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MANUFACTURE OF MEERSCHAUM PIPES.
Ix our road to Baladova, we passed several pits, wherein the Tartars dig that kind of fullers' earth called keff-kil, or mineral froth, named by the Germans meerschaum. This substance, before the capture of the Crimea, was a considerable article of commerce with Constantinople. It is often sold to German merchants for the manufacture of those beautiful tobacco-pipes, tearing the name of gcume dc mer among the French, and selling at enormous prices, even in our own country, after they have been long used, and thereby stained by the oil of toliacco.
The process necessary to the perfection of one of these pipes, with all its attendant circumstances, i« really a curious subject. Since the interruption of commerce between the Crimea and Turkey, the clay requisite in their manufacture has been dug near the site of the antient Iconium, in Anatolia. Ttie first rude form is given to the pipes upon the spot where the mineral is found; here they are pressed within a mould, and laid in the sun to harden; afterwards they are baked in an oven, boiled in milk, and rubbed with soft leather. In this state they go to Constantinople, where there is a peculiar bazar, or khan, fur the sale of them; they are then bought up by merchants, and sent by caravans to Pest, in Hungary.
Still the form of the pipe is large and rude. At Pest, a manufacturer begins to lit them for the German markets. They are there soaked for twenty-four hours in water, and then turned by a lathe. In this process, many of them, proving porous, aro rejected. Sometimes only two or three out of ten are deemed worthy of further labour. From Pest they are conveyed to Vienna, and frequently mounted in silver. After this they are carried to the fairs of Leipsic, Francfort, Manheim, and other towns upon the Rhine, where the best sell from three to five, and even seven pounds sterling each. When the oil of tobacco, alter long smoking, has given them a fine porcelain yellow, or, which is more prized, a dark tortoise-shell hue, they have been known to sell for forty or fifty pounds of our money.
Their manner of digging keff-kil in the Crimea, is merely by opening a shaft in the ground, and then working till the sides begin to full in; this soon happens, from the nature of the soil, when they open a new pit. A stratum of marl generally covers the keff-kil; through this they have to dig, sometimes to the depth of from eight to twelve fathoms. The layer of keff-kil seldom exceeds Meaty-eight inches in thickness, and beneath it the marl occurs as before. Dk. E. D. Clarke.
We should esteem virtue, though in a foe, and abhor vice, though in a friend Addison.
Conscience.—In the commission of evil, fear no man so much as thyself: another is but one witness against thee; Ihou art a thousand; another thou mayest avoid; thyself
thou canst not. Wickedness is its own punishment.
is a former number, we inserted some lines, entitled " Hoi'p," as the production of Disuor Hebf.ii, to whom they are attributed by oustakc, in his life, by his widow. We have since ascertained, that they were written by Ciiauncy Haiie Townsiilno, Esq,; and, in doing justice to the author, by repeating them according to his corrected copy, wc are sure that the beauty of the poetry will excuse ia to our readers.
AN EVENING THOUGHT.
Reflected in the lake, I love
To see the star of evening glow;
So restless on the wave below.
Thus heavenly hope is all serene;
But earthly hope, how bright soe'er,
As false and fleeting as 'tis fair.
We have also been favoured with the following pleasing staiuas by tlit same writer.
A SUNDAY THOUGHT.
Tipp'd by the sun's emerging beams,
How bright the village spire;
A lamp of living fire.
So shines thy sun of mercy, Lord,
Affliction to illume,
When ill beside is gloom.
THE IDOLS OF THE SAXONS.
Although the name of Woden is more celebrated than that of any other of the Saxon Idols, we know of very little that can be set down with certainty respecting his real history. By some writers he is con . sidered to have been a personage of very high antiquity, and connected with Buddha, the Indian deity; by others he is supposed to be the same person as the famous Odin of the Danes and Norwegians, in whose rude and ancient verses he makes a striking figure. Our own poet, Gray, also composed a wild and beautiful ode, called The Descent Of Odin.
