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They turned to the Earth, but she frowns on her child;
they turned to the sea, and he smiled as of old:
Sweeter than the land, with its bondage and gold!
It plays with the clouds, it mocks the skies,
In acclamation. I behold the ships
I love, O, how I love to ride
But who shall bide thy tempest, who shall On the fierce, foaming, bursting tide,
face Where every mad wave drowns the moon, The blast that wakes the fury of the sea ? And whistles aloft its tempest tune,
O God ! thy justice makes the world turn pale, And tells how goeth the world below,
When on the arméd fleet, that royally And why the southwest wind doth blow ! Bears down the surges, carrying war, to smite I never was on the dull, tame shore
Some city or invade some thoughtless realm, But I loved the great sea more and more,
Descends the fierce tornado. The vast hulks And backward flew to her billowy breast,
Are whirled like chaff upon the waves ; the Like a bird that seeketh her mother's nest,
sails And a mother she was and is to me,
Fly, rent like webs of gossamer ; the masts For I was born on the open sea.
Are snapped asunder; downward from the decks
Downward are slung, into the fathomless gulf, The waves were white, and red the morn,
Their cruel engines ; and their hosts, arrayed In the noisy hour when I was born ;
In trappings of the battle-field, are whelmed The whale it whistled, the porpoise rolled,
By whirlpools or dashed dead upon the rocks. And the dolphins bared their backs of gold ;
Then stand the nations still with awe, and And never was heard such an outcry wild,
pause As welcomed to life the ocean child.
A moment from the bloody work of war.
These restless surges eat away the shores
And the tide drifts the sea-sand in the streets Shall come on the wide, unbounded sea ! Of the drowned city. Thou, meanwhile, afar
In the green chambers of the middle sea,
Creator! thou dost teach the coral worm
To lay his mighty reefs. From age to age,
He builds beneath the waters, till, at last, The sea is mighty, but a mightier sways
His bulwarks overtop the brine, and check His restless billows. Thou, whose hands have The long wave rolling from the southern pole
scooped His boundless gulfs and built his shore, thy That smonlder under ocean, heave on high
To break upon Japan. Thou bid'st the fires, breath,
The new-made mountains, and uplift their peaks, That moved in the beginning o'er his face,
A place of refuge for the storm-driven bird. Moves o'er it evermore. The obedient waves
The birds and wafting billows plant the rifts To its strong motion roll, and rise and fall.
With herb and tree ; sweet fountains gush; Still from that realm of rain thy cloud goes up,
sweet airs As at the first, to water the great earth,
Ripple the living lakes that, fringed with flowAnd keep her valleys green. A hundred realms
ers, Watch its broad shadow warping on the wind,
Are gathered in the hollows. Thou dost look And in the dropping shower with glaulness hear On thy creation and pronounce it good. Thy promise of the harvest. I look forth
Its valleys, glorious with their summer green, Over the boundless blue, where joyously
Praise thee in silent beauty; and its woods The bright crests of innumerable waves
Swept by the murmuring winds of ocean, join Glance to the sun at once, as when the hands
The murmuring shores in a perpetual hymn. Of a great multitude are upward flung
WILLIAM CULLEN BRYANT.
Ah! why hath Jehovah, in forming the world,
His ramparts of rocks round the continent hurled,
And cradled the deep in his hand, (Written at Scarborough, in the summer of 1805.] If man may transgress his eternal command, All hail to the ruins, the rocks, and the shores ! And leap o'er the bounds of his birth, Thou wide-rolling Ocean, all hail !
ravage the uttermost earth, Now brilliant with sunbeams and dimpled with and violate nations and realms that should be
Distinct as the billows, yet one as the sea ? oars, Now dark with the fresh-blowing gale, While soft o'er thy bosom the cloud-shadows sail, There are, gloomy Ocean, a brotherless clan, And the silver-winged sea-fowl on high,
Who traverse thy banishing waves, Like meteors bespangle the sky,
The poor disinherited outcasts of man, Or dive in the gulf, or triumphantly ride,
Whom Avarice coins into slaves. Like foam on the surges, the swans of the tide.
From the homes of their kindred, their fore
fathers' graves, From the tumult and smoke of the city set free, Love, friendship, and conjugal bliss, With eager and awful delight,
They are dragged on the hoary abyss ; From the crest of the mountain I gaze upon thee, The shark hears their shrieks, and, ascending toI gaze, - and am changed at the sight;
day, For mine eye is illumined, my genius takes flight, Demands of the spoiler his share of the prey. My soul, like the sun, with a glance Embraces the boundless expanse,
Then joy to the tempest that whelms them beneath, And moves on thy waters, wherever they roll,
And makes their destruction its sport; From the day-darting zone to the night-shadowed But woč to the winds that propitiously breathe, pole.
