, each toil remove,
"I ow'd him all – but could not love!
"Oft I have prob'd my wayward breast,
"When he his tender passion prest,
"Deaf was my heart to love's wild storm,
"I thought it cold; – I feel it warm;
"Gratitude, friendship, and esteem,
"May they my mighty debt redeem,
"Hubert with them my hand receive;
"My heart – would it were mine to give!"


      OF THE SOUTH SEAS. 163

XVI.
Young Hubert, with averted eyes,
Kiss'd the cold, trembling sacrifice,
In agitated woe he mus'd,
But not the proffer'd hand refus'd. –
Not long he mus'd. "Divinest maid!
"I cannot part with thee!" he said;
"O blest with thee, my future life
"Shall win thy love, my angel wife!"
Yet fear'd he on her face to look,
That speechless woe he could not brook,
He turn'd him from the cave away: –
One moment stunn'd and pale she lay,
Then started up, in wild dismay.
"Henry, farewell!" the fair one sigh'd,
And sought the cot her grief to hide.


164CHRISTINA, THE MAID       

XVII.
In Henry's breast fierce passions swell,
Ah! who their furious storm shall quell?
Fitzallan sooth'd, but all unheard
Was reason calm, or cheering word;
Till dear CHRISTINA's magic name,
Lull'd wrathful ire to Love's mild flame;
Forgotten who his passion crost,
He thought but of the maid he lost,
And tears stream down his manly cheek;
And sighs from his fond bosom break.
Thus soften'd to the strand they drew,
And bade a sad, a last adieu.
The crew soon gain the crowded boat,
Soon in the glassy harbour float;
Soon mount the vessel's side, so steep,
And some retire to balmy sleep,
And one to wake, and watch, and weep.


      OF THE SOUTH SEAS. 165

XVIII.
CHRISTINA sat within her bower,
From eve to midnight's pensive hour;
That hour, so lovely, and so calm,
When Nature sheds her purest balm.
The glorious canopy on high
Glow'd with the wonders of the sky;
Innumerous, the starry train
Lit heaven's high arch, and ocean's plain;
Whilst the pale regent of the night
Bent down, to view her image bright
Now sail upon the crystal lake,
Now on the restless billows break;
As, smooth and regular, the wave
Roll'd on, the silver sand to lave;
Majestic roll'd, in ceaseless flow,
That sparkling wave with crest of snow.


166CHRISTINA, THE MAID       

XIX.
The vessel, in her proud array,
Stately on the calm waters lay,
Her streamers floated wild and wide,
The billows dimpled on her side;
Her white sails caught the brightening beam,
Her topmast glitter'd in the stream;
And the long shadows seem to sleep,
Like clouds across the tranquil deep.
That scene of loveliness and rest,
Sooth'd not CHRISTINA's throbbing breast.
That vessel glittering in the ray,
It bore her all of life away! –
To lull that maddening grief she strove,
And turn'd to view her native grove.


      OF THE SOUTH SEAS. 167

XX.
Could nature charm the bosom's woes,
That hour had lull'd her to repose.
The rosy bloom, the varied green,
That wont to deck the lovely scene,
Was sweetly blent to one soft hue,
Of mingled grey, and brown, and blue.
There rose a mass of solemn shade;
Here light the chequering moon-beams play'd;
Glanc'd on the dew-bespangled ground;
Dwelt on the hill with vapors crown'd;
Kiss'd rippling stream, and shadowy vale;
And slept along the narrow dale.
And nature slept! 'Twas silence all,
Save the low sound of ocean's fall;
The murmuring of the brook; the breeze
Which swept, in cadence soft, the trees;


168CHRISTINA, THE MAID       

So softly swept, that scarce the eye
Their faint vibration could descry;
So softly swept, that scarce the ear
That soothing plaintive sound could hear.
XXI.
CHRISTINA, in her hopeless grief,
Found not the mourner's sad relief;
She could not weep; the sudden blow
Forbade the genial tear to flow.
She could not weep; upon her breast
Th' o'erwhelming tide of misery prest,
Prest on that heart, so good and kind,
That memory clear, that equal mind;
Her brain with gathering frenzy fraught,
Vainly her cause for anguish sought,
All motionless she sate; her eye
Bent wildly upon vacancy.


      OF THE SOUTH SEAS. 169

But what is that, whose sparkling gleam,
Has caught the pale moon's trembling stream,
And the fair mourner's joyless beam?
XXII.
She started up, her hands she clasp'd,
Oh soon her glittering prize she grasp'd!
With speechless joy, with sorrow mute,
She kiss'd her prize, – 'twas Henry's flute!
Forgotten since the dawn of day,
Hid in the clustering vine it lay;
And now to fair CHRISTINA brought
The power of memory and of thought;
O painful power! What pangs she felt,
As on the morning's bliss she dwelt!
Each silver sound so sweetly clear,
Of flute, of voice, she seem'd to hear;


170CHRISTINA, THE MAID       

Each note his matchless genius prov'd;
Each accent told how well he lov'd.
XXIII.
Once had she sought, but sought in vain,
To swell that soft enchanting strain;
Again the cherish'd tube she blew; –
One low, harsh, hollow note she drew;
Discordant, all unlike the sound,
That wont to swell that narrow bound!
It jarr'd, like the lone harp that falls
In lovely Erin's ruin'd halls;
Where cold despair has broke the lyre,
And quench'd the patriot's glowing fire.
It struck upon that maiden's heart,
Like groan when soul and body part;
It pierc'd to feeling's secret cell,
And the big tear-drops freely fell;


      OF THE SOUTH SEAS. 171

They fell, and with them came the calm
Of reason, and religion's balm;
That heart, where pious virtue glow'd,
Felt strongly the vast debt it ow'd.
Yet, as the tedious moments creep,
Fond, fruitless tears her pillow steep.
XXIV.
Slow crept the moments. Yet too fast,
For sweet CHRISTINA's peace they past.
The morn arose; the fatal hour
Of bridal vows, of Hubert's power;
Arose in blushes rosy bright,
And darted forth celestial light.
Deep in the fragrance of the grove,
Awoke the burnish'd emerald dove.


172CHRISTINA, THE MAID       

High on the Maple's topmost spray,
He rous'd his mate with murmuring lay,
Then flew with airy wing away.
When last arose that crimson streak,
It match'd not bright CHRISTINA's cheek!
When last awoke that tender dove,
He match'd not Henry's strains of love!
But pallid now and sad, she fled
From Hubert's love, with anguish'd dread.
Needless her fear; he left the cot,
At early morn; and sought her not.
XXV.
But soon the bridal maidens came,
To deck the bright and peerless dame.
Young Helen, – fairest maiden she,
Who trod the green isle merrily;


      OF THE SOUTH SEAS. 173

And to CHRISTINA's heart most dear, –
Young Helen whisper'd words of cheer.
Yet wonder'd much that there was need,
Of comfort, with such blissful meed;
"For none like Hubert flung the lance!
"For none like Hubert led the dance!
"For none like Hubert good and wise!
"How could she such a heart despise?"
Oh! all, who Helen's glowing mien,
And pale CHRISTINA's cheek had seen,
That girl for blushing bride had taken,
That drooping nymph, for maid forsaken.
XXVI.
With simple taste they deck'd the fair,
And braided her long silken hair;
Those glossy tresses, unconfin'd
Which sported on the wanton wind,


174CHRISTINA, THE MAID       

No longer o'er her bosom float,
Nor hide her slim and ivory throat;
But the bright ringlets' polish'd jet,
Blended with flowery coronet,
– Where scarlet pea, from Hubert's bower,
Hung o'er the jasmine's starry flower; –
Or wav'd upon her polish'd brow,
Like raven's plumes on Cheviot's snow.
XXVII.
What wily art of courtly dress
Could add to that form's loveliness?
No art was there. The Parou wound
In light and graceful folds, around.
Above the slender ancle, free
Floated that nymph-like drapery;
Her round and polish'd arm reveal'd;
Her bosom's swelling charms conceal'd;


      OF THE SOUTH SEAS. 175

For virtue here with beauty join'd,
And modesty with grace combin'd.
Like sea-nymph on her neck she bore
The hidden treasures of the shore;
And pearly shells, and coral grac'd
The girdle that confin'd her waist.
XXVIII.
The light task o'er, in accents mild
She spoke her thanks, and sweetly smil'd.
Was it th' enforced meed of duty,
Or the gay smile of conscious beauty?
'Vails not to ask; it pass'd as soon
As vapors o'er the changeful moon;
Whilst, constant as the sun, remain'd
Those charms by no foul passion stain'd.
Not brighter to the wanderer's eyes
The shawled maids of Cashmire rise,


176CHRISTINA, THE MAID       

Where beauty frames her magic spell,
And grace enchanted loves to dwell.
XXIX.
The bride's procession to attend,
Come maid and youth, and matron friend;
These sought in vain, by fond caress,
Her heart-felt anguish to repress;
Those with more generous pity strove
To wake her smiles, and chace her love.
The bridegroom's presence now they wait,
Hubert, with hope and joy elate,
But Hubert came not; and in vain
They search'd o'er hill, and dale, and plain.
Fitzallan, from the peep of dawn,
To the lone chapel had withdrawn,
There too perchance young Hubert sought,
To calm perturb'd and jealous thought.


      OF THE SOUTH SEAS. 177

"Why loiter here?" Helenia cried,
"'Tis there he waits his lovely bride!"
And soon the hapless fair they lead,
Thro' the rich vale and verdant mead.
XXX.
On Helen's arm CHRISTINA leant,
With faltering step, and eye intent;
'Till as she pass'd a woody mound,
She rais'd that bright eye from the ground,
Where she thro' craggy rocks might view,
Short glimpses of the ocean blue.
Shuddering she gaz'd; for glistening bright,
She saw the sails all silver white,
The swelling sails, which Henry bore,
For ever from CHRISTINA's shore.
Onward she past; and saw no more.


178CHRISTINA, THE MAID       

XXXI.
Deep in the windings of the wood,
Lone and retir'd the chapel stood;
Artless and unadorn'd, the place
Breath'd simple nature's wildest grace.
Palm trees erect, of towering height,
With tufted crest exclude the light;
Their frowning columns, dark and tall,
Ascend at equal interval,
And the smooth trunk shines brightly grand,
As marble from the sculptor's hand.
Round the high trees fond creepers climb,
To reach that capital sublime;
And blossoms of a thousand dies,
Beneath the verdant plantain rise;
And fragrant here the breezes sweep,
As o'er Arabia's spicy steep.


      OF THE SOUTH SEAS. 179

XXXII.
How soothing sweeps that balmy breeze,
Waking with tremulous sound the trees!
They bend at nature's genial call;
And bends not man, the lord of all?
Yes; here the purest race impart
The incense of the grateful heart;
Here, on each Sabbath's peaceful morn,
To Heaven the choral hymn is borne,
From Pagans, whose repentant sighs
Ascend in ceaseless sacrifice;
From Christians, who the paths have trod
Of peace, of virtue, and of God;
Who still His guiding grace implore,
His Mercy bless, His Power adore.


180CHRISTINA, THE MAID       

XXXIII.
At the arch'd door, like village church,
Arose a low and rustic porch;
Thence gaz'd Fitzallan on the train,
With throb of pleasure mix'd with pain.
"That girl, how dear to every heart!
"Oh why should love and duty part? –
"She comes!" – He caught her to his breast,
That trembling maid with woe opprest.
He hail'd her "Daughter;" oft the word,
From those dear lips with pride she heard;
But now, as low he breath'd the name,
With anguish shook her quivering frame:
"Calm thee, Christine! " Fitzallan cried,
"These feelings suit not Hubert's bride; –
"But Hubert, where is he?" the sound,
From youth to maid was echo'd round.


      OF THE SOUTH SEAS. 181

XXXIV.
"Strange that this fair auspicious dawn
"Should view him from his home withdrawn.
" CHRISTINA, hast thou seen the youth?
"No! well I know that bosom's truth!
"But is there none the cause can guess?
"Anna, thy blushes answer, yes!
"O quickly speak!" In accents low
She spoke, reluctantly and slow.
"Yes, she had met at break of day
"Young Hubert, hastening to the bay;
"Had view'd him launch the light canoe,
"Which bounding towards the vessel flew;
"And as he pass'd, her ear had caught
"Disjointed words, with meaning fraught,
"Unconscious breath'd in laboring thought.


182CHRISTINA, THE MAID       

"The low sounds incoherent came, –
"Yet sure he join'd CHRISTINA's name
"With 'sweet revenge,' and much she fear'd,
"For one to the lov'd maid endear'd."
XXXV.
The father's love, the father's pride,
That painful moment mortified;
By anger, woe, and doubt assail'd,
The father's fears at length prevail'd.
" CHRISTINA, to the shore I fly,
"This boy's rash haste to rectify;
"This hateful rivalry to stay,
"This jealousy to chase away, –
"For this I go; – await me here!" –
"O banish this degrading fear!"
The maiden cried, "Injurious thought!
"From terror, not from reason, caught.


      OF THE SOUTH SEAS. 183

"What! dost thou class thy Hubert then
"With polish'd Europe's treacherous men?
"Who point the death-tube at the breast,
"Which yester-morn to their's was prest;
"Men who, unfit to live or die,
"Unbidden to His presence fly,
"Who sent, at the Redeemer's birth,
"Good will to men, and peace on earth!"
XXXVI.
"And dost thou Hubert's virtue deem,
"The brightness of an airy dream?
"And think'st thou Hubert's love so weak,
"That he CHRISTINA's heart would break?
"Ah! well I know that virtue strong,
"Practis'd to render good for wrong!
"Ah! well I know that faithful love
"From me would every pang remove!


184CHRISTINA, THE MAID       

"At peril of his life would save
"His rival from the stormy wave;
"Share with him board and dwelling free;
"Give all he had to give, – but me!"
XXXVII.
Delighted, charm'd, the father gaz'd,
On the bright glow her ardor rais'd;
From friendship, not from love, it sprung,
Yet on her generous speech he hung:
She sway'd his heart with double claim,
Defender of his Hubert's fame:
Her face, her heart, with feeling burn'd,
And blushing to the porch she turn'd;
She turn'd; – and there, in listening mood,
Link'd side by side the rivals stood!
Hubert advanc'd, and in his arms
One moment clasp'd those blooming charms:


      OF THE SOUTH SEAS. 185

"Thanks, sister, thanks!" faltering he said,
And led young Henry to the maid; –
"Oh hands should meet, where hearts entwine,
"Take her, bright stranger, she is thine!"




Oh! it is sweet, in this disjointed age,
      To 'scape awhile life's sad realities,
Where history weeps o'er the recording page
      Of human crimes and human miseries!