The tradition is, that Odin was a Scythian prince, who, about seventy years before the Christian period, conquered the Northern nations, rnade great changes in their government, manners, and religion; and, after receiving much honour during life, was, at his death, placed among the gods. His praises, as sounded in the chronicles of the north, are marked with all the unbounded folly of idolatrous times. They speak of him as the most eloquent and ingenious of men; they assign to him the introduction of the art of poetry among the Scandinavians, as well as the invention of the Runic characters *. He was styled the father of letters and the king of spells. He also made his followers believe, that he could run over the world in the twinkling of an eye: that he had the direction of the air and storms; that he could take all sorts of shapes, raise the dead, foretel things to come; deprive his enemies, by magic, of health and strength, and. find at pleasure all the riches hidden in the earth. They add, that by his sweet musical strains, he could move the hills, and call up ghosts to stand motionless about him. He was equally awful in battle, changing himself, as it was pretended, into the form of a bear, a wild bull, a lion, or a snake, and thus making fearful havoc among his foes, without receiving a single wound himself.
Connected with this strange account of Woden, is the legend of The Fatal Sisters, which was the origin of Gray's poem bearing that title.
*' On Christmas morning, somewhere in Scotland, in the eleventh century, a number of persons were seen on horseback, riding at full speed towards a hill, and seeming to enter into it. Curiosity led the spectator to the spot; when looking through an opening in the rocks, he saw twelve gigantic figures, resembling women: they were all employed about a loom; and as they wove, they sung a song of war, in which, each had her part allotted to her in a coming battle. The fight took place that very day, and in it a king was slain. When they had woven 'the crimson web of war,' they tore it into twelve pieces, and (each taking her portion,) galloped, six to the north, and six to the south. These were Valkyriur, female divinities, servants of Odin (or Woden.) Their name signifies Choosers of the Slain. They were mounted on swift horses, with drawn swords in their hands: and in t/ie throng of battle, picked out such as were destined to slaughter, and carried them, after death, to Valkalla, the hall of Odin, or Paradise of the Brave, where they attended the banquet, and served the departed heroes with cups of horn full of meadf and ale." The following stanzas afford a specimen of the poem;—
* Runic is a term applied to the letters of the ancient northern nations. Some authors have derived it from an old Gothic word, Hunk, tocut; others from Ryn,h furrow, or Rev, a gutter or channel. As the Runic characters were iirst cut in wood or on rocks, this is a reasonable derivation. Again, as they were supposed to convey magical effects, and were good or bad, expressing weal or woe, as circumstances might be, the word has sometimes been derived from itYNE, art or magic.
t Mead, a Saxou word; a drink made of honey and water.
Verstegan's description of the idol is as follows: "The next was the idol JSHotfen, who, as by his picture here set down, was made armed, and among our Saxon ancestors, esteemed and honoured for their god of battle, according as the Romans reputed and honoured their god Mars." [The Romans, however, seem sometimes to have called him Mercury: and Wednesday is at this day written in Latin, Dies Mercurii, or Mercury's day. But the character they give him, is like that of Mars, warlike and ferocious; and he may justly be compared to the Mars of the Romans.]
"He was, while he lived among them, a most valiant and victorious prince and captain; and this idol was, after his death, honoured, prayed, and sacrificed unto, that by his aid, they might obtain victory over their enemies, which, when they had obtained, they sacrificed unto him such prisoners, as in battle they had taken.
The name Cdotlcn, signifies fierce, or furious; and in like sense we yet retain it, saying, when one is in a great rage, that he is JElootl, or takcth on as if he were wood. And after this idol, we do yet call that day of the week, Wednesday, instead of Wodnesday, upon which lie was chiefly honoured. In sundry places, the Pagan Saxons erected idols, especially Woden; which places do yet in England, retain their appellation; asat Woodnesborouoh, in Kent, Wednesbury, and Wednesfield, in Staffordshire."
In the first of the places thus pointed out, (Woodnesborough, pronounced Winsborough, near Sandwich, an image of Woden is supposed to have stood. This village is remarkable for an ancient artificial mound, of considerable height, under which some curious remains, seemingly Roman, were discovered.
In continuing the notices of these strange abominations, we find the subject embracing some curious matter respecting our Anglo-Saxon ancestors, which we trust will be interesting to our readers. In addition to this, gratitude must be excited in the mind, at the present day, on looking back to the awful state of
thraldom in which the minds of Britons were once held, by a horrible and degrading superstition, and from which they are happily delivered by God's inestimable gift to man,—the Gospel of purity and peace.
