Poetical Works of Edmund Waller and Sir John Denham eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 294 pages of information about Poetical Works of Edmund Waller and Sir John Denham.
Unto the gap through which they thither came)
Before her swims, and quits the hostile lake,
A pris’ner there but for his mother’s sake. 
She, by the rocks compell’d to stay behind,
Is by the vastness of her bulk confined. 
They shout for joy! and now on her alone
Their fury falls, and all their darts are thrown. 170
Their lances spent, one, bolder than the rest,
With his broad sword provoked the sluggish beast;
Her oily side devours both blade and haft,
And there his steel the bold Bermudan left. 
Courage the rest from his example take,
And now they change the colour of the lake;
Blood flows in rivers from her wounded side,
As if they would prevent the tardy tide,
And raise the flood to that propitious height,
As might convey her from this fatal strait. 180
She swims in blood, and blood does spouting throw
To heaven, that heaven men’s cruelties might know. 
Their fixed jav’lins in her side she wears,
And on her back a grove of pikes appears;
You would have thought, had you the monster seen
Thus dress’d, she had another island been: 
Roaring she tears the air with such a noise,
As well resembled the conspiring voice
Of routed armies, when the field is won, 189
To reach the ears of her escaped son. 
He, though a league removed from the foe,
Hastes to her aid; the pious Trojan[1] so,
Neglecting for Creusa’s life his own,
Repeats the danger of the burning town. 
The men, amazed, blush to see the seed
Of monsters human piety exceed. 
Well proves this kindness, what the Grecian sung,
That love’s bright mother from the ocean sprung. 
Their courage droops, and hopeless now, they wish
For composition with th’unconquered fish; 200
So she their weapons would restore again,
Through rocks they’d hew her passage to the main. 
But how instructed in each other’s mind? 
Or what commerce can men with monsters find? 
Not daring to approach their wounded foe,
Whom her courageous son protected so,
They charge their muskets, and, with hot desire
Of fell revenge, renew the fight with fire;
Standing aloof, with lead they bruise the scales,
And tear the flesh of the incensed whales. 210
But no success their fierce endeavours found, Nor this way could they give one fatal wound. 
Now to their fort they are about to send
For the loud engines which their isle defend;
But what those pieces framed to batter walls,
Would have effected on those mighty whales,
Great Neptune will not have us know, who sends
A tide so high that it relieves his friends. 
And thus they parted with exchange of harms;
Much blood the monsters lost, and they their arms. 220

[1] ‘Trojan’:  Aeneas.


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Poetical Works of Edmund Waller and Sir John Denham from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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