186CHRISTINA, THE MAID       

From want, from war, th' enfranchis'd spirit flies –
      How gladly flies! how mournfully returns!
Still in that Southern isle embowered lies,
      Hiding 'mid palmy groves, and glistening burns,
      And England's stormy skies and wilder discord spurns.
Still fancy lingers there; to contemplate
      The lovely scene, enamor'd of her theme!
Connubial love, most blissful draught of fate,
      Mix'd with no rancorous tear, or jealous dream,
Pure, unpolluted, as the crystal stream,
      Perfect, as joy in Eden's happy vale;
And peace, content, and piety's mild beam,
      Gild with refulgent light the verdant dale,
      A softer music breathe, and load the ambient gale.


      OF THE SOUTH SEAS. 187

Home, wanderer, home again! The spell is past,
      Which lur'd thee, Fancy, to that Southern isle;
The silent lyre from the high plantain cast,
Unvocal now, no longer would beguile
A gentle lady's tear, or critic's smile.
      Fancy, why lingerest thou? Thy pleasing pain
Is all gone by; return and rest awhile;
      Again perchance to wake the echoing strain
      With firmer, bolder hand. Home, wanderer,
            home again!


      



NOTES.




      

Notes to Canto the First.

NOTE 1
–>

The ship by struggling billows tost,
One moment sunk between them, lost;
Becalm'd, and tranguil as the lake
That smiles by Derwent's woody, brake;
The next, high o'er the billows borne,
Saw the tough sails to atome torn.

      The following account of a storm in the Pacific Ocean is taken from the narrative of one of the late missionaries to Tongataboo: – "Some cross winds then met us; and when we came near the longitude of the Cape of Good Hope, we were overtaken by the most


192NOTES TO CANTO I.       

tremendous gale of wind, which we had yet experienced: The mountainous waves which it raised followed the ship, stove in the cabin windows, and burst into the after-part of the vessel; but dead lights (i.e. stout shutters) were placed at hand, which the carpenter, the instant the sea that broke the windows had retired, fixed in before the next sea arrived. As the storm increased, we struck the top-gallant yards and masts, and furled all the sails, except the fore and main topsail. The wind continued abaft of us, so that we were driven before the storm. In the course of the day, it rose to a violent gale, which formed the ocean into complete seas; these mountainous billows rolled so regularly, in succession after each other, that in the gulph betwixt each wave, the water was as smooth as in a river: in this state we were driven by billow after billow, now sinking into the gulph, and anon rising to the topmost ridge of the waves, for some days. We saw indeed "the wonders" of the Lord "in the deep:" we heard "the stormy wind arise," and it soon "lifted


      NOTES TO CANTO I. 193

up the waves" of the sea; we seemed to "be carried up to the heaven above," and now again "to go down to hell beneath;" "the souls of some began to melt away for fear;" several of the women on board were very ill, especially Mrs. Eyre, who was not much less than sixty years of age.

      "Notwithstanding the terrors of the gale, we were ignorant of our danger; when it had ceased, the captain informed us of it. The ship when raised by the different billows that followed her, was for a moment balanced in the centre on every wave; if therefore the Duff had not been very strong, she would have been broken to pieces; because, in surmounting the lofty waves, the whole weight of the vessel and cargo rested, although but for a moment, on her centre. Again, when we sunk into the deep channel betwixt sea and sea, the swell was so high, that though the sails were very lofty, we were completely becalmed, as the wind could not reach us; and then, as the ship was raised


194NOTES TO CANTO I.       

by the following wave, the wind was so violent as almost to carry away the masts. We were driven along by this tremendous gale four days; yet He, to whom "the mariners cry in their trouble, and he delivers them out of their distress," graciously preserved us from receiving any injury. We united in a song of praise to Him who "treadeth the waves of the sea;" and at its formation bounded it by the command, "Hitherto shalt thou go, and no farther, and here shall thy proud waves be stayed."

      See pages 37, 38, and 39, of The authentic Narrative of four Years' Residence at Tongataboo.


NOTE 2. PAGE 6.

How many a fair and desert isle
Banks in the southern sunbeam's smile!
Numerous they glow upon the main,
Like stars that gem the peacock's train;


      NOTES TO CANTO I. 195

Whilst the high mountain's purpled blue,
Brightens o'er Ocean's verdant hue.

      All the voyagers agree in their accounts of the exquisite beauty of the South Sea Islands, M. de Bougainville describes them with his national vivacity and warmth of admiration. "During March, we ran on the parallel of the first lands and isles marked on the chart of M. Bellin by the name of Quiros's Isles. On the 21st we caught a tunny, in whose belly we found some little fish, not yet digested, of such species as never go to any distance from the shore; this was a sign of the vicinity of land; indeed the 22d at six in the morning, we saw at once four little isles, bearing S.S.E. 1/2 E. and a little isle about four leagues west; the four isles I called Les Quatre Facardins; and as they were too far to windward, I stood for the little isle a-head of us. As we approached it, we discovered that it is surrounded with a very level sand, and that all the interior parts of it are covered with thick woods,


196NOTES TO CANTO I.       

above which the cocoa-trees raise their fertile heads. The sea broke much to the N. and S. and a great swell beating all along the eastern aide, prevented our access to this isle in that part; however, the verdure charmed our eyes, and the cocoa-trees every where exposed their fruits to our sight, and overshadowed a grass-plot adorned with flowers; thousands of birds were hovering about the shore, and seemed to announce a coast abounding in fish, and we all longed for a descent." – Page 204 of Bougainville's Voyage round the World.

      Speaking of another island, M. Bougainville says, "the 5th we spent in plying, in order to work to windward of the island, and in letting the boats sound for an anchoring-place. The aspect of this coast, elevated like an amphitheatre, offered us the most enchanting prospect. Notwithstanding the great height of the mountains, none of the rocks has the appearance of barrenness; every part is covered with woods; we hardly


      NOTES TO CANTO I. 197

believed our eyes when we saw a peak covered with trees, up to its solitary summit, which rises above the level of the mountains, in the interior parts of the southernmost quarter of the island: its apparent size seemed to be no more than of thirty toises in diameter, and grew less in breadth as it rose higher. At a distance, it might have been taken for a pyramid of immense height, which the hand of an able sculptor had adorned with garlands and foliage. The less elevated lands are interspersed with meadows and little woods; and all along the coast there runs a piece of low and level land, covered with plantations, touching on one side the sea, and on the other bordering the mountainous parts of the country. Here we saw the houses of the islanders amidst bananas, cocoa-nut, and other, trees loaded with fruit." – Ibid. page 214.


198NOTES TO CANTO I.       


NOTE 3. PAGE 7.

Like emerald set in silver, lay
The green isle, 'mid the ocean spray.

      Captain Carteret gives the following account of the discovery of Pitcairn's island in 1767. "We continued our course westward till the evening of Thursday the second of July, when we discovered land to the northward of us; upon approaching it the next day, it appeared like a great rock rising out of the sea; it was not more than five miles in circumference, and seemed to be uninhabited; it was, however, covered with trees, and we saw a small stream of fresh water running down one aide of it. I would have landed, but the surf, which at this season broke upon it with great violence, rendered it impossible. I got soundings on the west side of it, at something less than a mile from the shore, in twenty-five fathom, with a bottom of coral and sand; but it is


      NOTES TO CANTO I. 199

probable that in fine summer weather landing here may be not only practicable, but easy. We saw a great number of sea-birds hovering about it, at somewhat less than a mile from the shore, and the sea here seemed to have fish. It lies in latitude 25 2' S. longitude 133 21' W. and about a thousand leagues to the westward of the continent of America: it is so high, that we saw it at the distance of more than 15 leagues; and it having been discovered by a young gentleman, son to Major Pitcairn of the Marines, who was unfortunately lost in the Aurora, we called it Pitcairn's Island. While we were in the neighbourhood of this island, the weather was extremely tempestuous, with long rolling billows from the southward, larger and higher than any I had seen before." – Captain Carteret's Voyage round the World. See Hawkesworth, vol. 1. page 341. In the notes to the third canto will be found a complete explanation of the extraordinary appearance, which Pitcairn's Island presented when visited in 1808, by the American ship Topaz. It would have been impossible,


200NOTES TO CANTO I.       

in this place, to detail the causes which produced it without anticipating the story; but the reader may be assured that the poetical licence has been very sparingly used, both in the characters and descriptions, and that I have rather fallen short than exceeded in the beauty and virtue which I have attempted to pourtray.


NOTE 4.
Rose the gay fig, whose wonderous branch
Bow'd dotas to earth, fresh roots can launch;
Which upward Springs to bend again,
And forms a thicket on the plain.

      "When Mr. Green returned from this expedition, he said he had seen a tree of a size which he was afraid to relate, it being no less than sixty yards in circumference; but Mr. Banks and Dr. Solander soon explained to him, that it was a species of the fig, the branches of


      NOTES TO CANTO I. 201

which, bending down, take fresh root in the earth, and thus form a congeries of trunks, which being very close to each other, and all joined by one common vegetation, might easily be mistaken for one." – Lieutenant Cookes, Voyage round tue World.

      The preceding lines were both written and printed, before I saw the exquisite description of the Banian Tree, in Mr. Southey's sublime poem, "The Curse of Kehama." The reader will excuse the quotation (as Mr. Gifford said on a different occasion) for the beauty of the passage.

"Twas a fair scene wherein they stood,
A green and sunny glade amid the wood,
And in the midst an aged Banian grew;
            It was a goodly sight to see,
            That venerable tree,
For o'er the lawn irregularly spread,
Fifty strait columns propt its lofty head;


202NOTES TO CANTO I.       

      And many a long depending shoot,
      Seeking to strike its root,
Strait like a plummet, grew towards the ground;
Some on the lower boughs which crost their way,
Fixing their bearded fibres round and round,
With many a wring, and wild contortion wound;
      Some to the passing wind at times with sway
            Of gentle motion swung;
Others of younger growth unmov'd were hung
Like stone-drops from the cavern's fretted height;
Beneath was smooth and fair to sight,
Nor weeds, nor briars, deform'd the natural floor,
And through the leafy cope which bower'd it o'er
            Came gleams of chequer'd light;
      So like a temple did it seem, that there
      A pious heart's first impulse would be prayer."


      NOTES TO CANTO I. 203


NOTE 5. PAGE 9.

Rose too – unconscious instrument
Of crime and woe, to mortals sent!
That cane, whose luscious juice supplies
Europe's blood-purchas'd luxuries.

      "Some very fine sugar-cane was brought to me; each of the pieces was six inches round: I had before told Tinah that our sugar was made of it, and he was very desirous to discover the means; for they were so very fond of our loaf sugar, that a present to any chief would have been incomplete without a piece of it." – Bligh's Voyage to the South Sea, page 86.


NOTE 6. PAGE 10.

Prone on the ground the melon lies,
Of different clime, of varied dies;


204NOTES TO CANTO I.       

That of the tint of Hymen proud,
This cosy as a summer cloud.

      "In my return I called on Poeeno and an elderly chief, a relation of his, called Moannah, the principal men of this district, and with whom I judged it my interest to be on good terms: I gave them several valuable articles; and, as the situation here was eligible for a garden, I planted melon, cucumber, and sallad, seeds. I told them many other things should be sown for their uses; and they appeared much pleased when they understood I intended to plant such things as would grow to be trees, and produce fruit. I saw large patches of tobacco growing without culture, and many pumpkin vines. The bread-fruit trees and cocoa-nut trees at this time were full of fruit. I went on board to dinner, and Moannah accompanied me. In the afternoon I returned to Poeeno's, with some additional seeds to improve the little garden I had begun to make in the forenoon." – Ibid. page 69.


      NOTES TO CANTO I. 205

NOTE 7:
There her rich fruit Anana rears,
With coronet of verdant spears.

      "I had now in, a florishing state two orange plants, some vines, a fig-tree, and two pine-apple plants, which I gave to Poeeno, whose residence is a place favorable for their growth." – Ibid. page 86.


NOTE 8.

There round the slender palm entwine
The tendrils of the Gallic vine.

      "I was assured by Oediddee, and several others, that the vines planted at the island Huaheine by Captain Cook, had succeeded, and bore fruit; and that some of the other plants, both at Huaheine and at Oaitepeha, a district on the south-east part of Otaheite, had been preserved, and were in a thriving state." – Ibid . page 91.


206NOTES TO CANTO I.       


NOTE 9. PAGE 16
.

The link'd ivahahs, side by side,
Short poles at once, unite, divide.

      "The canoes, or boats, which are used by the inhabitants of this and the neighbouring islands, may be divided into two general classes; one of which they call Ivahahs, the other Pahies; the Ivahah is used for short excursions to sea, and is wall-sided and flat-bottomed; the Pahie for longer voyages, and is bow-sided and sharp-bottomed: the Ivahahs are all of the same figure, but of different sizes, and used for different purposes; their length is from seventy-two feet to ten; but the breadth is by no means in proportion; for those of ten feet are about a foot wide, and those of more than seventy are scarcely two. There is the fighting ivahah, the fishing ivahah, and the travelling ivahah;


      NOTES TO CANTO I. 207

      for some of these go from one island to another: the fighting ivahah is by far the longest, and the head and stern are considerably raised above the body, in a semi-circular form; particularly the stern, which is sometimes 17 or 18 feet high, though the boat itself is scarcely three. These never go to sea single; but are fastened together, side by side, at the distance of about three feet, by strong poles of wood, which are laid across them, and lashed to the gunwales; upon these, in the forepart, a stage or platform is raised about ten or twelve feet long, and somewhat wider than the boats, which is supported by pillars about six feet high: upon this stage stand the fighting men, whose missile weapons are slings and spears; for, among other singularities in the manners of these people, their bows and arrows are used only for diversion, as we throw quoits; below these stages sit the rowers, who receive from them those that are wounded, and furnish fresh men to ascend in their room. – The oars, or paddles, that are used with these boats, have a long handle and a flat blade, not


208NOTES TO CANTO I.       

      unlike a baker's peel; of these every person in the boat has one, except those that ait under the awning, and they push her forward with them at a good rate." – Captain Cook's First Voyage round the World, page 221 and 224.


NOTE 10.

Freely their ample garmente flow
In graceful folds of spotless snow

      Captain Wallis gives the following accourt of the person and dress of the Otaheiteans; and, exceptimg that, from the mixture of Europeans, the inhabitants of Pitcairn's Island are of a much fairer complexion, the description is equally applicable to them.