CHARADE, Iit WiNTimop M. Praed, Es<j
Uncouth was I of face and form,
But strong to blast and blight,
By famine and by fight;
Not a pilot steered the ship,
To my dripping brow and lip.
Within my Second's dark recess,
in silent pomp I dwelt;
My rude adorer knelt;
And ever the red blood ran;
Forging my First for man!
My priests are rotting in their grave,
My shrine is silent now;
No crown upon my brow;
Of all that was divine;
Are called by mortals mine.
[For an answer, wo refer our readers to a paper in the present Number.] ANECDOTE OF A HIGHLANDER.
Macquken, the Laird of Pollochock, a small estate in the north of Scotland, is said to have killed the last wolf that infested that district, though he himself was alive within the last fifty years. Tradition reports him to have been nearer seven than six feet high, proportionably built, and active as a roebuck. The story told is this :—a poor woman, crossing the mountains with two children, was attacked by the wolf, and her infants devoured, while she escaped with difficulty to Moughall. The chief of Mackintosh hearing of this, ordered his vassals to assemble the next day at twelve o'clock, to proceed in a body to destroy the wolf. Pollochock, who was one of those vassals, and possessed of gigantic strength and determined courage, was eagerly looked for to take the lead in the enterprise.
The hour came, and all were assembled except him in whom they most trusted. Unwilling to go without him, the impatient chief fretted and fumed through the hall, till at length, about an hour after the appointed time, in stalked Pollochock, dressed in his full highland attire "I am little used to wait thus for any man," exclaimed the chafed chieftain, "and still less for thee, Pollochock, especially when such game is afoot as we are bounc after!" "What sort o'gamo arc ye after, Mackintosh?" said Pollochock, simply. "The wolf, sir," replied Mackintosh; "did not my messenger instruct you." "Ou, aye, that's true," answered Pollochock, with a good-humor red smile; "troth I had forgotten; but, an that be all," continued he, groping with his right hand among the folds of his plaid, "there is the wolfs head!" and he held out the grim and bloody head of the monster at arm's length.
"As I came through the hollow," continued he, as if talking of some evcry-day occurrence, "I forgathered wi' the beast; my long dog there turned him; I buckled with him, and dirkit him, and brought away his countenance, for fear he might come alive again, for they are very precarious creatures." "My noble Pollochock!" cried the chief in ccstacy, "the deed was worthy of thee! In memorial of thy hardihood, I here bestow upon thee Scaunachau*, to give meal for thy good greyhound in all time coming." Sir Thomas Dick Lauder.
* Or " the old field," a field near the land of Pollochock.
Moderation is the silken string running through the pearl-chain of all virtues. Bishop Hall.
JOHN WILLIAM PARKER, WEST STRAND.
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HIS MAJESTY'S DOCK-YARD AT CHATHAM. DESCRIPTION OF A SHIP LAUNCH.
Here Science lays
By thousand hands prepar'd, the finish'd ship
Is ready. V. T. Cahringto!*.
It has been well observed, that amongst the various important and interesting objects connected with the Navy of Great Britain, there is not one so touch entitled to a foreigner's envy, or an Englishman's admiration, as a Royal Dock Yard. The Arsenal and Dock-yard at Chatham, once ranked before the magnificent establishments of Portsmouth and Plymouth; and whether we consider their situation or internal arrangement, they are admirably adapted lor the purposes for which they arc designed, and fully bear out the preceding assertion.
A 13ock yard, was commenced here early in the reign of Elizabeth, near the place where the gun-wharf is now situated. It appears then to have consisted of one small dock, which, from its confined situation, and the increasing magnitude of the Navy, it was found necessary, in the year I >J'2, to remove to the site of the present establishment. During the reign of Elizabeth, the fleet usually lay in the river Medwav, and the Queen seems to have fully appreciated the advantages of the situation, by ordering the erection of U pnor Castle, a fortification a little below the D.ick-vard, on the opposite bank of the river. Within the mouldering towers of this structure, (which is environed by a moat,) a magazine of gunpowder is kept for the use of the navy; but no guns have been mounted for its defence, lor a considerable period. Upnor Castle has a small establishment under the command of a Governor, who also commands the other forts for the defence of the Mcdway.
Tlie Arsenal was constructed at the conclusion of the first war with Holland, in the reign of Charles the Second, who alr,o greatly improved and extended the Dock-yard.
