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His bulwarks overtop the brine, and check
The long wave rolling from the southern pole
To break upon Japan. Thou bidst the fires
That smoulder under ocean, heave on high
The new-made mountains, and uplift their peaks,
A place of refuge for the storm-driven bird.
The birds and wafting billows plant the rifts
With herb and tree; sweet fountains gush; sweet airs
Ripple the living lakes that, fringed with flowers,
Are gathered in the hollows. Thou dost look
On thy creation and pronounce it good.
Its valleys, glorious with their summer green,
Praise thee in silent beauty, and its woods,
Swept by the murmuring winds of ocean, join
The murmuring shores in a perpetual hymn.
W. C. BRYANT.
THE Ocean, at the bidding of the moon,
Forever changes with his restless tide;
Flung shoreward now, to be re-gather'd soon
With kingly pauses of reluctant pride
And semblance of return : Anon from home
He issues forth anew, high-ridged and free -
The gentlest murmur of his seething foam,
Like armies whispering where great echoes be!
Oh leave me here upon this beach to rove,
Mute listener to that sound, so grand and lone
A glorious sound, deep drawn and strongly thrown,
And reaching those on mountain-heights above,
To British ears (as who shall scorn to own?)
A tutelar fond voice, a saviour-tone of love!
WHO had ever such adventure,
Holy priest or virgin nun,
As befel the Count Arnaldos
At the rising of the sun?
On his wrist the hawk was hooded,
Forth with horn and hound went he,
When he saw a stately galley
Sailing on the silent sea.
Sail of satin, mast of cedar,
Burnished poop of beaten gold, Many a morn you'll hood your falcon, Ere you such a bark behold.
Sails of satin, masts of cedar,
Golden poops may come again, But mortal ear no more shall listen To yon grey-haired sailor's strain.
Heart may beat, and eye may glisten,
Faith is strong, and Hope is free,
But mortal ear no more shall listen
To the song that rules the sea.
When the grey-haired sailor chaunted,
Every wind was hushed to sleep, —
Like a virgin's bosom panted
All the wide reposing deep.
Bright in beauty rose the star-fish
From her green cave down below, Right above the eagle poised him — Holy music charmed them so.
'Stately galley! glorious galley!
God hath poured his grace on thee!
Thou alone mayst scorn the perils
Of the dread devouring sea!
'False Almeria's reefs and shallows,
Black Gibraltar's giant rocks,
Sound and sand-bank, gulf and whirlpool,
All, my glorious galley mocks!'
'For the sake of God our Maker!'
(Count Arnaldos' cry was strong) –
'Old man, let me be partaker
In the secret of thy song!'
'Count Arnaldos! Count Arnaldos!
Hearts I read, and thoughts I know ;
Wouldst thou learn the ocean secret,
In our galley thou must go.'
WHAT hid'st thou in thy treasure-caves and cells,
Thou hollow-sounding and mysterious Main ?
Pale glist'ning pearls, and rainbow-colored shells,
Bright things which gleam unreck'd of, and in vain.
Keep, keep thy riches, melancholy sea!
We ask not such from thee.
Yet more, the Depths have more! untold,
Far down, and shining through their stillness, lies! Thou hast the starry gems, the burning gold,
Won from ten thousand royal Argosies.
Sweep o'er thy spoils, thou wild and wrathful Main! Earth claims not these again!