      "The inhabitants of this island are a stout, well made, active, and comely people; the stature of the men, in general, is from five feet seven to five feet ten inches,


      NOTES TO CANTO I. 209

though a few individuels are taller, and a few shorter; that of the women from five feet to five feet six. The complexion of the men is tawny, but those who go upon the water are mach redder than those who live on shore: their hair in general is black, but in some it is Brown, in some red, and in others flaxen, which is remarkable, because the hsir of all other natives of Asia, Africa, and America, is black without a single exception: it is generally tied up, either in one bunch, in the middle of the head, or in two, one on esch side; but some wear it loose, and it then curls very strongly: in the children of both sexes it is generally flaxen. They have no combs, yet their hair is very neatly dressed, and those who had combs from us made good use of them. It is an universel custom to anoint the head with cocoa-nut oil, in which a root has been scraped that smells something like roses. The women are all handsome, and some of them extremely beautiful. – Both men and women are not only decently, but gracefully cloathed in a kind of white cloth, that is made of the bark of


210NOTES TO CANTO I.       

shrub, and very much resembles coarse china paper. Their dress consists of two pieces of this cloth; one of them, a hole having been made in the middle to put the head through, hangs down from the shoulders to the mid leg before and behind; another piece, which is between four and five yards long, and about one yard broad, they wrap round the body in a very easy manner. This cloth is not woven, but is made, like paper, of the macerated fibres of an inner bark, spread out and beaten together. Their ornaments are feathers, flowers, pieces of shells, and pearls: the pearls are worn chiefly by the women, from whom I purchased about two dozen of a small size; they were of a good color, but were all spoilt by boring. – Captain Wallis's Voyage round the World, Hawksworth's Collection of Voyages, vol. i. pages 260, 261, 262.


      NOTES TO CANTO I. 211


NOTE 11. PAGE 17.

Save that a border, richly dight,
Of vivid scarlet mantles bright.

      "To both these kinds of cloth they work bordera of different colors, in stitches somewhat like carpeting; or rather like those used in the samplers which girls work at school: these borders are of various patterns, and wrought with a neatness, and even an elegance, which, considering they have no needle, is surprising; but the great pride of their dress consists in the fur of their dogs, which they use with such economy that they cut it into stripes, and sew them upon their cloth at a distance from each other, which is a strong proof that dogs are not plenty among them; these stripes are also of different colors, and disposed so as to produce a pleasing effect. We saw some dresses that were adorned with feathers instead of fur, but these were not com-


212NOTES TO CANTO I.       

mon; and we saw one that was entirely covered with red feathers of the parrots." – Dress of the New Zealanders from Hawksworth's Col. vol. iii. page 51.


NOTE 12. PAGE 26.

For well he knew – Who knows it not? –
Miaguided Christian's ruthless plot.
And he had read, with horror pale,
The suffering Bligh's heart-thrilling tale;
When from his gallant vessel driv'n,
Of every earthly comfort ris'n;
Remote from kind and friendly land,
The rebels chas'd his faithful band;
Still faithful, tho' the crowded boat
Scarce on that Southern wave can float;
Tho' ceaseless rain, and famine's rage,
Within, without, dire warfare wage;
Tho' haggard, worn, and tempest-tost,
Unbounded Oceans must be crost,


      NOTES TO CANTO I. 213

Ere the sad wanderers cease to roam,
And find a country and a home.

      I will not weaken the effect of Captain Bligh's most affecting narrative by any attempt at abridgment, and the journal is too long for insertion here; yet it is necessary shortly to state that Captain Bligh, commander of the Bounty, and eighteen of bis officers and men, were turned adrift, in the midst of the Pacific Ocean, on the 28th of April, 1789, in an open boat only 23 feet long; while the mutineers, at the head of whom was Mr. Christian, possessed themselves of the vessel and stores, and carried her off to Otaheite. Captain Bligh and his unfortunate companions had only four cutlasses to defend themselves, and only five days' provision for their support; and with scarcely any thing to sustain life; without shelter from the inclemency of the weather, and amidst almost perpetual rain, they crost a sea of more than 1200 leagues, and arrived on the 14th ofJune at the Dutch settlement of Coupang in Timor:


214NOTES TO CANTO I.       

they were received by the Dutch with every mark of kindness and hospitality, but seven sank under the sufferings they had endured, and only twelve lived to return to their native country. – See Captain Bligh's Voyage to the South Seas.


NOTE 13. PAGE 40.

And soon, in accents soft and clear,
As ever breath'd in mortel ear;
In strains with silvery cadence fraught,
From the pure apring of feeling caught;
Seraphic strains, by Nature given,
Arose a daughter's woe to Heaven.

      Captain Cook's account of the songs of the New Zealanders strongly corroborates the idea, which I have adopted in this poem, of the existence of a great degree of vocal excellence with scarcely any knowledge of instrumental music. "A song, not altogether unlike


      NOTES TO CANTO I. 215

this (the war song), they sometimes sing without the dance, and as a peaceable amusement: they have also other songs, which are sung by the women, whose voices are remarkably mellow and soft, and have a pleasing and tender effect; the time is slow, and the cadence mournful; but it is conducted with more taste than could be expected among the poor ignorant savages of this half desolate country, especially as it appeared to us, who were none of us much acquainted with music as a science, to be sung in parts; it was at least sung by many voices at the same time. They have sonorous instruments, but they can scarcely be called instruments of music; one is the shell, called the Triton's trumpet, with which they make a noise not uulike that which our boys sometimes make with a cow's horn; the other is a small wooden pipe, resembling a child's nine-pin, only much smaller, and in this there is no more music than in a pea-whistle. They seem sensible indeed that these instruments are not musical, for we never heard an attempt to sing to them, or to produce with them any


216NOTES TO CANTO I.       

measured tones that bore the least resemblance to a tune." – See Captain Cook's account of the music of the New Zealanders, vol. third of Hawksworth's Collection


      

NOTES

TO

Canto the Second.


      


notes to canto the second.


NOTE 1. PAGE 60.

With Bligh I sail'd, no hostile train
Launch'd the prond vessel on the main;
On cares benevolent intent,
Mild as her name the Bounty went.

      "The king having been graciously pleased to comply with a request from the merchants and planters interested in his Majesty's West India possessions, that the bread-fruit tree might be introduced into those islands; a vessel, proper for the undertaking, was bought, and taken into dock at Deptford, to be provided with the necessary fixtures and preparations for executing the


220NOTES TO CANTO II.       

object of the voyage; these were completed according to a plan of my much honored friend, Sir Joseph Banks,which, in the end, proved the most advantageous that could have been adopted for the intended purpose.

      The ship was named the Bounty: I was appointed to command her on the 16th of August, 1787." – Bligh's Voyage to the South Seas, page 1st.

NOTE 2. PAGE 61.

But, in return, by wisdom taught,
That vegetable wonder sought,
That tree, which in unfailing stores,
The staff of life spontaneous pours,
And to our Southern islands yields
The produce of your labor'd fields.

      "The bread-fruit (as we call it) grows on a large tree, as big and as high as our largest apple-trees; it


      NOTES TO CANTO II. 221

hath a spreading head, full of branches and dark leaves; the fruit grows on the boughs like apples; it is as big as a penny-loaf when wheat is at five shillings the bushel; it is of a round shape, and hath a thick tough rind: when the fruit is ripe, it is yellow and soft, and the taste is sweet and pleasant. The natives of Guam use it for bread: they gather it when full grown, while it is green and hard; then they bake it in an oven, which scorches the rind, and makes it black; but they scrape off the outside black crust, and there romains a tender thin crust; and the inside is soft, tender, and white, like the crumb of a penny-loaf: there is neither seed nor stone in the inside, but all is of a pure substance like. bread: it must be eaten new; for if it is kept above twenty-four hours, it grows harsh and choaky; but it is very pleasant before it is too stale. This fruit lasts in season eight months in the year, during which the natives eat no other sort of food of bread kind. I did never see of this fruit any where but here. The natives told us, that there is pleuty of this fruit growing on the rest


222NOTES TO CANTO II.       

of the Ladrone islands; and I did never hear of it any where else." – Dampier's Voyage round the World, vol. 1, page 296.

NOTE 3. PAGE 64.

In Otaheite's faireet bay,
We touch'd the shore of Matavai.

      "On the 26th of October, 1788, at four o'clock in the morning, having run twenty-five leagues from Maitea, we brought-to till day-light, when we saw point Venas bearing S.W. by W. distant about four leagues. As we drew near, a great number of canoes came off to us; their first inquiries were, if we were Tyos, which signifies friends; and whether we came from Pretanie, (their pronunciation of Britain), or from Lima: they were no sooner satisfied in this, than they crowded on board in vast numbers, notwithstanding our endeavours to prevent it, as we were working the ship in; and in less than ten


      NOTES TO CANTO II. 223

minutes, the deck was so full that I could scarcely find my own people. At nine in the forenoon, we were obliged to anchor in the outer part of Matavai Bay, in thirteen fathom, being prevented by light variable winds from placing the ship in a proper birth." – Bligh's Voyage to the South Seas, page 59.

NOTE 4. PAGE 64.

As bees that seek the heathery pride,
The natives climb the ship's tall side;
Scarce could the crowded deck sustain
The pressure of the eager train.

      "There appeared among the natives in general great good-will towards us, and they seemed to be much rejoiced at our arrival. This whole day we experienced no instance of dishonesty: we were so much crowded, that I could not undertake to remove to a more proper station, without danger of disobliging our visitors by


224NOTES TO CANTO II.       

desiring them to leave the ship. Early in the morning, before the natives began to flock off to us, we weighed anchor, to work farther into the bay, and moored at about a quarter of a mile distance from the shore. Several chiefs now came on board, and expressed great pleasure at seeing me; among these were Otow, the father of Otoo, and Oreepyah, his brother; also another chief of Matavai, called Poeeno; and to these men I made presents: two messengers likewise arrived from Otoo to acquaint me of his being on his way to the ship; each of whom brought me, as a present from Otoo, a small pig, and a young plantain-tree, as a token of friendship. The ship was now plentifully supplied with provisions; every person having as much as he eould consume. As soon as the ship wae secured, I went on shore with the chief Poeeno, and accompanied by a multitude of the natives. He conducted me to the place where we had fixed our tente in 1777, and desired that I would now appropriate the spot to the same use. We then went across the beach, and through a walk


      NOTES TO CANTO II. 225

delightfully shaded with bread-fruit trees, to his own house: here we found two women at work staining a piece of cloth red; these I found were his wife and her sister; they desired me to sit down on a mat, which was spread for the purpose, and with great kindness offered me refreshments. I received the congratulations of several strangers, who came to us, and behaved with great decorum and attention. The people, however, thronged about the house in such numbers, that I was much incommoded by the heat, which being observed, they immediately drew back." – Ibid. page 62 and 63.

NOTE 5. PAGE 64.

Then names were chang'd in friendly form,
With welcome free, and greeting warm.

      "The next morning early, I received a message from Otoo to inform me of his arrival, and requesting that I would send a boat for him; which I immediately did,


226NOTES TO CANTO II.       

with' an officer (Mr. Christian) to conduct him on board. He came with numerous attendants, and expressed much satisfaction at our meeting. After introducing his wife to me, we joined noses, the customary manner of saluting; and, to perpetuate our friendship, he desired we should exchange names." – Captain Bligh's Voyage to the South Seas, page 65.

      So also in Mendana's Voyage, at the island of Santa Cruz. "Being anchored there, many Indians came to see the ships and people; most of them wore red flowers in their heads and noses. At the persuasion of our people, some came aboard the Capitana, leaving their arms in their canoes; amongst the rest came aboard a man of good figure and countenance, of a wheat color, somewhat lean and grey-headed; he appeared to be sixty years of age; he wore on his head some feathers, blue, yellow, and red; and in his hand he had a bow and arrow, with points of wrought bone: on each side of him came an Indian of more authority than the


      NOTES TO CANTO II. 227

rest. They understood this was some person distinguished amongst them, as well from the difference of his dress as from the respect shown him by the rest.

      He inquired presently, by signs, who was the chief of the new comers. The Adelentado received him with great affection, and taking him by the hand, gave him to understand that he was; the Indian said, he was named Malope; the Adelentado replied, he, Mendana; Malope understood, and rejoined (applying thus the name he had heard) that he was named Mendana, and that the general should be called Malope; – In concluding this exchange, he showed he much prized it; and when they called him Malope, he said no, but Mendana; and with his finger pointed to the Adelentado, saying, that was Malope; he also said he was called Taurique, this name appearing to be cacique, or chief. Alvaro e Mendana put a shirt on him, and gave him other trifling things of small value. The soldiers gave the other Indians feathers, little bells, glass beads, bits of


228NOTES TO CANTO II.       

taffaty, and cotton, and even cards; they hung all to their neck. They were taught to say 'Amigos, Amigos,' crossing their hands, embracing one another, in sign of peace." – Alvaro Mendana de Neyra's Voyage in 1595. from Dalrymples Col. of the Voyages and Discoveries in the Pacific Ocean, page 81.

NOTE 6. PAGE 64.

What tho' upon the cheated ear
Still vainly fell those accents clear.

      "The language of Otaheite, though doubtless radically the same with that of New Zealand and the Friendly Islands, is destitute of that guttural pronunciation, and of some consonants with which those latter dialects abound; the specimens we have already given, are sufficient to mark wberein the variation chiefly consists, and to show, that like the manners of the inhabitants, it has become soft and soothing. During the


      NOTES TO CANTO II. 229

former voyage, I had collected a copious vocabulary, which enabled me the better to compare this dialect with those of the other islands; and during the voyage, I took every opportunity of improving my acquaintance with it, by conversing with Omai before we arrived, and by my daily intercourse with the natives while we remained there: it abounds with beautiful and figurative expressions, which, were it perfectly known, would, I have no doubt, put it upon a level with many of the languages that are most in esteem for their warm and bold images; fr instance, the Otaheiteans express their notions of death very emphatically, by saying, "that the soul goes into darkness; or rather into night;" and if you seem to entertain any doubt, in asking the question, "if such a person is their mother?" they immediately reply, with surprise, "yes; the mother that bore me." They have one expression that corresponds exactly with the phraseology of the Scriptures, where we read, of the "yearning of the bowels;" they use it on all occasions, when the passions give them uneasi-


230NOTES TO CANTO II.       

ness; as they conetantly refer pain from grief, anxious desire, and other affections, to the bowels as its seat; where they likewise suppose all operations of the mind are performed: their language admits of that inverted arrangement of words, which so much distinguishes the Latin and Greek from most of our modern European tongues, whose imperfections require a more orderly construction to prevent ambiguities: it is so copions, that for the bread-fruit alone, in its different states, they have above twenty names; as many for the taro root; and about ten for the cocoa-nut; add to this, that beside the common dialect, they often expostulate in a kind of stanza, or recitative, which is answered in the same manner." – Cook's last Voyage, vol. ii. page 151.

NOTE 7. PAGE 65.

O generous people!

