“With ill omens from the harbour sails/ The ill-fated barque that worthless Arnold bears.”


“Arnold’s Departure,” by Philip Freneau

“Mala soluta navis exit alite
Fernes olentem Mævium.”

With evil omens from the harbour sails
The ill-fated barque that worthless Arnold bears,—
God of the southern winds, call up the gales,
And whistle in rude fury round his ears.

With horrid waves insult his vessel’s sides, 5
And may the east wind on a leeward shore
Her cables part, while she in tumult rides,
And shatter into shivers every oar.

And let the north wind to her ruin haste,
With such a rage, as when from mountains high 10
He rends the tall oak with his weighty blast,
And ruin spreads where’er his forces fly.

May not one friendly star that night be seen;
No moon, attendant, dart one glimmering ray,
Nor may she ride on oceans more serene 15
Than Greece, triumphant, found, that stormy day

When angry Pallas spent her rage no more
On vanquish’d Ilium, then in ashes laid,
But turn’d it on the barque that Ajax bore,
Avenging thus her temple, and the maid. 20

When toss’d upon the vast Atlantic main
Your groaning ship the southern gales shall tear,
How will your sailors sweat, and you complain,
And meanly howl to Jove, that will not hear!

But if, at last, upon some winding shore, 25
A prey to hungry cormorants you lie,
A wanton goat to every stormy power,
And a fat lamb, in sacrifice, shall die.

 

 

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