Father of Heav’n, to thee we raise
(Mark’d by thy kind peculiar care,)
Our songs of thankfulness and praise,
To thee ascends the grateful pray’r.
Thou didst direct the gentlest breath,
That o’er the sleeping waters stole;
Thine is the dreadful voice of death,
In which thy angry thunders roll.
Father of all, ’tis thine to give,
Not what our erring pray’r demands;
With joy thy blessings we receive,
And bow submissive ’neath thy hand.
Sept. 7th.—First appearance of the gulf-weed. The trade wind, between the Equator and the extent of the northern Tropic, setting from the eastward, forces the water against the islands, and at length into the gulf of Mexico where it meets with an uniform opposition from the main, causing a strong current to the N.E., or points somewhat in that direction. This stream is so violent as to tear up the sea weeds in the gulf, and bear them as far to the north as latitude 44: the stream is soon after absorbed in the Western ocean; but causes certain counter currents, which, for want of being properly allowed for by mariners, have been the causes of many shipwrecks.
Sept. 8th.—Fine morning; wind at W.S.W. A beautiful dolphin struck at an artificial flying fish, hanging at our bow-sprit; the hook breaking, he escaped;—continued playing round our bows for some time, and struck at several flying fish; but we could not again tempt him with the artificial bait.
Mem. To read this lesson once a month.
Sept. 9th.—Calm and fog, several flocks of wild fowl. Suppose ourselves near the banks of Newfoundland. Thermometer sunk 18 degrees since yesterday.
Sept. 10th.—Pleasant morning, having run to the S.W. during the night: no sign of the banks. A land bird, of the thrush kind, came and settled on our main yard; seemed quite exhausted; fell upon the deck, and was taken up by the cabin boy. The poor creature must have been driven off the coast of America in a violent gale at N.W., the distance from any land being upwards of a thousand miles; no other circumstance could account for it’s flying so far.
Sept. 19th.—Wind at N.N.W. very moderate;—the afternoon calm. The sun set this evening with uncommon beauty, that glorious luminary was surrounded with clouds of a vivid yellow, green, and red; strongly shaded with black half the extent of the horizon. The moon at the same time rising to the east-ward, with a cool and faint sky, formed a strong and beautiful contrast.