      Captain Cook, in describing the people of Otaheite, says their deportment is liberal, and their behaviour to


      NOTES TO CANTO II. 231

strangers and to each other affable and courteous; in their dispositions also, they seem to be brave, open, candid, without either suspicion or treachery, cruelty or revenge; so that we place the same confidence in them as in our best friends; many of us, particularly Mr. Banks, sleeping frequently in their houses in the woods without a companion, and consequently wholly in their power. They were, however, all thieves, and when that is allowed, they need not much fear a competition witb the people of any other nation upon earth. – Hawksworth's Collection, vol. ii. pages 187, 188.

NOTE 8. PAGE M.

Or would she from thy miseries fly,
And turn thee front her coast to die?

      There may probably be a little poetical exaggeration in the contrast between European barbarity and Indian hospitality; but the following statement of the conduct


232NOTES TO CANTO II.       

of the Mecklenburgh soldiers, which appeared in most of the London papers, and has never, I believe, been contradicted, affords but too strong a ground for my accusation.

      "The Hero, Captain Newman, having lately arrived at Portsmouth from her station in the Baltic, brings with her the intelligence of the following distressing event, which lately happened to a part of the crew: – Two boats of the above ship were ordered to cruize against the Danish privateers and row-boats, on the 13th of August; one, which was commanded by Lieutenant Jenks, upset in a violent squall, but, by the great exertions of Mr. Henry Wittenoom, the officer in the other, Lieutenant Jenks and seven of his men were saved, and nine drowned: in this deplorable state, with a boat too deeply laden, in consequence of this increase, they resolved to attempt to save their lives by running the boat ashore at Rostock, in which they succeeded, though nearly exhausted, and landed in safety. At that


      NOTES TO CANTO II. 233

awful period, the night coming on, and the storm increasing, they were (horrible to relate, and scarcely will it be believed in civilized Europe) again forced to sea by the Mecklenburgh soldiers, and abandoned, to the fury of the elements, which their boat being unable to contend with, was soon after struck by a wave, which filled her, and she instantly went to the bottom; three only of her crew being washed ashore, by clinging to some spars, and the two officers and fifteen men were drowned! The surviving three declare, every appeal was made to the officers' humanity to let them stay till the gale was abated, and they offered to surreuder themselves prisoners of war; but all to no purpose, for they actually drove them to their fate with the point of the bayonet! such an act of inhumanity, in a civilized country, is scarcely to be credited. – Captain N. upon hearing this, instantly sent in a flag of truce, with a letter to the duke of Mecklenburgh, to demand justice on the heads of those unfeeling brutes, and to request, that if the bodies were found, they might be decently interred.


234NOTES TO CANTO II.       

– Mr. Wittenoom was just entering into his 21st year, and was on the eve of promotion, for bravely capturing a few deys before, a Danish privateer and her prize." – Statesman Newspaper, October 5th, 1810.

NOTE 9. PAGE 66.

And never sailor's eye hae seen
An isle more lovely or serene.

      One of the early discoverers in the Pacific Ocean, Pedro Fernandez de Quiros, gives the following description of the Bay de San Felipe y Santiago. "The landing place is a beach of three leagues' continuance, being a bank of small black pebbles, heavy and excellent for ballast for ships; the shore has no gaps, and by the verdure reaching down to its edge, it appeared to receive no disturbance from the waves; the banks of the rivers were covered with odoriferous fiowers and plants, particularly orange flowers and sweet basil; the


      NOTES TO CANTO II. 235

perfumes of which were wafted to the ship by the morning and evening breezes; and at the early dawn was heard from the neighbouring woods the mixed melody of many different kinds of birds, some in appearance like nightingales, blackbirds, larks, and goldfmches. All the parts of the country in front of the sea were beautifully varied with fertile vallies, plains, winding rivers, and groves, which extended to the sides of green mountains. – See Voyage of P. F. de Quiros, A.D. 1606. Burney's Voyages and Discoveries in the South Seas, vol. ii. page 200.

      Captain Cook also says of Otaheite: "On viewing these charming scenes, I have often regretted my inability to transmit to those who had no opportunity of seeing them, such a description as might, in some measure, convey an impression similar to what must be felt by every one, who has been fortunate enough to be upon the spot.


236NOTES TO CANTO II.       

      It is doubtless the natural fertility of the country, combined with the mildness and serenity of the climate, that renders the natives so careless in their cultivation, that in many places, though overflowing with the richest productions, the smallest traces of it canot be observed.

      The cloth plant, which is raised by seeds brought from the mountains, and the ava, or intoxicating pepper, which tbey defend from the sun, when very young, by covering them with leaves of the bread-fruit tree, are almost the only things to which they seem to pay any attention; and these they keep very clean. I have inquired very carefully into the manner of cultivating the bread-fruit tree, but was always answered that they never planted it; this indeed must be evident to every one wbo will examine the places where the young trees come up: it will be always observed that they spring from the roots of the old ones; which run along near the surface of the ground; so that the bread-fruit trees


      NOTES TO CANTO II. 237

may be reckoned those that would naturally cover the plains, even supposing that the island was not inhabited; in the same manner that the white barked trees, found at Van Diemen's Island, constitute the forests there; and from this we may observe, that the inhabitant of Otaheite, instead of being obliged to plant his bread, will rather be under a necessity of retarding its progress; which I suppose is sometimes done to give room for trees of another sort, and to afrord him some variety in his food.

      The chief of these are the cocoa-nut and plantain; the first of which can give no trouble, after it has raised itself a foot or two above the ground; but the plantain requires a little more care; for after it is planted, it shoots up; and, in about three months, begins to bear fruit; during which time it gives young shoots, which supply a succession of fruit; for the old stocks are cut down as the fruit is taken off.


238NOTES TO CANTO II.       

      The products of the island, however, are not remarkable for their variety, as great abundance; and curiosities of any kind are not numerous: amongst these we may reckon, a pond or lake of fresh water, at the top of one of the highest mountains, to go to, and return from which, takes three or four days; it is remarkable for its depth, and has eels of an enormous size in it, which are sometimes caught by the natives, who go upon the water in little floats of two or three wild plantain trees, fastened together. This is esteemed one of the greatest natural curiosities of the country, insomuch that travellers, who come from the other islands, are commonly asked, amongst the first things, by their friends, at their return, if they have seen it. There is also a sort of water, of which there is only one small pond upon the island, as far distant as the lake, and to appearance very good, with a yellow sediment at the bottom; but it has a bad taste, and proves fatal to those who drink any quantity; or makes them break out in blotches, if they bathe in it." – Captain


      NOTES TO CANTO II. 239

Cook's last Voyage round the World, vol. ii. pages 144, 145, 146.

NOTE 10. PAGE 67.

Or softly trill'd the plaintive measure,
Or wak'd the song to notes of pleasure.

      "Such a disposition leads them" (the people of Otaheite) "to direct all their aims only to what can give them pleasure and ease: their amusements all tend to excite and continue their amorous passions; and their songs, of which they are immoderately fond, answer the same purpose; but we found, that they frequently varied them to more refined subjects, and had much pleasure in chanting their triumphs in war, and their occupations in peace; their travels to other islands, and their adventures there; and the peculiar beauties and advantages of their own island over the rest, or of different parts of it over other less favorite


240NOTES TO CANTO II.       

districts. This marks, that they receive great delight from music, and though they rather expressed a dislike to our complicated compositions, yet were they always delighted with the more melodious sounds produced singly on our instruments, as approaching nearer to the simplicity of their own." – Ibid. page 149.

NOTE 11. PAGE 68.

            Their blooming train
Of cherub children trod the plain.

      "I was much delighted, in this walk, with the number of children that I saw in every part of the country: they are very handsome and sprightly, and full of antic tricks. They have many diversions that are common with the boys in England; such as flying kites, cats cradle, swinging, dancing, or jumping in a rope, Walking upon stilts, and wrestling." – Bligh's Voyage to the South Seas, page 107.


      NOTES TO CANTO II. 241


NOTE l2. PAGE 74.

"States to their superstition Wide
"Th' Arreoy's will destroy my child!
"With its first breath will seize their prize,
"Unfather'd, unreveng'd it dies!"

      "All that I could make out of this strange ceremony was, that the Arreoys are highly respected, and that the society is chiefly composed of men distinguished by their valor, or some other merit, and that great trust and confidence is reposed in them; I learnt from Tinah, in talking about his children, that his first-born child was killed as soon as it came into the world, he being then an Arreoy; but before his second child was born, he quitted the society. Such of the natives as I conversed with about the institution of so extraordinary a society as the Arreoy,


242NOTES TO CANTO II.       

asserted that it was necessary, to prevent an over population.

      Worrow, worrow, no te my didde, worrow, worrow, te tata: we have too many children, and too many men, was their constant excuse; yet it does not appear, that they are apprehensive of too great an increase of the lower class of people, none of them being ever admitted into the Arreoy society. The most remarkable instance related to me of the barbarity of this institution, was of Teppahoo, the Earie of the district of Tettaha, and bis wife Tetteehowdeeah, who is sister to Otow, and considered as a perron of the first consequence; I was told that they have had eight children, every one of which was destroyed as soon as born. That any human beings were ever so devoid of natural affection, as not to wish to preserve alive one of so many children, is incredible; it is more reasonable to conclude, that the death of these infants was not an act of choice in the


      NOTES TO CANTO II. 243

parents, but that they were sacrificed in compliance with some barbarous superstition, with which we are unacquainted; what strengthens this conjecture is, that they have adopted a nephew as their heir, of whom they are excessively fond.

      In countries ao limited as the islands in the South Seas, the natives of which, before they were discovered by European navigators, probably had not an idea of the existence of other lands, it is not unnatural, that an increasing population should occasion apprehensions of universal distress. Orders of celibacy, which have proved so prejudicial in other countries, might perhaps in this have been beneficial; so far, at least, as to have answered their purpose by means not criminal.

      The number of inhabitants at Otaheite have been estimated at above one hundred thousand; the island, however, is not cultivated to the greatest advantage; yet were they continually to improve in husbandry, their


244NOTES TO CANTO II.       

improvement could not, for a length of time, keep pace with an unlimited population.

      An ides here presents itself, which, however fanciful it may appear at first sight, seems to merit some attention: – while we see among these islands so great a waste of the human species, that numbers are born only to die; and at the same time so large a continent so near to them as New Holland, in which there is so great a waste of land uncultivated, and almost destitute of inhabitants; it naturally occurs, how greatly the two countries might be made to benefit each other; and gives occasion to regret that the islanders are not instructed in the means of emigrating to New Holland, which seems as if designed by nature to serve as an asylum for the superflux of inhabitants in the islands. Such a plan of emigration, if rendered practicable to them, might not only be the means abolishing the horrid custom of destroying children, as it would remove the plea of necessity, but might lead to other important


      NOTES TO CANTO II. 245

purposes. A great continent would be converted from a desert to a populous country; a number of our fellow-creatures would be saved; the inhabitants of the islands would become more civilized; and it is not improbable, but that our colonies in New Holland would derive so much benefit as to more than repay any trouble or expence, that might be incurred in endeavouring to promote so human a plan.

      The latter, however, is a remote consideration, for the intertropical parts of New Holland are those most suited to the habits and manner of living of the islanders; and likewise the soil and climate are best adapted to their modes of agriculture. Man, placed by his Creator in the warm climates, perhaps would never emigrate into the colder, unless under the tyrannous influence of necessity; and ages might elapse before the new inhabitants would spread to our settlers, though they are but barely within the limits of frost, that great cause of nine-tenths of the necessities of Europeans; never-


246NOTES TO CANTO II.       

theless, besides forwarding the purposes of humanity and general convenience, in bringing a people without land to a land without people, the benefit of a mutual intercourse with a neighbouring and friendly colony, would in itself be no inconsiderable advantage.

      Among people so free from ostentation as the Otaheiteans, and whose manners are so simple and natural, the strictness with which the punctilios of rank are observed is surprising. I know not if any action, however meritorious, can elevate a man above the class in which he was born, unless he were to acquire sufficient power to confer dignity on himself. If any woman of the inferior classes has a child by an Earie, it is not suffered to live. Perhaps the offspring of Teppahoo and Tetteehowdeeah were destined to satisfy some cruel adjustment of rank and precedency." – Ibid. pages 78, 79, 80, 81.


      NOTES TO CANTO II. 247


NOTE 13. PAGE 75.

Our hearts – ah me! what anguish rent,
When homeward first our way me bent!
There was no eye that did not spend
A warm tear for some Indian friend;
There was no bosom but had left
Some dark-ey'd girl of peace bereft.

      "I now made my last presents to several of my friends, with whom I had been most intimate, particularly Teppahoo. Several people expressed great desire to go with us to England. Oedidee, who was always very much attached to us, said, he considered it as his right, having formerly left his native place to sail with Captain Cook. Scarce any man belonging to the ship was without a tyo, who brought him presents, chiefly of provisions for a sea store. Friday the third of April


248NOTES TO CANTO II.       

Tinah, and his wife, with his parents, brothers and sister, dined with me to-day, and, as I meant to sail early the next morning, they all remained on board for the night. The ship was crowded the whole day with the natives, and we were loaded with cocoa-nuts, plantains, bread-fruit, hogs, and goats. In the evening there was no dancing or mirth on the beach, such as we had been accustomed to, but all was silent.

      At day-light, we unmoored; the stock of the best bower anchor was so much eaten by the worms, that it broke in stowing the anchor; the small bower had an iron stock; and in these voyages, it is very necessary that ships should be provided with iron anchor stocks. At half past six, there being no wind, we weighed, and with our boats, and two sweeps, towed the ship out of the harbour; soon after the sea-breeze came, and we stood off towards the sea.

      The outlet of Toahroah harbour being narrow, I


      NOTES TO CANTO II. 249

could permit only a few of the natives to be on board; many others, however, attended in canoes, till the breeze came, when I was obliged to leave them. We stood off and on, almost the remainder of the day. Tinah and Iddeah pressed me very strongly to anchor in Matavai bay, and stay one night longer; but as I had already taken leave of most of my friends, I thought it better to keep to my intention of sailing. After dinner, I ordered the presents, which I had reserved for Tinah and his wife, to be put in one of the ships' boats, and as I had promised him fire-arms, I gave him two muskets, a pair of pistols, and a good stock of ammunition; I then represented to them the necessity of their going away, that the boat might return to the ship before it was dark; on which they took a most affectionate leave of me, and went into the boat; one of their expressions at parting was "Yourah no t' Eatua tee eveerah!" "May the Eatua protect you for ever and ever!"


250NOTES TO CANTO II.       

All the time we remained at Otaheite, the picture of Captain Cook, at the desire of Tinah, was kept on board the ship; on delivering it to him, I wrote on the back the time of the ship's arrival and departure, with an account of the number of plants on board.

