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Many a league and hour I'd stray,
And brave the madness of the spray!
The caverns in its hollow wall;
Its flame-like currents mounting slow;
Its rounding crest of frothy snow;
Its crumbling fall;
The climbing sun, in light betrayed,
By a cloud of thinner shade;
The tossing foam, the wandering plain
Of the melancholy main;
The sea-mew darting everywhere,
Now in the water, and now in the air,
Vexing me with frantic scream,
Like a phantom in a dream
In dreams I do behold them all!
But hardly know, so strange they seem,
With such thoughts combined,
Whether I behold them there,
Or the sorrow, and despair,
The restless ocean in my desolated mind!
R. H. STODDARD.
THE night-clouds hurry, the forests moan,
There strays by the sea-shore a maiden lone,
The billows are breaking with might, with might,
And she flings out her voice to the darksome night;
Her eyelids heavy with weeping.
My heart is deadened, the world is void,
No more it giveth worth being enjoyed;
Thou Holy One! summon thy child to Thee
All the bliss of the world hath been granted to me,
In the bliss of living and loving.
From the German of Schiller.
I STRETCH my arms out to the heaving sea;
It heaves, and swells, and throbs with passionate pain;
Wilt thou not rise from these blue depths to me,
Thou sole beloved of this heart and brain?
Ah! vain the promise of these stately tides;
Their surging depths of unseen wonder vain;
If no wild spell within their might resides,
To give back thee, O loved and lost, again!
HEAR, Sweet spirit, hear the spell
Lest a blacker charm compel!
So shall the midnight breezes swell
With thy deep, long-lingering knell.
And at evening evermore,
In a chapel on the shore,
Shall the chanters, sad and saintly,
Yellow tapers burning faintly,
Doleful masses chant for thee;
Hark! the cadence dies away
On the quiet moonlit sea :
The boatman rest their oars and say
Miserere Domine !
BREAK, break, break,
On thy cold gray stones, O sea!
And I would that my tongue could utter The thoughts that arise in me
O well for the fisherman's boy,
That he shouts with his sister at play ! O well for the sailor lad,
That he sings in his boat on the bay!
And the stately ships go on
To their haven under the hill;
But O for the touch of a vanish'd hand,
And the sound of a voice that is still!
Break, break, break,
At the foot of thy crags, O sea! But the tender grace of a day that is dead Will never come back to me.
WILD with passion, sorrow-beladen,
Bend the thought of thy stormy soul
On its home, on its heaven, the loved maiden ;
And peace shall come at her eyes' control.
Even so night's starry rest possesses
With its gentle spirit these tamed waters,
And bids the wave, with weedy tresses
Embower the ocean's pavement stilly
Where the sea-girls lie, the mermaid-daughters,
Whose eyes, not born to weep,
More palely-lidded sleep,
Than in our fields the lily;
And sighing in their rest
More sweet than is its breath;
And quiet as its death
Upon a lady's breast.
Heart high-beating, triumph-bewreathed,
Search the record of loves gone by,
And borrow the blessings by them bequeathed
To deal from out of thy victory's sky.