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On the arrival of the Ship from Messina in the Island of Sicily, with the Corple of the late Earl of Morton.

1 WHAT luckless freight or sorrow dost thou bring,
2 From that fair isle for health and pleasure fam'd.
3 What Sirock
* Sirock, a hot wind, which sometimes blows in the Island of Sicily.
blast! with feverish vapours fell?
4 Relentless fate! is this his wish'd return?
5 Less cruel Scylla
Scylla and Charybdis, dangerous rocks in the Sicilian sea.
and Charybdian gulph,
6 That spar'd the vessel from Messinian shore,
7 That bears his last remains.
8 Far from his kindred and his native home,
9 Scarce one lov'd friend to close his pallid eye,
10 Nor wedded spouse; nor sons, were by.
11 Where were ye, Muses, and Sicilian nymphs,
12 To lead him safe through all thy flow'ry vales?
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13 By sacred fountain and poetic hill,
14 To waft him health amidst thy fragrant groves.
15 Ah! what avails the curious restless mind?
16 Fraught with the beauties of each classic scene.
17 Shun the enchanted isle,
18 Nor listen to the tale.
19
* On his return from viewing Mount Etna, he fevered, and died in a few days.
In liquid flames let Etna's thunder roar;
20 Far distant from thy shore
21 Let British sails be seen;
22 Nor one advent'rous son the airy summit try,
23 That looks tremendous to a world below.
24 Join in the solemn song,
25 And as you move along,
26 Strew flow'rets on his bier;
27 In soft and mournful air,
28 In funeral pomp be seen,
29 Each nymph in cypress green;
30 These duties to the dead,
31 When in the tomb art laid.
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32 Hail! all the ancient fathers of the name,
33 Too soon thou'rt gone to them.
34 In long resounding airs
35 Let honour fill the lays,
36 And give what friendship feels,
37 To truth and worth like his.
38 Thus to the hallow'd isle
39 Give all that earth can claim;
40 In happier summits while
41 His spirit roams above,
42 And, rapt amidst the sky,
43 Sees thousand worlds below,
44 Or with enlighten'd eye
45 Takes in unbounded space.

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    Title (in Source Edition): On the arrival of the Ship from Messina in the Island of Sicily, with the Corple of the late Earl of Morton.
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    Genres: occasional poem

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    Carstairs, Christian. Original Poems. By a Lady, Dedicated to Miss Ann Henderson. A Tribute to Gratitude and Friendships. Edinburgh: Andrew Shortrede, 1786, pp. []-37.  (ESTC T76883) (Page images digitized from a copy in the Bodleian [Harding C 680].)

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