      Tinah had desired that I would salute him, at his departure, with the great guns, which I could not comply with, for fear of disturbing the plants; but, as a parting token of our regard, we manned ship with ail hands, and gave him three cheers. At sun-set the boat returned, and we made sail, bidding farewell to Otaheite, where, for twenty-three weeks, we had been treated with the utmost affection and regard, and which seemed to increase in proportion to our stay: that .we were not insensible to their kindness, the events which followed more than sufficiently prove; for to the friendly and endearing behaviour of these people, may be ascribed the motives for that event, which effected the ruin of


      NOTES TO CANTO II. 251

an expedition, that there was every reason to hope would have been completed in the most fortunate manner." – Captain Bligh's Voyage to the South Seas, pages 139, 140, 141.

NOTE 14. PAGE 76.

"Where oft for thee Avanna pull'd
"Ripe avees, or gay garlands cull'd."

      "Avees are the real Otaheite apple; they are a delicious high flavored fruit, and before they are ripe, answer the culinary purposes of our apples." – Ibid. page 83.

NOTE 15. PAGE 79.

Bligh! when upon the ocean's breast
The orb of day sunk down to rest,


252NOTES TO CANTO II.       

Beam'd not that mild refulgent ray
On one more blest, more proudly gay!
Lord of a vessel, whose white salle
Swell'd gently in the prosperous gales;
Lord of a band, of valor prov'd,
He reign'd, and thought he was belov'd!
His ruling star's auspicious light
Seem'd as that parting sunbeam bright.
O Bligh! how dfferent rose the morn,
To thee a hopeless wretch forlorn!
That ship no longer shall thou see,
That rebel crew abandon'd thee!

      I have endeavoured in my poem to adhere as closely as possible to Captain Bligh's own account of the mutiny on board the Bounty; but as a poetical narrative never is, nor ever can be, so clear as one in prose, and as I have been obliged to omit several minute and interesting circumstances, I subjoin the entire chapter


      NOTES TO CANTO II. 253

of Captain Bligh's work, which contains the history of this most unfortunate transaction.

      "We kept near the island Lotoo all the afternoon, in hopes that some canoes would come off to the ship; but in this I was disappointed. The wind being northerly in the evening, we steered to the westward, to pass to the south of Tofoa; I gave directions for this to be continued during the night: the master had the first watch; the gunner, the middle watch; and Mr. Christian, the morning watch: this was the turn of duty for the night.

      Tuesday, 28th. Just before sun-rising, while I was yet asleep, Mr. Christian, with the Master at Arma, Gunner's Mate, and Thomas Burkitt, seaman, came into my cabin, and seizing me, tied my hands with a cord behind my back, threatening me with instant death, if I spoke, or made the least noise; I, however, called as loud as I could, in hopes of assistance; but they had already secured the officers who were not of their party,


254NOTES TO CANTO II.       

by placing centinels at their doors; there were three men at my cabin-door, besides the four within; Christian had only a cutlass in his hand, the others had muskets and bayonets. I was hauled out of bed, and forced on deck in my shirt, suffering great pain from the tightness with which they had tied my hands; I demanded the reason of such violence, but received no other answer than abuse for not holding my tongue: the master, the gunner, the surgeon, Mr. Elphinstone, master's mate, and Nelson, were kept confined below; and the fore hatchway was guarded by centinels. The boatswain and carpenter, and also the clerk, Mr. Samuel, were allowed to come upon deck, where they saw me standing abaft the mizen-mast, with my hands tied behind my back, under a guard, with Christian at their head; the boatswain was ordered to hoist the launch out, with a threat, if he did not do it instantly, to take care of himself.

      "When the boat was out, Mr. Hayward and Mr. Hallet, two of the midshipmen, and Mr. Samuel, were


      NOTES TO CANTO II. 255

ordered into it. I demanded what their intention was in giving this order, and endeavoured to persuade the people near me not to persist in such acte of violence; but it was to no effect; 'Hold your tongue, Sir, or you are dead this instant,' was constantly repeated to me.

      "The master, by this time, had sent to request that he might come on deck, which was permitted; but he was soon ordered back to his cabin.

      "I continued my endeavours to turn the tide of affairs, when Christian changed the cutlass that he had in bis hand for a bayonet that was brought to him, and, holding me with a strong gripe by the cord that tied my hands, he, with many oaths, threatened to kill me immediately, if I would not be quiet; the villains round me had their pieces cocked, and bayonets fixed: particular people were called on to go into the boat, and were hurried over the side; whence I concluded that with these people I was to be set adrift; I therefore


256NOTES TO CANTO II.       

made another effort to bring about a change, but with no other effect than to be threatened with having my brains blown out.

      "The boatswain and seamen, who were to go in the boat, were allowed to collect twine, canvas, lines, sails, cordage, an eight-and-twenty gallon cask of water, and Mr. Samuel got 150lbs. of bread, with a small quantity of rum and wine, also a quadrant and compass; but he was forbidden, on pain of death, to touch either map, ephemeris, book of astronomical observations, sextant, time-keeper, or any of my surveys or drawings.

      "The mutineers having forced those of the seamen, whom they meant to get rid of, into the boat, Christian directed a dram to be served to each of his own crew: I then unhappily saw that nothing could be done to effect the recovery of the ship; there was no one to assist me, and every endeavour on my part was answered with threats of death.


      NOTES TO CANTO II. 257

      "The officers were next called upon deck, and forced over the side into the boat, while I was kept apart from every one, abaft the mizen-mast; Christian, armed with a bayonet, holding me by the bandage that secured my hands: the guard round me had their pieces cocked, but on my daring the ungrateful wretches to fire, they uncocked them.

      "Isaac Martin, one of the guard over me, I saw had an inclination to assist me, and as he fed me with shaddock, (my lips being quite parched) we explained our wishes to each other by our looks; but this being observed, Martin was removed from me; he then attempted to leave the ship, for which purpose he got into the boat; but with many threats they obliged him to return.

      "The armourer, Joseph Coleman, and two of the carpenters, M'Intosh and Norman, were also kept contrary to their inclination; and they begged of me,


258NOTES TO CANTO II.       

after I was astern in the boat, to remember that they declared they had no hand in the transaction; Michael Byrne, I am told, likewise wanted to leave the ship.

      "It is of no moment for me to recount my endeavours to bring back the offenders to a sense of their duty; all I could do, was by speaking to them in general; but it was to no purpose, for I was kept securely bound, and no one, except the guard, suffered to come near me.

      "To Mr. Samuel I am indebted for securing my journal and commission, with some material ship papers; without these I had nothing to certify what I had done, and my honor and character might have been suspected, without my possessing a proper document to have defended them; all this he did with great resolution, though guarded and strictly watched: he attempted to save the time-keeper, and a box with my surveys, drawings, and remarks for fifteen years past, which were numerous, when he was hurried away, with


      NOTES TO CANTO II. 259

'd–n your eyes, you are well off to get what you have.'

      "It appeared to me that Christian was some time in doubt whether he should keep the carpenter, or his mates; at length he determined on the latter, and the carpenter was ordered into the boat; he was permitted, but not without some opposition, to take his tool chest.

      "Much altercation took place among the mutinous crew during the whole business; some swore, 'I'll be d–d if he does not find his way home, if he gets any thing with him,' (meaning me); and when the carpenter's chest was carrying away, 'D–n my eyes, he will have a vessel built in a month;' while others laughed at the helpless situation of the boat, being very deep, and so little room for those who were in her. As for Christian, he seemed as if meditating destruction on himself and every one else.


260NOTES TO CANTO II.       

      "I asked for arms, but they laughed at me, and said I was well acquainted with the people among whom I was going, and therefore did not want them; four cutlasses, however, were thrown into the boat, after we were veered astern.

      "The officers and men being in the boat, they only waited for me, of which the master at arms informed Christian; who then said – 'Come, Captain Bligh, your officers and men are now in the boat, and you must go with them; if you attempt to make the least resistance, you will instantly be put to death;' and, without further ceremony, with a tribe of armed ruffians about me, I was forced over the side, where they untied my hands. Being in the boat, we were veered astem by a rope. A few pieces of pork were thrown to us, and some clothes, also the cutlasses I have mentioned; and it was then that the armourer and carpenters called out to me to remember that they had no hand in the transaction. After having undergone a great deal of


      NOTES TO CANTO II. 261

ridicule, and been kept some time to make sport for these unfeeling wretches, we were at length cast adrift in the open ocean.

      "I had with me in the boat the following persons:

        NAMES.         STATIONS.
John Fryer, Master.
Thomas Ledward, Acting Surgeon.
David Nelson, Botanist.
William Peckover, Gunner.
William Cole, Boatswain.
William Purcell, Carpenter.
William Elphinstone, Master's Mate.
Thomas Hayward, Midshipmen.
John Hallet,
John Norton, Quarter Masters.
Peter Linkletter,
Lawrence Lebogue, Sailmaker.
John Smith, Cooks.
Thomas Hall,
George Simpson, Quarter Master's Mate.
Robert Tinkler, a Boy.
Robert Lamb, Butcher.
Mr. Samuel, Clerk.


262NOTES TO CANTO II.       

      "There remained on board the Bounty-

        NAMES.        STATIONS.
Fletcher Christian, Master's Mate.
Peter Haywood, Midshipmen.
Edward Young,
George Stewart,
Charles Churchill, Master at Arms.
John Mills, Gunner's Mate.
James Morrison, Boatswain's Mate.
Thomas Burkitt, Able Seaman.
Matthew Quintal, Do.
John Sumner, Do.
John Milward, Do.
William M'Koy, Do.
Henry Hillbrant, Do.
Michael Byrne, Do.
William Musprat, Do.
Alexander Smith, Do.
John Williams, Do.
Thomas Ellison, Do.
Isaac Martin, Do.
Richard Skinner, Do.
Matthew Thompson, Do.


      NOTES TO CANTO II. 263

        NAMES.        STATIONS.
William Brown, Gardener.
Joseph Coleman, Armourer.
Charles Norman, Carpenter's Mate.
Thomas M'Intosh, Carpenter's Crew.

      "In all 25 hands, and the most able men of the ship's company.

      "Having little or no wind, we rowed pretty fast towards Tofoa, which bore N.E. about ten leagues from us. While the ship was in sight she steered to the W.N.W. but I considered this only as a feint; for when we were sent away, – 'Huzza for Otaheite!' was frequently heard among the mutineers.

      "Christian, the chief of the mutineers, is of a respectable family in the north of England. This was the third voyage he had made with me; and, as I found it necessary to keep my ship's company at three watches, I had given him an order to take charge of the third; his


264NOTES TO CANTO II.       

abilities being thoroughly equal to the task; and by this means the master and gunner were not at watch and watch.

      "Haywood is also of a respectable family in the north of England, and a young man of abilities, as well as Christian; these two had been the objecta of my particular regard and attention, and I had taken great pains to instruct them, having entertained hopes, that, as professional men, they would have become a credit to their country.

      "Young was well recommended, and had the look of an able stout seaman; he, however, fell short of what his appearance promised.

      "Stewart was a young man of creditable parents in the Orkneys; at which place, on the return of the Resolution from the South Seas, in 1780, we received so many civilities, that on that accouut only I should gladly have taken him with me; but, independent of this


      NOTES TO CANTO II. 265

recommendation, he was a seaman, and had always borne a good character.

      "Notwithstanding the roughness with which I was treated, the remembrance of past kindnesses produced some signs of remorse in Christian: when they were forcing me out of the ship, I asked him if this treatment was a proper return for the many instances he had received of my friendship? He appeared disturbed at my question, and answered with much emotion, 'That, – Captain Bligh, – that is the thing – I am in hell – I am in hell.'

      "As soon as I had time to reflect, I felt an inward satisfaction, which prevented any depression of my spirits: conscious of my integrity, and anxious solicitude for the good of the service in which I had been engaged, I found my mind wonderfully supported, and I began to conceive hopes, notwithstanding so heavy a calamity, that I should one day be able to account to


266NOTES TO CANTO II.       

my king and country for the misfortune. – A few hours before my situation had been peculiarly flattering; I had a ship in the most perfect order, and well stored with every necessary, both for service and health: by early attention to those particulars, I had, as much as lay in my power, provided against any accident, in case I could not get through Endeavour Straits, as well as against what might befall me in them; add to this, the plants had been successfully preserved in the most florishing state; so that, upon the whole, the voyage was two-thirds completed, and the remaining part, to all appearance, in a very promising way; every person on board being in perfect health, to establish which was ever amongst the principal objects of my attention.

      "It will very naturally be asked, what could be the reason for such a revoit? In answer to which I can only conjecture, that the mutineers had flattered themselves with the hopes of a more happy life among the Otaheiteans than they could possibly enjoy in England;


      NOTES TO CANTO II. 267

and this, joined to some female connexions, most probably occasioned the whole transaction.

      "The women at Otaheite are handsome, mild, and cheerful in their manners and conversation; possessed of great sensibility, and have sufficient delicacy to make them admired and beloved. The chiefs were so much attached to our people, that they rather encouraged their stay among them than otherwise, and even made them promises of large possessions: under these, and many other attendant circumstances, equally desirable, it is now perhaps not so much to be wondered at, though scarcely possible to have been foreseen, that a set of sailors, most of them void of connexions, should be led away; especially when, in addition to such powerful inducements, they imagined it in their power to fix themselves in the midst of plenty, on one of the finest islands in the world, where they need not labor, and where the allurements of dissipation are beyond any thing that can be conceived. The utmost, however, that any commander could have supposed to have


268NOTES TO CANTO II.       

      happened is, that some of the people would have been tempted to desert; but if it should be asserted, that a commander is to guard against an act of mutiny and piracy in his own ship, more than by the common rules of service, it is as much as to say, that he must sleep locked up, and when awake be girded with pistols.

      "Desertions have happened more or less from most of the ships that have been at the Society islands; but it has always been in the commander's power to make the chiefs return their people; the knowledge, therefore, that it was unsafe to desert, perhaps first led mine to consider with what ease so small a ship might be surprised, and that so favorable an opportunity would never offer to them again.

      "The secrecy of this mutiny is beyond ail conception: Thirteen of the party who were with me had always lived forward among the seamen; yet neither they, nor the messmates of Christian, Stewart, Haywood, and Young,


      NOTES TO CANTO II. 269

had ever observed any circumstance that made them in the least suspect what was going on: to such a close-planned act of villany, my mind being entirely free from any suspicion, it is not wonderful that I fell a sacrifice; – perhaps, if there had been marines on board, a centinel at my cabin-door might have prevented it; for I slept with the door always open, that the officer of the watch might have access to me on all occasions, the possibility of such a conspiracy being ever the farthest from my thoughts. Had their mutiny been occasioned by any grievances, either real or imaginary, I must have discovered symptoms of their discontent, which would have put me on my guard; but the case was far otherwise. Christian, in particular, I was on the most friendly terms with: that very day he was engaged to have dined with me; and the preceding night he excused himself from supping with me, on pretence of being unwell; for which I felt concerned, having no suspicions of his integrity and honor." – Bligh's Voyage to the South Seas, chap. xiii.


