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Will Clewline poem

From Jamaica's hot clime, and her pestilent dews,
From the toil of a sugar-stow'd bark;
From the perilous boatings that oft thin the crews,
And fill the wide maw of the shark;
From fever, storm, famine, and all the sad store.
Of hardships, by seamen endured,
Behold poor Will Clewline escaped, and once more,
With his wife and children safe moored.

Then see him reclined on his favourite chair,
With his arm around the neck of his love,
Who tells how his friends and relatives fare,
And how their dear younglings improve.
The evening approaches, and round the snug fire
The little ones sport on the floor,
When lo! While delight fills the breast of the sire,
Loud thunderings are heard at the door.

And now, like a tempest that sweeps through the sky,
And kills the first buds of the year,
Oh view, midst this region of innocent joy,
A gang of fierce hirelings appear.
They seize on their prey, all relentless as fate,
He struggles, is relentlessly bound,
Wild scream the poor children, and lo! his lov'd Kate,
Sinks pale and convulsed to the ground.

To the hold of a tender, deep, crowded and foul,
Now view your brave seaman confined,
And on the bare planks, all indignant of soul,
All unfriended behold him reclined.
The children's wild screamings still ring in his ear,
He broods on Kate's poignant pain,
He hears the cat-hawling - his pangs are severe,
He feels but he scorns to complain.

Arrived now at Plymouth, the poor enslaved tar,
Is to combat for freedom and laws,
Is to brave the rough surge in a vessel of war,
He sails - and soon dies in the cause.
Kate hears the sad tidings and never smiles more,
She falls a meek martyr to grief,
The children, kind friends and relations deplore,
But the parish alone gives relief.






"A gang of fierce hirelings appear"


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