The most interesting passage in the history of Chatham, occurred during this war (ltiG"), at which period, Upnor Castle, for the only time, proved of essential service. On the 7th of June, the celebrated Dutch Admiral, De Ruyter, suddenly appeared off the mouth of the Thames, with a lieet of fifty sail. After destroying the Dock-yard and fort at Sheerne.-s, then in an unfinished state, he detached his Vice-Admiral, Van Ghent, on the 12th, with seventeen men-of-war of a light draught of water, and eight fireships, to destroy the Dock-yard and shipping at Chatham. The British government appear to have been completely taken by surprise; but the instant that the intelligence reached London, General Monk, Duke of Albemarle, was despatched to Chatham, to make the best dispositions the shortness of the time afforded, to frustrate this bold attempt. He threw a chain across the Medway, and sunk several ships-in the channel below it, to prevent the approach of the enemy; but in despite of these obstacles, and of the resistance of three large vessels, (Dutch prizes.) which were moored near. Van Ghent, aided by a strong easterly wind and spring-tide, succeeded in breaking tiie chain; when he set fire to the ships, and sailed onwards up the river. On arriving opposite Upnor Castle, with six men-of-war and five fire-ships, the enemy, however, met with so warm a reception from Major Scott, who c immanded that fortress, aided by batteries on the opposite shore, that he was compelled to retreat, without effecting the leading object of the expedition. On his return, he succeeded in carrying off the hull of the Royal Charles, a large ship then fitting out, besides destroying three others. The lloyal Oak, one of these vessels, was commanded by i aptain Douglas, an officer of great merit; who, in the confusion of the period, not having received any orders to retreat, hopelessly defended his ship to the last extremity, against an overwhelming force, and perished with her. 11 is last words were. It shall never be said that a Douglas t/nitud his post without orders. There have been few liner examples of heroism than this. Two Dutch ships ran ashore, and were burnt in the Medway immediately ai'tcrwards. Eight fire-ships were also burned, and the Dutch historians acknowledge a loss of 150 men killed.
Soon afterwards, De Ruyter left a part of his fleet at the IS'ore, and sailed for the British Channel, making two attempts to destroy the shipping at Portsmouth and Torhay, but being rfipillsed, he again returned to the mouth of the
Thames. With twenty-five sail, he then attacked the British fleet under Sir Edward Spragge, lying at the Hope, but after a severe action was again obliged to retreat.
Chatham Dock-yard, which has been greatly improved and extended since the reign of Charles the Second, is situated on the eastern bank of the river, immediately below Chatham; and, including the ordnance-wharf, is about a mile in length. To attempt, even briefly, to describe tho many interesting objects in this great national establishment, would occupy several numbers of our publication; it is, in fact, a little city of itself, intersected with ranges of streets of store-houses and buildings, filled with every necessary article, either For the construction or repair of a fleet.
Amongst the objects most deserving of notice, we may mention the Smitherics, containing upwards of twenty fbrges, many of which are adapted for the construction of anchors of the largest size, which weigh five tons, are moved into and out of the fire by means of cranes, and are of the value of 360/.;—the Hope-House, 1140 feet in length, in which cables of 120 fathoms, and 25 inches in circumference, are made;—large Store-House, 220 yards long, and the Sail-Lojl, 209 feet. There are six Slips for building ships, and four Docks for their repair; an OrdnanceWharf, on which the guns belonging to the various ships lying in ordinary, are systematically arranged in immense tiers, the cannon-balls being arranged in pyramids: various Cranes, of great power; Kilns, in which the planks necessary for curved forms, are steamed; Pump-Houses, SawPits, and extensive ranges of artificers' Work-Shops; an Anchor-Wharf; a Mast-House, 220 feet long, and 120 wide, for laying up masts and yards of the largest dimensions; several Ponds, where the timbers to form the masts are kept constantly floating; spacious and handsome residences for the Commissioner and principal Officers in the yard: in short, every requisite and convenience for the purposes of so vast an establishment. But, notwithstanding the multiplicity of movements and processes continually going on, and the number of persons employed, there is no appearance of bustle or disorder; indeed, "such is the state of discipline and perfection by which every thing is conducted, that it may he regarded as a sort of rational machine, worked by instinctive power, and set in motion by superior minds:—every man, every object, and each operation, seem tributary to that great floating citadel, and ever-changing home, a man-of-war."
