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Poem by John Gay
I. 'Twas when the seas were roaring With hollow blasts of wind; A damsel lay deploring, All on a rock reclin'd. Wide o'er the roaring billows She cast a wistful look; Her head was crown'd with willows, That tremble o'er the brook. II. Twelve months are gone and over, And nine long tedious days, Why didst thou, vent'rous lover, Why didst thou trust the seas? Cease, cease, thou cruel ocean, And let my lover rest: Ah! what's thy troubled motion To that within my breast? III. The merchant robb'd of pleasure Sees tempests in despair; But what's the loss of treasure To losing of my dear? Should you some coast be laid on Where gold and diamonds grow You'd find a richer maiden, But none that loves you so. IV. How can they say that nature Has nothing made in vain Why then beneath the water Should hideous rocks remain? No eyes the rocks discover, That lurk beneath the deep, To wreck the wandering lover, And leave the maid to weep. V. All melancholy lying, Thus wail'd she for her dear; Repay'd each blast with sighing, Each billow with a tear; When, o'er the white wave stooping, His floating corpse she spied; Then like a lily drooping, She bow'd her head and died.
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