From Byron's Don Juan:
'T was a rough night, and blew so stiffly yet,
That the sail was becalm'd between the seas,
Though on the wave's high top too much to set,
They dared not take it in for all the breeze:
Each sea curl'd o'er the stern, and kept them wet,
And made them bale without a moment's ease,
So that themselves as well as hopes were damp'd,
And the poor little cutter quickly swamp'd.
What is the meaning of that the sail was becalmed between the seas? The wind was very strong, so how could the sail become calmed? And what is the meaning of between the seas?
I think that the meaning of the entire bolded passage hinges on the meaning of "that the sail was becalmed between the seas", but I don't understand the second bolded line either.. What is set on the wave's high top? I can't even start to untangle this. "Too much" - of what?