The rapidity with which a Ship can be fitted out in cases of emergency, is a striking illustration of this. Even early in the last century, a first-rate of 106 guns, which was ordered to be commissioned with great expedition for Sir Cloudesley Shovel, was completely fitted out in three days; she had previously been entirely unrigged, but her masts were raised, yards to, sails bent, and anchors and cables on board, at the conclusion of that short period, when she was enabled to dropdown the Medway. Great as the celerity in this instance appears, the same equipment could now be effected in one-third less time. During the late war, nearly <1000 persons were employed in this Dock-yard.
Interesting as is a Royal Dock-yard, when viewed under any circumstances, it is, however, at the period of a ShipLaunch that it is scon to most advantage. In this seagirt isle, indeed, whore a love of all that relates to the ocean, or to maritime affairs, seems almost a concomitant of our nature, a ship-launch is a spectacle of deep interest. The progressive growth of-a few rugged timbers into the stupendous floating fabric, which rides out securely the gale and storm, is certainly one of the most wonderful instances of human skill and ingenuity. Nothing more forcibly illustrates the inestimable benefits which civilization and science confer upon man; and cold indeed must be the heart which does not swell with gratitude, on reflecting upon the marvellous powers with which we have been gifted, by Htm who is the beneficent source of all the blessings we enjoy.
It may not be uninteresting to premise, that when a ship is laid down, or built, she is supported by strong platforms of oak, resting on a stone foundation, which are laid with a progressive inclination to the water, on the opposite sides of her keel to which they are parallel. On the surface of this slope or declivity are placed two corresponding ranges of planks, which form the base of a frame, termed a cradle, whose upper part lies next to the bottom of the ship, to which it is securely attached. Thus the lower surface of the cradle, conforming exactly to that of the frame below lies flat upon it lengthways, under the opposite sides of the ship's bottom; and, as the former is intended to slide downwards upon the latter, carrying the ship along with it, the planes or surfaces of both are well greased with tallow and soap.
The necessary preparations for the launch having been made, all the blocks and wedges by which the ship was previously supported, are driven out from below her keel, except perhaps five or six, which are left at the upper end of the slip; when her weight then gradually subsides on the platforms, which are accordingly called the ways. Formerly, the blocks and wedges were all driven out, and the ship was then held alone by stout oak bars, shod with iron, called " dog-shores," till the proper time for launching (when the cradle is entirely free to move along the sliding planks); but accidents having sometimes occurred, a few blocks are now left, as previously stated, to check the vessel on her course downwards. The last oporation is to let the dog-shores fall; the ship then hangs for a few seconds, in consequence of the pressuro of the remaining blocks, and, if after a short time she does not move, the workmen, who are all ready, strike at these blocks, which the weight of the ship instantly oversets, and she glides downwards into the water along the sliding ways, which are generally prolonged under its surface to a sufficient depth, to float her as soon as sho roaches their furthest extremity.
One of the finest launches ever witnessed at Chatham, Tas that of the Waterloo, a first-rate of 120 guns, srhich appropriately took place on the last anniversary or that glorious triumph of the British arms. Oil that occasion, the scene in the vicinity of the dock-yard, and on the broad and glistening surface of tho Medway, was splendid and imposing. Every spot which could command a view of the launch, was densely covered with masses of human beings; and the river, which was crowded with yachts, steamers from the metropolis, and boats of almost every class, decked with flags and colours, seemed absolutely " instinct with life." As the moment drew nigh, the eyes of the vast congregation of spectators became rivetted on the stern of the Waterloo, which was the only part not concealed by the lofty roof of the building-slip. A slight agitation seemed at last to move the people; the interest deepened, and the silence became profound and breathless: then the heavy discharge of a single gun boomed impressively on the ear—a deafening shout burst from the multitude—the huge structure moved! The " shores" or bars which held it, had been removed, the ceremony of naming was performed with the accustomed formalities, and the magnificent Waterloo, as depicted in our engraving, glided majestically into her home on the world of waters, amidst the roaring of artillery, a perfect model of symmetry and strength. And then the sympathies of the spectators were differently affected. The swell produced by the sudden plunging of so vast a body into the vater, was necessarily considerable: and as the noble ship swung round with her formidable broadside, several boats were swamped, and human lives perilled. The shouting of the multitude was again hushed, but the excitement, though painful, was only transitory; in a few minutes, the gigantic vessel was securely moored alongside the Southampton frigate, lying in ordinary, without the occurrence of a single serious accident.