And waft them in safety to port,
Where the vultures and vampires of Mammon My spirit descends where the day-spring is born, resort; Where the billows are rubies on fire,
Where Europe exultingly drains And the breezes that rock the light cradle of morn The life-blood from Africa's veins ; Are sweet as the Phenix's pyre.
Where man rules o'er man with a merciless rod, O regions of beauty, of love and desire ! And spurns at his footstool the image of God!
The hour is
approaching, a terrible hour ! The blood of our ancestors nourished the tree; And Vengeance is bending her bow;
From their tombs, from their ashes, it sprung; Already the clouds of the hurricane lower, Its boughs with their trophies are hung; And the rock-rending whirlwinds blow; Their spirit dwells in it, and — hark! for it Back rolls the huge Ocean, hell opens below;
spoke, The floods return headlong, — they sweep
The voice of our fathers ascends from their oak. The slave-cultured lands to the deep, In a moment entombed in the horrible void, “Ye Britons, who dwell where we conquered of By their Maker himself in his anger destroyed. old,
Who inherit our battle-field graves ; Shall this be the fate of the cane-planted isles, Though poor were your fathers, – gigantic and More lovely than clouds in the west,
bold, When the sun o'er the ocean descending in smiles, We were not, we could not be, slaves; Sinks softly and sweetly to rest ?
But firm as our rocks, and as free as our waves, No!- Father of mercy! befriend the opprest; The spears of the Romans we broke, At the voice of thy gospel of peace
We never stooped under their yoke. May the sorrows of Africa cease ;
In the shipwreck of nations we stood up alone, – And slave and his master devoutly unite The world was great Cæsar's, but Britain our own. To walk in thy freedom and dwell in thy light!
As homeward my weary-winged Fancy extends
ADDRESS TO THE OCEAN.
Thou symbol of a drear immensity !
Like a huge animal, which, downward hurled All foaming, and panting with blood ;
From the black clouds, lies weltering and alone, The panic-struck Ocean in agony roars, Lashing and writhing till its strength be gone ! Rebounds from the battle, and flies to his shores. Thy voice is like the thunder, and thy sleep
Is as a giant's slumber, loud and deep. For Britannia is wielding the trident to-day, Thou speakest in the east and in the west Consuming her foes in her ire,
At once, and on thy heavily laden breast And hurling her thunder with absolute sway Fleets come and go, and shapes that have no life From her wave-ruling chariots of fire.
Or motion, yet are moved and meet in strife. She triumphs ; the winds and the waters con- The earth has naught of this: no chance or change spire
Ruffles its surface, and no spirits dare To spread her invincible name;
Give answer to the tempest-wakened air ; The universe rings with her fame ;
But o'er its wastes the weakly tenants range But the cries of the fatherless mix with her At will, and wound its bosom as they go : praise,
Ever the same, it hath no ebb, no flow : And the tears of the widow are shed on her bays. But in their stated rounds the seasons come,
And pass like visions to their wonted home; O Britain, dear Britain ! the land of my birth; And come again, and vanish ; the young Spring 0 Isle most enchantingly fair !
Looks ever bright with leaves and blossoming ; Thou Pearl of the Ocean ! thou Gem of the Earth! And Winter always winds his sullen horn, O my Mother, my Mother, beware,
When the wild Autumn, with a look forlorn, For wealth is a phantom, and empire a snare ! Dies in his stormy manhood; and the skies O, let not thy birthright be sold
Weep, and flowers sicken, when the summer flies. For reprobate glory and gold !
O, wonderful thou art, great element, Thy distant dominions like wild graftings shoot, And fearful in thy spleeny humors bent, They weigh down thy trunk, they will tear up and lovely in repose ! thy summer form thy root,
Is beautiful, and when thy silver waves
Make music in earth's dark and winding caves, The root of thine oak, O my country! that I love to wander on thy pebbled beach, stands
Marking the sunlight at the evening hour, Rock-planted and flourishing free ;
And hearken to the thoughts thy waters teach, — Its branches are stretched o'er the uttermost lands, Eternity – Eternity — and Power. And its shadow eclipses the sea.