270NOTES TO CANTO II.       

NOTE 16. PAGE 81.

From that vast ocean's whelming wave,
Nought but a miracle can save.

      The wonderful preservation of Captain Bligh and his comparions has been already detailed. A recent and still more remarkable instance of divine mercy must occur to every mind, – I allude to the miraculous escape of Jeffery, the seaman, from the island of Sombrero: my readers will, perhaps, pardon the insertion of a short poem on that most interesting subject.

Robert Jeffery's Lament.

"Oh! ne'er from this desolate isle shah' I fly!
    "Ne'er cross the white foam of the eddying wave!
"Surrounded by ocean, surmounted by sky,
    "Must this rock be my pillow, this island my grave!


      NOTES TO CANTO II. 271

"Yes, surely, too surely, my prison, my tomb!
    "In vain every spot have my wounded feet sought,
"And famine and thirst soon will close my sad doom,
    "In pangs that bring madness in each rising thonght.

"0 dreadful the night when this island I saw,
    "When of all but this feverish being bereft,
"Forgetful of mercy, unmindful of law,
    "By the tyrant's commands on the rock I was left!

"0 dreadful the moment when last on my ear
    "The voire of my comrades died feint in the air!
"They dar'd not relieve me, but fain would they cheer,
    "And pitied my sorrows, and wept my despair.

"0 dreadful that morning of horror arose,
    "When I saw the brave vessel in gallant array,
"From poor Robert Jeffery, his wrongs and his woes,
    "Proudly borne on the billows, swift sailing away!


272NOTES TO CANTO II.       

"Yet, swift as ye sail, by those wrongs overtaken,
    "Even England's bled shores may no shelter afford,
"When conscience' still voice may grim terrors awaken,
    "More keen than the edge of the conqueror's sword.

"On sail'd the proud vessel; – unshelter'd I stood,
    "For shelter is none on this desolate spot;
"Brown grass clothes the rock, salt and brackish the flood,
    "Nor herbs, nor fresh water, prolong my sad lot;

"At noon, and at midnight, uncover'd I lie,
    "Unfed, save by eggs from the sea-fowl's rude nest;
"Oh! that I on their wings o'er the ocean could fly,
    "And, like them, reach at last a sweet haven of rest!

"Yet they, by whose plunder my pangs I allay,
    "Those sea-birds, whose eggs and whose young are my food,
"Soon shall death make my famishing body their prey,
    And my flesh feed their nestlings, their drink be my blood!


      NOTES TO CANTO II. 273

"Alas! all around. me distracted I look,
    "The white foaming billows alone meet my eye;
"Yet vainly I sigh for the sweet running brook,
    "And, circled by waters, of thirst I shall die!

"Slowly roll the sad hours, for in misery borne;
    "Yet too quickly they pass, for they bear me to death;
"Still weaker and weaker, my lost strength I mourn,
    "Heaves deeper and fainter, each laboring breath.

"But what is that speck, which I see on the ocean,
    "Like a flake of bright snow on the sun gilded wave?
"Tis a sail! – on the billows I see its swift motion!
    "Tis a sail! – it approaches! – approaches to save!

"Again shall I hear human voices around!
    "The form, and the features of man, shall I see!
"I care not in what foreign tongue be the sound,
    "Fellow man, fellow creature, is brother to me.


274NOTES TO CANTO II.       

"Again shall I see thee, my own native land!
    "Again feel the throb of my mother's fond heart!
"Still nearer the vessel approaches the strand! –
    "0 God of all mercy, shall I too depart?"

0 lightly the handkerchief waves in the gale!
    O loudly his abouts echo round the steep shore!
But in vain waves the white flag, it stops not the sail; –
    His hoarse voice is lost in the ocean's wild roar.

"She passes, she passes!" his last hope is gone,
    The death-pang approaches, and fails bis dim eye;
He sinks, – what despair in that agoniz'd groan!
    What misery breathes in that last feeble cry!

0 Lake! when thy feast with rich viands is crown'd,
    When music and beauty combine to delight;
Say, will not thy fancy re-echo the sound
    Of that sad plaintive wail on Sombrero's lone height?


      NOTES TO CANTO II. 275

Instead of the board heap'd with generous cheer,
    The desolate island alone shalt thou scan;
Whilst woman's sweet strains, to thy conscience-struck ear,
    Seem the agoniz'd groans of that famishing man.

Yet pass'd not the vessel, nor perish'd he there;
    For Mercy, the seraph, was hovering nigh;
And the war-flag of England, her pride and her care,
    Still unsullied by murder, shall wave to the sky.

She guided the bark to the rude desert strand;
    She taught to preserve what neglect might have marr'd;
Recover'd, she bore him to Liberty's land;
    She succour'd; she cherish'd; and she shall reward!


276NOTES TO CANTO II.       

NOTE 17. PAGE 85.

But now the plantain tree no more,
Symbol of peace, the Earie bore.

      A young plantain tree, or a small branch from a larger tree, borne in the hand, is the universal token of peace and friendship in Otaheite.

NOTE 18. PAGE 85.

Huaheine's warriors menac'd there
With massy club, and trenchant spear.

      "Their weapons are slings, which they use with great dexterity; pikes, headed with the stings of sting-rays, and clubs of abbut six or seven feet long, made of a very hard heavy wood: thus armed, they are said to fight with great obstinacy, which is the more likely to be true,


      NOTES TO CANTO II. 277

as it is certain that they give no quarter to either man, woman, or child, who is so unfortunate as to fall into their hands during the battle, or for some hours afterwards, till their passion, which is always violent, though not lasting, has subsided." – Hawkesworth's Collection, vol. ii. page 244.

NOTE 19. PAGE 86:

Now on their prophet's ravings wild
The people hung; the Briton smil'd.

      "In the morning of the twenty-third, while the ships were unmooring, Omai and I landed to take leave of the young chief. While we were with him, one of those enthusiastic persons, whom they call Eatooas, from a persuasion that they are possessed with the spirit of, the divinity, came, and stood before us; he had all the appearance of a man not in his right senses; and his only dress was a large quantity of plantain leaves


278NOTES TO CANTO II.       

wrapped round his waist; he spoke in a low squeaking voice, so as hardly to be understood, at least not by me; but Omai said, that he comprehended him perfectly, and that he was advising Waheiadooa not to go with me to Matavai; an expedition which I had never heard he intended, nor had I ever made such a proposai to him. The Eatooa also foretold, that the ships would not get to Matavai that day; but in this he was mistaken, though appearances now favored his prediction, there not being a breath of wind in any direction. While he was prophesying, there fell a very heavy shower of rain, which made every one run for shelter, but himself, who seemed not to regard it; he remained squeaking by us about half an hour, and then retired. No one paid any attention to what he uttered; though some laughed at him. I asked the chief what he was, whetter an Earie, or a Toutou; and the answer I received was, that he was taata eno; that is, e 'a bad man;' and yet, notwithstanding this, and the little notice any of the natives seemed to take of the mad prephet, superstition has so


      NOTES TO CANTO II. 279

far got the better of their reason, that they firmly believe such persons to be possessed with the spirit of the Eatooa. Omai seemed to be very well instructed about them; he said, that during the fits that come upon them, they know nobody, not even their most intimate acquaintances; and that, if any one of them happens to be a man of property, he will very often give away every moveable he is possessed of, if his friends do not put them out of his reach; and, when he recovers, will inquire what had become of those very things, which he had just before distributed, not seeming to have the least remembrance of what he had done while the fit was upon him." – Captain Cook's last Voyage round the World, vol. ii. pages 18, 19, 20.

NOTE 20. PAGE 86.

But smil'd he, that brave Briton, when
He saw the forms of murder'd men?


280NOTES TO CANTO II.       

Hair from each bleeding victim torn!
Eyes front their lifeless sockets borne!
Scenes on which nature may not dwell!
Outrage which memory weeps to tell!

      "Towha, who is a relation of Otoo, and chief of the district of Tettaha, happened not to be at Matavai at this time; and, consequently, was not present at any of these consultations; it, however, appeared that he was no stranger to what was transacted, and that he entered with more spirit into the affair than any other chief; for, early in the morning of the first of September, a messenger arrived from him to acquaint Otoo, that he had killed a man to be offered to the Eatooa, to implore the assistance of the god against Eimeo; this act of worship was to be performed at the great Morai at Atta hooroo; and Otoo's presence, it seems, was absolutely necessary on that solemn occasion.

      "During mg last visit to Otaheite, and while I had


      NOTES TO CANTO II. 281

opportunities of conversing with Omai on the subject, I had satisfied myself that there was too much reason to admit, that such a practice, however inconsistent with the general humanity of the people, was here adopted; but as this was one of those extraordinary facts, about which many are apt to retain doubts, unless the relater has himself had occular proof to confirm what he heard from others, I thought this a good opportunity of obtaining the highest evidence of its certainty, by being present myself at the solemnity; and accordingly proposed to Otoo, that I might be allowed to accompany him: to this he readily consented; and we immediately set out in my boat, with my old friend Potatou, Mr, Anderson, and Mr. Webber; Omai following in a canoe.

      "As soon as we landed at Attahooroo, which was about two o'clock in the afternoon, Otoo expressed his desire, that the seamen might be ordered to remain in the boat; and that Mr. Anderson, Mr. Webber, and


282NOTES TO CANTO II.       

myself, might take off our hats, as soon as we should come to the Morai, to which we immediately proceeded, attended by a great many men, and some boys; but not one woman. We found four priests and their attendants, or assistants, waiting for us. The dead body, or sacrifice, was in a small canoe that lay on the beach, and partly in the wash of the sea, fronting the Morai. Our company stopped about twenty or thirty paces from the priests; here Otoo placed himself, we, and a few others, standing by him, while the bulk of the people remained at a greater distance.

      "The ceremonies now began: one of the priests' attendants brought a young plantain tree, and laid it down before Otoo; another approached with a small tuft of red feathers, twisted on some fibres of the cocoa-nut husk, with which he touched one of the king's feet, and then retired with it to his comparions. One of the priests, seated at the Morai, facing those who were upon the beach, now began a long prayer, and at certain


      NOTES TO CANTO II. 283

times, sent dowa young plantain trees, which were laid upon the sacrifice: during this prayer, a man, who stood by the officiating priest, held in his hands two bundles, seemingly of cloth; in one of them, as we afterwards found, was the royal maro; and the other, if I may be allowed the expression, was the ark of the Eatooa. As soon as the prayer was ended, the priests at the Morai, with their attendants, went and sat down by thoee upon the beach, carrying with them the two bundles: here they renewed their prayers; during which the plantain trees were taken, one by one, at different times, from off the sacrifice; which was partly wrapped up in cocoa leaves and small branches. It was now taken out of the canoe, and laid upon the beach, with the feet to the sea. The priests placed themselves around it, some sitting, and others standing; and one or more of them repeated sentences for about ten minutes. The dead body was now uncovered, by removing the leaves and branches, and laid in a parallel direction with the sea-shore: one of the priests then standing at the feet of it, pronounced


284NOTES TO CANTO II.       

a long prayer, in which he was, at times, joined by the others; each holding in his hand a tuft of red feathers. In the course of this prayer, some hair mas pulled off the head of the sacrifice, and the left eye was taken out; both which were presented to Otoo, wrapped up in a green leaf; he did not however touch it, but gave, to the man who presented it, the tuft of feathers, which he had received from Towha; this, with the hair and the eye, were carried back to the priests; soon after, Otoo sent to them another piece of feathers, which he had given me in the morning to keep in my pocket. During some part of this last ceremony, a kingfisher making a noise in the trees, Otoo turned to me, saying, "That is the Eatooa;" and seemed to look upon it to be a good omen.

      "The body was then carried a little way, with its head toward the Morai, and laid under a tree, near which were fixed three broad thin pieces of wood, differently, but rudely carved; the bundles of cloth were laid on a


      NOTES TO CANTO II. 285

part of the Morai; and the tufts of red feathers were placed at the feet of the sacrifice, round which the priests took their stations; and we were now allowed to go as near as we pleased. He who seemed to be the chief priest sat at a small distance, and spoke for a quarter of an hour, but with different tones and gestures; so that he seemed often to expostulate with the dead person, to whom he constantly addressed himself; and sometimes asked several questions, seemingly with respect to the propriety of his having been killed: at other times he made several demands, as if the deceased either now had power himself, or interest with the divinity, to engage him to comply with such requests; amongst which, we understood, he asked him to deliver Eimeo, Maheine its chief, the hogs, women, and other things of the island, into their hands; which was, indeed, the express intention of the sacrifice. He then chanted a prayer, which lasted near half an hour, in a whining, melancholy tone, accompanied by two other priests; and in which Potatou, and some others, joined. In


286NOTES TO CANTO II.       

the course of this prayer, some more hair was plucked by a priest from the head of the corpse, and put upon one of the bundles; after this, the chief priest prayed alone, holding in bis hand the feathers which came from Towha. When he had finished, he gave them to another, who prayed in like manner. Then all the tufts of feathers were laid upon the bundles of cloth; which closed the ceremony at this place.

      "The corpse was then carried up to the most conspicuous part of the Morai, with the feathers, the two bundles of cloth, and the drums; the last of which beat slowly; the feathers and bundles were laid against the pile of atones, and the corpse at the foot of them. The priests having again seated themselves round it, renewed their prayers; while some of their attendants dug a hole about two feet deep, into which they threw the unhappy vicfim, and covered it over with earth and stones. While they were putting him into the grave, a boy squeaked aloud, and Omai said to me, that it was the Eatooa.