The Waterloo is considered one of the most perfect specimens of the round-stern build, (invented by Sir Robert Seppings, late surveyor of the Navy,) which has yet been constructed. Her burden, per register, is 2693 tons, which may fairly be computed at 3000, she is pierced fur 120 guns, and her dimensions and weight of metal, correspond with those given in the description of a line-ofbattle ship, in a preceding number of this work*.
During the war with France, in 1758, when the country was threatened with an invasion, the extensive fortifications, called the Lines were commenced, principally with a view to defend the Dock-yard. The Lines are strengthened by ramparts, palisadocs, and a broad deep ditch, and are further defended by a strong redoubt on the summit of the hill, towards the south-east. They embrace within their circumference, which extends for several miles, the whole of the naval establishments, the upper and lower barracks, the populous village of Brompton, and Chatham Church. The barracks are very extensive; as independently of a large resident garrison of marines, this is one of the principal depots for troops destined for foreign service.
• Soe Saturday Magazine, Vol. III., p. 39.
Chatham, which appears to have derived its name from the Saxon words cyte, a cottage, and ham, a town or village, has principally been built since the reign of Elizabeth; it adjoins the City of Rochester, and with St rood, on the opposite side of the bridge, over the Medway, firms one continuous street, of upwards of two miles in length, locally called the "Three Towns."
It appears that there was an extensive Roman station here, as large quantities of remains, and many Roman graves, were discovered in excavating for the Lines. The excellent fund, originally called the Chest at Chatham, (since removed to Greenwich and London,) was commenced by the advice of Sir Francis Drake and Sir John Hawkins, after the defeat of the Spanish Armada in \bw, when Queen Elizabeth assigned a small portion of the pay of every seaman, for the relief of those who had been wounded or disabled in the Royal navy. An hospital was erected here for ten "poor decayed seamen and shipwrights," by Sir John Hawkins, under Royal Charter, in 1592. There is also another hospital, capable of containing 400 patients, at Chatham; this structure is 350 feet in length, and was erected at a cost of "0,000/. The population of the parishes of Chatham and Gilliiigham, according to the last census, amounted to 24,670.
The celebrated Cuvier, who, by his laborious researches and acute reasoning, made so many important and interesting discoveries in the natural history of the earth, and effected, perhaps, as great a revolution in received opinions, as was ever brought about in any science by one man, never laboured in order to support a system, but always to dicover the truth; and the further he advanced, seemed thmore convinced that he did not know enough to enable hit., to form a system. Speaking of theories in general, ho said, a little before his death, "I have sought, 1 have set up some myself, but I have not made them known, because I have ascertained that they were false, as are all those which have been published up to this day. I affirm still more; for I say that, in the present state of science, it is not possible to discover one; and it is for this reason that I persevere in my observations, and that I continue to publish them. This perseverance only can lead to the truth. We ought to labour, not with the object of supporting a theory, because then, the mind being preoccupied, will perceive only that which favours its own views; our labours should be for the object of discovering the truth." Memoirs of Cuvier.
Pliny mentions a plane-tree, which flourished in Lycia, during the reigns of the Roman Ca;sars, which had attained an unusual size. From a vast stem it divided into several huge arms; every one of which had the consequence of a large tree; and, at a distance, the whole together, exhibited the appearance of a grove. Its branches still flourished, while its trunk decayed. This, in process of time, mould ercd away into an immense cave, at least eighty ieet in circumference; around the sides of which, were placet* seats of pumice stone, cushioned softly with moss. Lur • nius Mutianus, governor of Lycia, has left it on recoru, that himself and eighteen other persons could commodiousl"' dine in this tree; he frequently enjoyed the company of h" friends there, and used to say, it was a great luxury to dit .: in its trunk on a hot summer's day; and to hear a heavv shower of rain descending through the several stages of its leaves. Gilpin.
THE SETTING SUN.
That setting sun 1 that setting suni
That setting sun! full many a gaze
'Tis sweet to mark thee sinking slow,
So when my pulse shall cease to play,