The startled waves leap over it; the storm
Smites it with all the scourges of the rain,
And steadily against its solid form

Press the great shoulders of the hurricane.

The sea-bird wheeling round it, with the din
Of wings, and winds, and solitary cries,
Blinded and maddened by the light within,
Dashes himself against the glare, and dies.

A new Prometheus, chained upon the rock,
Still grasping in his hand the fire of Jove,
It does not hear the cry, nor heed the shock,
But hails the mariner with words of love.

'Sail on!' it says, 'sail on, ye stately ships!
And with your floating bridge the ocean span;
Be mine to guard this light from all eclipse,
Be yours to bring man nearer unto man!'



How joyously the young sea-mew
Lay dreaming on the waters blue,
Whereon our little bark had thrown
A forward shade- the only one —
(But shadows aye will man pursue!)

Familiar with the waves, and free,
As if their own white foam were he:
His heart upon the heart of ocean,
Learning all its mystic motion,
And throbbing to the throbbing sea!

And such a brightness in his eye,
As if the ocean and the sky
Within him had lit up and nurst
A soul God gave him not at first,
To comprehend their majesty.

We were not cruel, yet did sunder
His white wing from the blue waves under,
And bound it. while his fearless eyes
Shone up to ours in calm surprise,
As deeming us some ocean wonder !

We bore our ocean-bird unto

A grassy place, where he might view
The flowers bending to the bees,
The waving of the tall green trees,
The falling of the silver dew.

But flowers of earth were pale to him
Who had seen the rainbow fishes swim;
And when earth's dew around him lay,
He thought of ocean's winged spray,
And his eye waxed sad and dim.

The green trees round him only made
A prison, with their darksome shade;
And droop'd his wing, and mourned he
For his own boundless, glittering sea,-
Albeit he knew not they could fade!

Then one her gladsome face did bring,
Her gentle voice's murmuring,

In ocean's stead his heart to move,
And teach him what was human love,-
He thought it a strange, mournful thing!

He lay down in his grief to die,
(First looking to the sea-like sky
That hath no waves!) because, alas!
Our human touch did on him pass,
And with our touch, our agony.

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WHERE lies the land to which yon ship must go? Fresh as a lark mounting at break of day, Festively she puts forth in trim array;

Is she for tropic suns, or polar snow?

What boots the inquiry? — Neither friend nor foe
She cares for; let her travel where she may,
She finds familiar names, a beaten way
Ever before her, and a wind to blow.

Yet, still I ask, what haven is her mark ?
And, almost as it was when ships were rare,
(From time to time, like Pilgrims, here and there
Crossing the waters) doubt, and something dark,
Of the old sea some reverential fear,

Is with me at thy farewell, joyous Bark!


With ships the sea was sprinkled far and nigh,
Like stars in heaven, and joyously it showed;
Some lying fast at anchor in the road,
Some veering up and down, one knew not why.
A goodly vessel did I then espy

Come like a giant from a haven broad;
And lustily along the bay she strode,
Her tackling rich, and of apparel high.
This ship was nought to me, nor I to her,
Yet I pursued her with a lover's look ;
This ship to all the rest did I prefer :

When will she turn, and whither? She will brook
No tarrying; where she comes the wind must stir :
On went she, and due north her journey took.


Why stand we gazing on the sparkling brine
With wonder smit by its transparency,

And all enraptured with its purity?

Because the unstain'd, the clear, the crystalline,
Have ever in them something of benign,
Whether in gem, in water, or in sky,
A sleeping infant's brow, or wakeful eye
Of a young maiden, only not divine.
Scarcely the hand forbears to dip its palm
For beverage drawn as from a mountain well;
Temptation centres in the liquid calm ;
Our daily raiment seems no obstacle
To instantaneous plunging in, deep sea!
And revelling in long embrace with thee.


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