Thus the rough seas, which boist’rous2 winds enrage,
Assault a ship, and in fierce war engage.
Just3 like rude multitudes, whom4 factions swell
With5 rankled spleen, which makes them to6 rebel
Against their governor,7 thronging about, 5
With hideous noise to throw his8 power out.
And if their power gets the upper hand,
They’ll9 make him sink, and then in triumph stand,
Foaming at mouth, as if great deeds they’d done,
When they were multitudes, and he but one. 10
So seas do foam and froth about a ship,10
And both do11 strive which shall the better get.
But12 wisdom, like skilled mariners, through wide13
And gaping jaws of Death the ship doth guide,14
And to a haven safe will bring her in,15 15
Although through many dangers she did swim.16
- Comparing Waves and a Ship to Rebellion] A Storm upon the Seas compared to a Rebellion. 1664; A Storm upon the Seas, compared to a Rebellion. 1668
Whitaker reads this poem as “an allegory of the Civil War, satirizing the ‘rude multitudes’ of parliamentarian rebels as wild stormwaves assaulting the lone, heroic ship of the king”; see Mad Madge, 146.
- which boist’rous] whom highly 1653; which Boisterous 1664
- Just] Or 1653
- whom] with 1664, 1668
- With] Caus’d by a 1664, 1668
- which makes them to] and so 1664, 1668
- governor] Governours 1653
- his] their 1653
- They’ll] Do 1664, 1668
- seas do foam and froth about a ship,] Waves about a Ship do Foam and Fret, 1664, 1668
- both do] each doth 1664, 1668
- But] Or 1653
- through wide] will guide 1653
- And gaping jaws of Death the ship doth guide,] The Ship through Jawes of Death that do gape wide. 1653
- And to a haven safe will bring her in,] And brings it to a Haven safe, or home; 1664; And brings it to a Haven safe, or home: 1668
- Although through many dangers she did swim.] And thus it did through many Dangers come. 1664, 1668