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That to the ocean seemed to say,
Take her, O bridegroom, old and gray,
How beautiful she is! How fair
Sail forth into the sea of life,
Thou, too, sail on, O Ship of State !
In spite of rock and tempest's roar,
THE EVENING STAR.
Just above yon sandy bar,
As the day grows fainter and dimmer, Lonely and lovely, a single star
Lights the air with a dusky glimmer.
Into the ocean faint and far
Falls the trail of its golden splendor, And the gleam of that single star
Is ever refulgent, soft, and tender.
Chrysaor rising out of the sea,
Showed thus glorious and thus emulous, Leaving the arms of Callirrhoe,
Forever tender, soft, and tremulous.
Thus o'er the ocean faint and far
Trailed the gleam of his falchion brightly ; Is it a God, or is it a star
That, entranced, I gaze on nightly!
THE SECRET OF THE SEA.
An! what pleasant visions haunt me
As I gaze upon the sea! All the old romantic legends,
All my dreams, come back to me.
Sails of silk and ropes of sendal,
Such as gleam in ancient lore; And the singing of the sailors,
And the answer from the shore !
Most of all, the Spanish ballad
Haunts me oft, and tarries long, Of the noble Count Arnaldos
And the sailor's mystic song.
Like the long waves on a sea-beach,
Where the sand as silver shines, With a soft, monotonous cadence,
Flow its unrhymed lyric lines;
Telling how the Count Arnaldos,
With his hawk upon his hand, Saw a fair and stately galley,
Steering onward to the land ;
How he heard the ancient helmsman
Chant a song so wild and clear, That the sailing sea-bird slowly
Poised upon the mast to hear,
Till his soul was full of longing,
And he cried, with impulse strong, “ Helmsman! for the love of heaven,
Teach me, too, that wondrous song!” 56 Wouldst thou,”- --so the helmsman answered,
« Learn the secret of the sea ? Only those who brave its dangers
Comprehend its mystery !
In each sail that skims the horizon,
In each landward-blowing breeze, I behold that stately galley,
Hear those mournful melodies ;
Till my soul is full of longing
For the secret of the sea,
Sends a thrilling pulse through me.
THE twilight is sad and cloudy,
The wind blows wild and free, And like the wings of sea-birds
Flash the white caps of the sea.
But in the fisherman's cottage
There shines a ruddier light, And a little face at the window
Peers out into the night.
Close, close it is pressed to the window,
As if those childish eyes Were looking into the darkness,
To see some form arise.
And a woman's waving shadow
Is passing to and fro, Now rising to the ceiling,
Now bowing and bending low.
What tale do the roaring ocean,
And the night-wind, bleak and wild, As they beat at the crazy casement,
Tell to that little child ?
And why do the roaring ocean,
And the night-wind, wild and bleak, As they beat at the heart of the mother,
Drive the color from her cheek?
SIR HUMPHREY GILBERT.
SOUTHWARD with fleet of ice
Sailed the corsair Death ; Wild and fast blew the blast,
And the east-wind was his breath.
His lordly ships of ice
Glistened in the sun;
Flashing crystal streamlets run.
His sails of white sea-mist
Dripped with silver rain ;
Leaden shadows o'er the main.
Eastward from Campobello
Sir Humphrey Gilbert sailed; Three days or more seaward he bore,
Then, alas! the land-wind failed.
Alas! the land-wind failed,
And ice-cold grew the night : And never more, on sea or shore,
Should Sir Humphrey see the light.