The Storm

Sir Cuthbert Sharp, ‘The Storm’ from Poems on a Variety of Subjects (Sunderland, 1828), pp. 16-18.


Cold blew the wind from off the sea,

As I walk’d on the moor;

The ships were driving to the lee,

And clouds began to lour.


The eastern sky was all o’ercast,

And troubl’d seem’d the air;

And sea-fowl, conscious of the blast,

To shelving rocks repair.


The sun was glim’ring through the sky,

In robes of mist array’d;

I thought a storm was surely nigh,

As on the moor I stray’d.


Scarce had I rov’d its banks an hour,

When waves began to roar;

And rain in torrents fast did pour

Upon the affrighted shore.


When night her gloom had gather’d round,

No star beam’d on the deep;

The east wind sigh’d a doleful sound—

The world was hush’d in sleep.


A ship, not distant from the beach,

Was soon with billows tost,

And striving hard the piers to reach,

Was wreck’d upon the coast.


But, ah! my tale is not yet told—

The tear rolls down my cheek,

For what I now to you unfold,

Would make a Nero weep.


For ere the night had dark’d the skies

With dread and sullen gloom,

The Captain gaz’d with ardent eyes

To see the life-boat come.


In vain he looks o’er-rising waves,

No help approaches nigh,

Whilst fresh’ning storms his soul dismays,

And all his powers defy.


Now fierce winds through the cordage sweep—

Now cries moan in the air—

Now gazing on the frightful deep—

Looks round with wild despair.


Then turning, thus address’d his crew,—

Down bend your knees and pray,

To-morrow’s sun we ne‘er shall view,

All hope is fled away.


Hear us, O hear, eternal God,

Midst ocean’s waves we cry,

Where midnight horror howls abroad,

Beneath a convuls’d sky.


Wilt thou, that ridest upon the storm,

And bidst the billows rise,

Look from the splendor of thy throne,

And hear our plaintive cries?


Wilt thou in mercy calm the deep,

And make the winds to cease?

And wilt thou hush the storm to sleep,

And all our woes release?


But if the furious surge must roll,

And plunge us in the waves;

Hear the last pleadings of my soul,—

Protect our little babes.


Huge roaring billows still resound,

And heave her to the shore;

She strikes the rock—all hands are drown’d—

They sink to rise no more.