By nature dreadful, and athirst for blood,
His will can calm, their savage tempers bind,
And turn to mild protectors of mankind.
Did not the prophet this great truth maintain
In the deep chambers of the gloomy main;
When darkness round him all her horrors spread,
And the loud ocean bellow'd o'er his head?
When now the thunder roars, the lightning flies,
And all the warring winds tumultuous rise;
When now the foaming surges, tost on high,
Disclose the sands beneath, and touch the sky;
When death draws near, the mariners aghast,
Look back with terror on their actions past;
Their courage sickens into deep dismay,
Their hearts, thro' fear and anguish, melt away;
Nor tears, nor prayers, the tempest can appease;
Now they devote their treasure to the seas;
Unload their shatter'd barque, tho' richly fraught,
And think the hopes of life are cheaply bought
With gems and gold; but oh, the storm so high!
Nor gems nor gold the hopes of life can buy.
The trembling prophet then, themselves to save,
They headlong plunge into the briny wave;
Down he descends, and, booming o'er his head,
The billows close; he's number'd with the dead.