      NOTES TO CANTO II. 287

During this time, a fire having been made, the dog, before mentioned, was produced, and killed, by twisting his neck, and suffocating him; the hair was singed off, and the entrails taken out, and thrown into the fire, where they were left to consume; but the heart, liver; and kidneys, were roasted, by being laid on hot stones for a few minutes; and the body of the dog, after being besmeared with the blood, which had been collected in a cocoa-nut shell, and dried over the fire, was, with the liver, &c. carried, and laid down before the priests, who sat praying round the grave. They continued their ejaculations over the dog, for some time, while two men, at intervals, beat on two drums very loud; and a boy screamed, as before, in a loud, shrill voice, three different times. This, as we were told, was to invite the Eatooa to feast on the banquet that they had prepared for him. As soon as the priests had ended their prayers, the carcase of the dog, with what belonged to it, were laid on a whatta, or scaffold, about six feet high, that stood close by, on which lay the remains of two other


288NOTES TO CANTO II.       

dogs, and of two pigs, that had been lately sacrificed, and at this time, emitted an intolerable stench. This kept us at a greater distance than would otherwise have been required of us; for, after the victim was removed from the sea-side toward the Morai, we were allowed to approach as near as we pleased; – indeed, after that, neither seriousness nor attention were much observed by the spectators. When the dog was put upon the whatta, the priests and attendants gave a kind of shout, which closed the ceremonies for the present. The day being now also closed, we were conducted to a house belonging to Potatou, where we were entertained and lodged for the night. We had been told, that the religions rites were to be renewed in the morning; and I would not leave the place while any thing remained to be seen.

      "Being unwilling to lose any part of the solemnity, some of us repaired to the scene of action pretty early, but found nothing going forward; however, soon after,


      NOTES TO CANTO II. 289

a pig was sacrificed, and laid upon the same whatta with the others. About eight o'clock, Otoo took us again to the Morai, where the priests, and a great number of men, were, by this time, assembled. The two bundles occupied the place in which we had seen them deposited the preceding evening; the two drums stood in front of the Morai, but somewhat nearer to it than before; and the priests were beyond them: Otoo placed himself between the two drums, and desired me to stand by him.

      "The ceremony began as usual, with bringing a young plantain tree, and laying it down at the king's feet. After this, a prayer was repeated by the priests, who held in their hands several tufts of red feathers, and also a plume of ostrich feathers, which I had given to Otoo on my first arrival, and had been consecrated to to this use. When the priests had made an end of the prayer, they changed their station, placing themselves between us and the Morai; and one of them, the same perron who had acted the principal part the day before, began ano-


290NOTES TO CANTO II.       

ther prayer, which lasted about half an hour: during the continuance of this, the tufts of feathers were, one by one, carried, and laid upon the ark of the Eatooa.

      "Some little time after, four pige were produced; one of them was immediately killed; and the others were taken to a sty, hard by, probably reserved for some future occasion of sacrifice. One of the bundles was now untied; and it was found, as I before observed, to contain the Maro, with which these people invest their kings; and which seems to answer, in some degree, to the European ensigns of royalty: it was carefully taken out of the cloth, in which it had been wrapped up, and spread at full length, upon the ground, before the priests: it is a girdle, about five yards long, and fifteen inches broad; and, from its name, seems to be put on in the same manner as is the common Maro, or piece of cloth, used by these people to wrap round the waist: it was ornamented with red and yellow feathers, but mostly with the latter, taken from a dove found upon the island;


      NOTES TO CANTO II. 291

the one end was bordered with eight pieces, each about the size of a horse-shoe, having their edges fringed with black feathers; the other end was forked, and the points were of different lengths. The feathers were in square compartments, ranged in two rows, and otherwise so disposed as to produce a pleasing effect: they had been first pasted, or fixed, upon some of their own country cloth; and then sewed to the upper end of the pendant which Captain Wallis had displayed, and left flying ashore, the first time that he landed at Matavai. This was what they told us; and we had no reason to doubt it, as we could easily trace the remains of an English pendant. About six or eight inches square of the Maro was unornamented; there being no feathers upon that space, except a few that had been sent by Waheiadooa, as already mentioned. The priests made a long prayer relative to this part of the ceremony; and, if I mistake not, called it the prayer of the Maro: when it was finished, the badge of royalty was carefully folded up, put into the cloth, and deposited again upon the


292NOTES TO CANTO II.       

Morai. The other bundle, which I have distinguished by the name of the ark, was next opened at ene end; but we were not allowed to go near though to examine its mysterions contents. The information we received was, that the Eatooa, to whom they had been sacrificing, and whose name is Ooro, was concealed in it; or rather, what is supposed to represent him. This sacred repository is made of the twisted fibres of the husk of the cocoa-nut, shaped somewhat like a large fig, or sugar-loaf; that is, roundish, with one end much thicker than the other. We had very often got small ones from different people, but never knew their use before.

      "By this time the pig had been killed, was cleaned, and the entrails taken out: these happened to have a considerable share of those convulsive motions, which often appear, in different parts, after an animal is killed; and this was considered by the spectators as a very favorable omen to the expedition, on account of which, the


      NOTES TO CANTO II. 293

sacrifice had been offered. After being exposed for some time, that those who chose might examine their appearances, the entrails were carried to the priests, and laid down before them. While one of their number prayed, another inspected the entrails more narrowly, and kept turning them gently with a stick: when they had been sufficiently examined, they were thrown into the fire, and left to consume. The sacrificed pig, and its liver, &c. were now put upon the whatta, where the dog had been deposited the day before; and then all the feathers, except the ostrich plume, were enclosed with the Eatooa in the ark, and the solemnity finally closed.

      "Four double canoes lay upon the beach, before the place of sacrifice, all the morning: on the forepart of each of these was fixed a small platform, covered with palm leaves, tied in mysterious knots; and this also is called a Morai. Some cocos-nuts, plantains, pieces of bread fruit, fish, and other things, lay upon each of these naval Morais. We were told, that they belonged


294NOTES TO CANTO II.       

to the Eatooa, and that they were to attend the fleet designed to go against Eimeo.

      "The unhappy victim, offered to the object of their worship upon this occasion, seemed to be a middle-aged man; and we were told was a toutou, that is, one of the lowest class of the people; but after all my inquiries, I could not learn that he had been pitched upon on account of any particular crime committed by him meriting death; it is certain, however, that they generally make choice of such guilty persons for their sacrifices; or else of common low fellows, who stroll about from place to place, and from island to island, without having any fixed abode, or any visible way of getting an honest livelihood; of which description of men, enough are to be met with at these islands. Having had an opportunity of examining the appearance of the body of the poor sufferer, now offered up, I could observe, that it was bloody about the head and face, and a good deal bruised upon the right temple, which marked the


      NOTES TO CANTO II. 295

manner of his being killed; and we were told that he had been privately knocked on the head with a stone.

      "Those who are devoted to suffer, in order to perform this bloody act of worship, are never apprized of their fate till the blow is given that puts an end to their existence. Whenever any one of the great chiefs thinks a human sacrifice necessary, on any particular emergency, he pitches upon the victim; some of his trusty servants are then sent, who fall upon him suddenly, and put him to death with a club, or by stoning him. The King is next acquainted with it, whose presence at the solemn rites that follow, is, as I was told, absolutely necessary; and indeed, on the present occasion, we could observe that Otoo bore a principal part. The solemnity itself is called Poore Eree, or Chiefs Prayer; and the victim who is offered up, Taatataboo, or consecrated man. This is the only instance where we have heard the word taboo used at this island, where it seems to have the same mysterious signification as at Tonga; though it is there applied to


296NOTES TO CANTO II.       

ail cases where things are not to be touched; but at Otaheite, the word taa serves the same purpose, and is full as extensive in its meaning. "The Morai (which is undoubtedly a place of worship, sacrifice, and burial, at the same time), where the sacrifice was now offered, is that where the supreme chief of the whole island is always buried, and is appropriated to his family, and some of the principal people: it differs little from the common ones, except in extent: its principal part is a large, oblong pile of atones, lying loosely upon each other, about twelve or fourteen feet high, contracted towards the top, with square ares, on each aide, loosely paved with pebble stones, under which the bones of the chiefs are buried. At a little distance from the end nearest the sea is the place where the sacrifices are offered; which, for a considerable extent, is also loosely paved. There is here a very large scaffold, or whatta, on which the offerings of fruits and other vegetables are laid; but the animais are deposited on a smaller one,


      NOTES TO CANTO II. 297

already mentioned, and the human sacrifices are buried under different parts of the pavement. There are several other reliques, which ignorant superstition had scattered about this place, such as small stones, raised in different parts of the pavement; some with bits of cloth tied round them; others covered with it; and upon the side of the large pile that fronts the area, are placed a great many pieces of carved wood, which are supposed to be sometimes the residence of their divinitiee, and consequently held sacred. But one place, more particular than the rest, is a heap of stones, at one end of the large whatta, before which the sacrifice was offered, with a kind of platform on one side; on this are laid the sculls of ail the human sacrifices, which are taken up after they have been several monthe under ground. Just above them are placed a great number of the pieces of wood; and it was also here, where the Maro, and the other bundle, supposed to contain the god Ooro (and which I call the ark), were laid during the cere-


298NOTES TO CANTO II.       

mony; a circumstance which denotes its agreement with the altar of other nations.

      "It is much to be regretted, that a practice so horrid in its own nature, and so destructive of that inviolable right of self-preservation, which every one is born with, should be found still existing; and (such is the power of superstition to counteract the first principles of humanity) existing amongst a people, in many other respects, emerged from the brutal manners of savage life: what is still worse, it is probable that these bloody rites of worship are prevalent throughout all the wide extended islands of the Pacific Ocean. The similarity of customs and language, which our late voyages have enabled us to trace, between the most distant of these islands, makes it not unlikely, that some of the more important articles of their religious institutions should agree; and indeed we had the most authentic information, that human sacrifices continue to be offered at Friendly Islands.


      NOTES TO CANTO II. 299

"When I described the Natche at Tongataboo, I mentioned that, on the approaching sequel of that festival, we had been told that ten men were to be sacrificed: this may give us an ides of the extent of this religious massacre in that island; and though we should suppose, that never more than one person is sacrificed on any single occasion at Otaheite, it is more than probable that these occasions happen so frequently as to make a shocking waste of the human race; for I counted no less than forty-nine skulls lying before the Morai, where we saw one more added to the number; and as none of those sculls had as yet suffered any considerable change from the weather, it may hence be inferred, that no great length of time had elapsed since, at least, this considerable number of unhappy wretches had been offered upon this alter of blood." – Captain Cooke's last Voyage round the World, vol. 2. pages 37 to 42 inclusive.


300NOTES TO CANTO II.       

NOTE 22. PAGE 91.

The banquet past, for manly sport
To the smooth plain the youths resort.

      "Shooting with the bow is not at a mark, but for distance; throwing the lance is not for distance, but at a mark; the weapon is about nine feet long, the mark is the bowl of a plantain, and the distance about twenty yards." – Hawkesworth's Col. vol. ii. page 204.


      

NOTES

TO

Canto tbe Third.


      

Notes to Canto tbe Third.


NOTE 1. PAGE 101.

For as those strains unknown and clear
Fell softly on her waking ear,
Her sense in sweet delirium whirl'd
Deem'd it the sound of higher world.

      They have, it is true, a kind of rude flute in Otaheite; but from the early death of all the Otaheitean men at Pitcairn's island, and the more important avocations which engaged the attention of the father of the colony, it is highly probable, at least it is sufficiently so to answer my purpose – that my heroine had never before heard the almost magical sounds of this delightful instrument.


304NOTES TO CANTO III.       

NOTE 2. PAGE 111.

High swell'd the cavern's vaulted dome,
Stupendous, like some giants home.

      I have the authority of the gentleman, who favored me with most of the particulars relative to Pitcairn's island, for stating, that there is a cavern, under a hill, to which Smith (the Fitzallan of my poem) had once retired, at the approach of some English vessels, as a place of concealment and security: the ships passed on; but the cave was still held sacred by the islanders, as a means of future protection for their revered benefactor. Never may that protection be required! Never may an English vessel bring other tidings than those of peace and pardon to one wbo has so fully expiated his only crime! Sufficient blood has been already shed to satisfy the demands of justice; and Mercy may now, raise


      NOTES TO CANTO III. 305

her voice at the foot of that throne where she never pleads in vain. – On being asked by Captain Folger, if he wished his existence to remain a secret, Smith immediately answered, "No!" and, pointing, to the young and blooming band by whom he was surrounded, continued, "Do you think any man could seek my life with such a picture as this before his eyes?"

      The description of the cave will not, I believe, be considered as unnatural by any one who has seen the wonders of the peak, or the sublime beauties of the isle of Staffa.

NOTE 3. PAGE 112.

How oft the mournful joy has rung,
By travellers told, by poets sung,
The mournful joy to wander, where
Palmyra moulders in the air.

      The ruins of Palmyra, otherwise Tadmor in the desert, are well known; as is also the splendid work of


306NOTES TO CANTO III.       

Messrs. Wood and Dawkine, the first travellers who undertook so fatiguing and perilous a journey for the sake of viewing and describing this magnificent monument of days that are past. – Mr. Heber, in a note to his beautiful poem on "Palestine," refers the building of this once florishing city to King Solomon.

NOTE 4. PAGE 113.

Eternal Nature! when to man
Unveil'd appears thy mighty plan;
Imperishable, high design,
A sweeter, holier voice is thine!
A voice which leads where saints have trod,
"Thro' Nature up to Nature's God."

      "Proceeding still farther along the same side of the island, (Staffa) we had a view of Fingal's cave, one of the most magnificent sights the eye ever beheld: it appears like the inside of a cathedral of immense size,


      NOTES TO CANTO III. 307

but superior to any work of art in grandeur and sublimity, and equal to any in regularity.

      Regularity is the only part in which art pretends to excel nature; but here nature has shown, that when she pleases, she can set man at nought, even in this respect, and make him sensible of his own littleness. Her works are in general distinguished by a grand sublimity, in which she disdains the similar position of parts, called by mankind regularity, but which, in fact, may be another name for narrowness of conception, and poverty of ides; but here, in a playful mood, she has produced a regular piece of workmanship, and on a acale so immense, as to make all the temples built by the hand of man, hide their diminished heads." – Garnett's Tour through the Highlands of Scotland, vol. i. pages 219, 220.


308NOTES TO CANTO III.       

NOTE 5. PAGE 115.

How diferent were the feelings then
Of our new friends, and England's men!

      "Besides the cluster of high islands from Mataia to Mourooa inclusive, the people of Otaheite are acquainted with a low uninhabited island, which they name Mopeeha, and seems to be Howe's island, laid down to the westward of Mourooa in our late charts of this ocean; to this the inhabitants of the Leeward islands sometimes go. There are also several low islands to the north eastward of Otaheite, which they have sometimes visited, but not constantly; and are said to be only at the distance of two days' sail with a fair wind. These low isles are, doubtless, the farthest navigation, which those of Otaheite and the Society islands perform at present. It seems to be a groundless supposition, made by Mons. de Bougainville, that they made voyages


      NOTES TO CANTO III. 309

of the prodigious extent1 he mentions; for I found, that it is reckoned a sort of a prodigy, that a canoe, once driven by a storm from Otaheite, should have fallen in with Mopeeha, or Howe's Island, though so near and directly to leeward. The knowledge they have of other distant islands is no doubt traditional; and has been communicated to them by the natives of those islands, driven accidentally on their coasts, who, besides giving them the names, could easily inform them of the direction in which the places lie from whence they came, and of the number of days they had been upon the sea: in this manner it may be supposed, that the natives of Wateeoo have increased their catalogue by the addition of Otaheite and its neighbouring isles, from the people we met with there, and also of the other islands these had heard of: we may thus account for that extensive knowledge attributed by the gentlemen of the Endeavor


     1 See Bougainville's Voyage autour du Monde, p. 258. where we are told, that these people sometimes navigate at the distance of more than three hundred leagues.


