The Storm Roars Without, And Within The Passenger Lies Day After Day
Studying The Poetry Of Motion.
There is one motion that goes to the tune
of "Rocked in the Cradle of the Deep," but this
Rocking is so violent
that as one dashes from side to side, holding on to the bars above and
the edge of the berth, one is led to pity a wakeful baby rocked wickedly
by the big brother impatient to go to play. The tune changes, and it is
"Ploughing the Raging Main," and the nose of the plough goes down too
deep; then one is fastened to the walking beam of an engine and sways up
and down with it. A gigantic churn is being churned by an ogre just
under our head, and the awful dasher plunges and creaks. Above all the
winds howl, and the waves roll, and sometimes slap the ship till she
shivers and leaps, and then the "Wreck of the Hesperus" recommences.
Things get gloomy, the variations of storm grow monotonous, nothing
delights us, no wish arises for beef tea, nothing makes gruel palatable.
Neither sun nor stars have been visible for some days; the only sunshine
we see is the passing smile of the ship's boys, who are almost
constantly employed baling out the Atlantic.
It was the ninth night of storm. They say every ninth wave is larger
than the rest; the ninth night the wind roared louder than ever, the
Almighty's great guns going off.
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