Samuel Webbe
(1740 - 1816)

Webbe : Ye cliffs, I to your airy steep ascend : illustration

Ye cliffs, I to your airy steep ascend
(A.T.B.)
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Webbe's glee on the popular subject of the returning sailor, published 1784.
Lyrics: William Hayley

Ye cliffs, I to your airy steep
Ascend with trembling hope and fear,
To gaze on this extensive deep,
And watch if William's sails appear.

Long months elapse, while here I breathe
Vain expectation's frequent prayer;
Till, bending o'er the waves beneath,
I drop the tear of dumb despair.

But see! a glistening sail in view;
Tumultuous hopes arise.
'Tis he! - I feel the vision true,
I trust my conscious eyes.

His promis'd signals from the mast
My timid doubts destroy:
What was your pain, ye terrors past,
To this ecstatic joy!