310NOTES TO CANTO III.       

to Tupia in such matters; and with all due deference to his veracity, I presume that it was by the same means of information, that he was able to direct the ship to Oheteroa, without ever having been there himself, as he pretended; which, on many accounts, is very improbable." – Cook's last Voyage round the World, vol. ii. page 176.

NOTE 6. PAGE 115.

We mark'd the fair isle's verdant hue,
The lonely incarnation knew,
And joyful to the harbour, drew.

      I have followed the document inserted in the Quarterly Review1 in identifying Pitcairn's Island with La Encarnacion of Quiros; yet it appears extremely doubtful whether they really refer to the same island.


      1 See Note 8 to this Canto.


      NOTES TO CANTO III. 311

Dalrymple, in his Historical Collection of Voyages in the South Pacific Ocean, speaks in the following terms of the discovery made by the Spanish voyager.

      "La Encarnacion, or the First Island, Torquemada mentions to be in 25 S." – Dalrymple's Coll. Inquiry into the Formation of the Chart, page 5.

      This evidently alludes to the ensuing passage in the translation, or rather abstract, of Quiros's Voyage in the same work; as, though the island is not named, it is expressly said to be the first that he had discovered.

      Quiros having employed some months in building two ships and a zabra, which were the strongest and best armed of any that had been seen in either sea; on the 21st of December, 1605, he embarked.

      "Then leaving the land, they set their top-sails and sprit-sail, sailing by the gulph of our Lady of Loretto,


312NOTES TO CANTO III.       

on their voyage W.S.W. till the 25th of December, when they made illuminations in the night, and fired guns in the day, in honor of the festival.

      "Thus they continued sailing, though sometimes with variable winds, till the 26th of January, 1606, when about three P.M. they discovered an island to the S.W. It was small, about four leagues in circuit, all flat, and level with the water; with few trees, for the greater part was sand: it has deep water, so thst when very near, they could get no ground. As it was to all appearance uninhabitable, and without a port, they pursued their voyage to the westward, making to this place from the coast of Peru, just 1000 leagues, and in 25 deg. S." – Dalrymple's Coll. – Quiros's Voyage, page 107.

      Nothing can be more unlike than this account of Quiros's discovery, and the description which Captain Corderet gives of Pitcairn's Island; he represents it as having the appearance of a great rock, "rising out of


      NOTES TO CANTO III. 313

the sea so high that it was seen at the distance of more than fifteen leagues;" – whilst La Encarnacion is described as "flat and level with the water."

NOTE 7. PAGE 125.

No longer from the mountain height,
Peers the wild goat in rude affright.

      Among the articles which they brought off to the ship, and offered for sale, were capsicoms, pumkins, and two young goats." – Captain Bligh's Voyage to the South Seas, page 64.

NOTE 8. PAGE 132.

The feeble cry, the writhing limb,
Soon sunk in death, mute, stiff and grim!

      The following extract from the Quarterly Review, is the one to which I alluded in my advertisement, and will


314NOTES TO CANTO III.       

be found to contain most of the events related in Fitzallan's narrative.

      "The mention of this fact brings to our recollection a recent and extraordinary discovery, which affords an awful and instructive lesson, by showing how seldom criminals escape divine vengeance, however successful they may have been in flying from the punishment due to the offended laws of their country; it may also in its consequences be highly important to the natives of the numerous islands scattered over the Pacific Ocean.

      The following relation was transmitted officially to the Admiralty, from Rio de Janeiro, by Sir Sydney Smith.

      Captain Folger, of the American ship Topaz, of Boston, relates, that upon landing on Pitcairn's Island (Encarnacion of Quiros) in lat. 25 2' S. long. 130 O. W. he found there an Englishman of the name of Alexander Smith, the only person remaining of nine that escaped in his Majesty's late ship Bounty, Captain W. Bligh.


      NOTES TO CANTO III. 315

Smith relates, that after putting Captain Bligh in the boat, Christian, the leader of the mutiny, took the command of the ship, and went t Otaheite, where great part of the crew left her, except Christian, Smith, and seven others, who each took wives, and six Otaheitean men servants, and shortly after arrived at the said island, where they ran the ship on shore, and broke her up: this event took place in the year 1790.

      "About four years after their arrival (a great jealousy existing), the Otaheiteans secretly revolted, and killed every Englishman, except himself, whom they severely wounded in the neck with a pistol ball: the same night the widows of the deceased Englishmen arose, and put to death the whole of the Otaheiteans, leaving Smith the only man alive upon the island, with eight or nine women, and several small children. On his recovery, he applied himself to tilling the ground, so that it now produces plenty of yams, cocoa-nuts, bananas and plantains, hogs and poultry, in abundance. There was now


316NOTES TO CANTO III.       

some grown up men and women, children of the mutineers, on the island, the whole population amounting to about thirty-five, who acknowledge Smith as father and commander of them ail; they all speak English, and have been educated by him (Captain Folger represents) in a religious and moral way.

      "The second mate of the Topaz asserts, that Christian, the ringleader, became insane shortly after their arrival on the island, and threw himself off the rocks into the sea; another died of a fever, before the massacre of the remaining five took place.

      "The Island is badly supplied with water, sufficient only for the present inhabitants, and no anchorage.

      "Smith gave to Captain Folger a chronometer, made by Kendall, which was taken from him by the governor of Juan Fernandez!" – Extracted from the log-book,


      NOTES TO CANTO III. 317

29th September, 1808. ( Signed) William Fitzmaurice, Lieutenant.

      "If this interesting relation rested solely on the faith that is due to Americans, with whom, we say it with regret, truth is not always considered as a moral obligation, we should hesitate in giving it this publicity; the narrative, however, states two facts on which the credibility of the story must stand or fall; – the name of the mutineer, and the maker of the time-piece: we have taken the trouble to ascertain the truth of both these facts. Alexander Smith appears on the books of the Bounty as follows: "Entered 7th Sept. 1787. Ab. Born in London. Aged 20. Run 28th April, 1789. One of the mutineers;" and it appears also, that the Bounty was actually supplied with a time-piece made by Kendall." – 5th Number of the Quarterly Review (Feb. 1810,) pages 23 and 24.

      I have little to add to the foregoing account. The


318NOTES TO CANTO III.       


N.B.- Page missing from original text.



      NOTES TO CANTO III. 319

NOTE 9. PAGE 142.

Long time the widow'd fair ones wept;
Unburied long their lords they kept;
Remnant of Otaheitean rite,
They dwelt upon the dismal sight;
Long in this cave the pile of woe
They watch'd; – and now it rests below.

      "About this time died an old woman of some rank, who was related to Tomio, which gave us an opportunity to see how they disposed of the body, and confirmed us in our opinion, that these people, contrary to the present custom of all other nations now known, never bury their dead. In the middle of a small square, neatly railed in with bamboo, the awning of a canoe was placed upon two posts, and under this the body was deposited upon such a frame as has been before described; it was covered with fine cloth, and near it was placed


320NOTES TO CANTO III.       

bread-fruit, fish, and other provisions; we supposed that the food was placed there for the spirit of the deceased, and consequently, that these Indians had some confused notion of a separate state; but upon our applying for further information to Tubourai Tamaide, he told us, that the food was placed there as an offering to their gods; they do not, however, suppose, that the gods eat, any more than the Jews supposed that Jehovah could dwell in a house: the offering is made here upon the same principle as the temple was built at Jerusalem, as an expression of reverence and gratitude, and a solicitation of the more immediate presence of the Deity. In the front of the area was a kind of stile, where the relations of the deceased stood to pay the tribute of their sorrow, and under the awning were innumerable small pieces of cloth, on which the tears and blond of the mourners had been shed; for in their paroxysms of grief, it is an universal custom to wound themselves with a shark's tooth: within a few yards, two occasional houses were set up, in one of which


      NOTES TO CANTO III. 321

some relations of the deceased constantly resided, and in the other the chief mourner, who is always a man, and who keeps there a very singular dress, in which a ceremony is performed that will be described in its turn. Near the place where the dead are thus set up to rot the bones are afterwards buried."

      "On the tenth the ceremony was to be performed, in honor of the old woman whose sepulcral tabernacle has just been described, by the chief mourner; and Mr. Banks had so great a curiosity to see all the mysteries of the solemnity, that he determined to take a part in it, being told that he could be present on no other conditions. In the evening, therefore, he repaired to the place where the body lay, and was received by the daughter of the deceased, and several other persons, among whom was a boy about fourteen years, who was to assist in the ceremony. Tubourai Tatmaide was to be the principal mourner, and his dress was extremely fantastical, though not unbecoming. Mr. Banks was


322NOTES TO CANTO III.       

stripped of the European clothes, and a small piece of cloth being tied round his middle, his body was smeared with charcoal and water as low as the shoulders, till it was as black as that of a negro; the same operation was then performed upon several others, among whom were some women, who were reduced to a state as near nakedness as himself; the boy was blacked all over, and then the procession set forward. Tubourai Tamaide uttered something, which was supposed to be a prayer, near the body; and did the same when he came up to his own house: when this was done, the procession was continued towards the fort, permission having been obtained to approach it upon this occasion.

      It is the custom of the Indiana to fly from these processions with the utmost precipitation, so that as soon as those who were about the fort saw it at a distance, they hid themselves in the woods. It proceeded from the fort along the shore, and put to flight another party of Indians, consisting of more than a


      NOTES TO CANTO III. 323

hundred, every one hiding himself under the first shelter he could find: it then crossed the river, and entered the woods, passing several houses, all which were deserted, and not a single Indian could be seen during the rest of the procession, which continued more than half an hour.

      "The office that Mr. Banks performed was called that of the Nineveh, of which there were two besides himself; and the natives having all disappeared, they came to the chief mourner, and said, Imatata, there are no people; after which the company was dismissed to wash themselves in the river, and put on their customary apparel. – Of the manner of disposing of their dead, much has been said already; I must more explicitly observe, that there are two places in which the dead are deposited; one a kind of shed, where the flesh is suffered to putrify; the other an inclosure with erections of stone, where the bones are afterwards buried. The sheds are called Tupapow, and the enclosures Morai; the Morais are also places of worship.


324NOTES TO CANTO III.       

      "As soon as the body is deposited in the Tupapow the mourning is renewed. The women assemble, and are led to the door by the nearest relation, who strikes a shark's tooth several times into the crown of her head; the blood copiously follows, and is carefully received upon pieces of linen, which are thrown under the bier; the rest of the women follow this example, and the ceremony is repeated at the interval of two or three days, as long as the zeal and sorrow of the parties hold out: the tears also which are shed upon these occasions are received upon pieces of cloth, and offered as oblations to the dead: some of the younger people cut off their hair, and that is thrown under the bier, with their other offerings. This custom is founded upon a notion that the soul of the deceased, which they believe to exist in a separate state, is hovering about the place where the body is deposited; that it observes the actions of the survivors, and is gratified by such testimonies of their affection and grief.


      NOTES TO CANTO III. 325

      "These processions continue at certain intervals for five moons, but are less and less frequent, by a grateful diminution, as the end of that time approaches; when it is expired, what remains of the body is taken down from the bier, and the bones having been scraped and washed very clean, are buried, according to the rank of the person, either within or without a Morai. After this the mourning ceases, except the women continue to be really afilicted for the loss, and in that case, they will suddenly wound themselves with a shark's tooth, wherever they may happen to be. – Captain Cook's first Voyage; Hawkesworth's Coll. vol. ii. ch. xiv. and xix.


      

NOTES

TO

Canto the Fourth.


      

Canto the Fourth.


NOTE 1. PAGE 170

It jared like the love harp that falls
In lovely Erin's ruin'd halls;
Where cold Despair has broke the lyre,
And quench'd the patrioes glowing fire.

      There is great coincidence between the thought in these lines and one of the happier effusions of Mr. Moore's muse; he will, I trust, believe that I was totally unconscious of the imitation; and however disadvantageous it may be to my verses, to be compared with the productions of so eminent a poet, I cannot resist the temptation of inserting this beautiful song.


330NOTES TO CANTO IV.       

"The harp, that once thro' Tara's halls
      The soul of music shed,
Now hangs as mute on Tara's walls,
      As if that soul were fled.
So sleeps the pride of former days;
      So glory's thrill is o'er;
And hearts that once beat high for praise,
      Now feel that pulse no more.
"No more to chiefs and ladies bright,
      The harp of Tara swells;
The chord alone, which breaks at night,
      Its tale of ruin tells.
Thus freedom now so seldom wakes
      The only throb she gives,
      As when some heart indignant breaks,
To shew that still she lives!"


      NOTES TO CANTO IV. 331

NOTE 2. PAGE 171.

Deep in the fragrance of the grove,
Awoke the burnish'd emerald dove.

      "We saw no beasts, except a few hogs, nor any birds, except parrots, paroquets, and green doves." – Captain Wallis's Voyage round the World; Hawkesworth's Coll. vol. i. page 256.

NOTE 3. PAGE 173.

With simple taste they deck'd the fair,
And braided her long silken hair.

      "The dress of the better sort of women consists of three or four pieces of cloth; one piece about two yards wide, and eleven yards long, they wrapt several times round their waist, so as to hang down like a


332NOTES TO CANTO IV.       

petticoat, as low as the middle of the leg; and this they call Parou; two or three other pieces, about two yards and a half long and one wide, each having a hole cut in the middle, they place one upon another, and then putting the head through the holes, they bring the long ends down before and behind; the others remain open at the sides, to give liberty to the arm: this, which they call the Tebuta, is gathered round the waist, and confined with a girdle, or sash, of thinner cloth, which is long enough to go many times round them, and exactly resembles the garment worn by the inhabitants of Peru and Chili, which the Spaniards call Poncho. Captain Cook's first Voyage, page 192.


      


ERRATA.

      Page 16, line 5, for stem read stern.
              33,     13, for these read those.
            117,       1, for Helenia read Helena.



London:
PRINTED BY A. J. VALPY,
TOOK' COURT, CHANCERY LANE.
1811.







NOTES.

     






MARY RUSSELL MITFORD

     




SOURCE INFORMATION.


     




Tom Tyler, Denver, February 10, 2014