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And brook'st commandment from the heavens
alone For marshalling thy waves
Yet, potent Sea! llow placidly thy moist lips speak even now Along yon sparkling shingles. Who can be So fanciless as to feel no gratitude That power and grandeur can be so serene, Soothing the home-bound navy's peaceful way, And rocking even the fisher's litle bark As gently as a mother rocks her child ?
The inhabitants of other worlds behold Our orb more for thy spacious share On earth's rotundity; and is he not A blind worm in the dust, great Deep, the man Who sees not, or, who seeing, has no joy In thy magnificence? What though thou art Unconscious and material, thou canst reach The inmost immaterial mind's recess, And wiih thy tints and motion stir its chords To music, like the light on Memnon's lyre !
The Spirit of the Universe in thee Is visible; thou hast in thee the lifeThe eternal, graceful, and majestic life Of nature, and the natural human heart Is therefore bound to thee with holy love. Earth has her gorgeous towns; the earth-cir.
cling sea Has spires and mansions more amusive still Men's volant homes that measure liquid space
On wheel or wing. The chariot of the land, With pained and panting steeds and clouds of
dust, Has no sight-gladdening motion like these fair Careerers with the foam beneath their bows, Whose streaming ensigns charm the waves by day, Whose carols and whose watch-bells cheer the
night, Moored as they cast the shadows of their masts In long array, or hither flit and yond Mysteriously with slow and crossing lights, Like spirits on the darkness of the deep.
There is a magnet-like attraction in These waters, to the imaginative power That links the viewless with the visible, And pictures things unseen. To realms beyond Yon highway of the world my fancy flies, When by her tall and triple mast we know Some noble voyager that has to woo The trade-winds, and to stem the ecliptic surge. The coral-groves the shores of conch and pearl, Where she will cast her anchor and reflect Her cabin-window lights on warmer waves, And under planets brighter than our own: The nights of palmy isles, that she will see Lit bourdless by the fire-fly--all the smells Of tropic fruit that will regale her-all The pomp of nature, and the inspiriting Varieties of life she has to greet, Come swarming over the meditative mind.
True, to the dream of Fancy, Ocean has His darker tints; but where the element That chequers not its usefulness to man With casual terror ? Scathes not Earth sometimes Her children with Tartarean fires, or shakes The shrieking cities, and with one last clang Of bells for their own ruin, strews them flat As riddled ashes--silent as the grave ? Walks not Contagion on the Air itself ? I should-old Ocean's Saturnalian days And roaring nights of revelry and sport With wreck and human woe-be loth to sing ; For they are few, and all their ills weigh light Against his sacred usefulness, that bids Our pensile globes revolve in purer air. Here Morn and Eve with blushing thanks receive Their freshening dews, gay fluttering breezes cool Their wings to fan the brow of fevered climes, And here the Spring dips down her emerald urn For showers to glad the earth.
Old Ocean was Infinity of ages ere we breathed Existence and he will be beautiful When all the living world that sees him now Shall roll unconscious dust around the sun. Quelling from age to age the vital throb In human hearts, Death shall not subjugate The pulse that swells in his stupendous breast, Or interdict his minstrelsy to sound In thundering concert with the quivering winds ;
But long as man to parent Nature owns
SUNSET NEAR VENICE.
How beautiful is sunset when the glow
Between the east and west; and half the sky
Ere it fade, Said my companion, " I will show you soon A better station, So, o'er the lagune We glided, and from that funeral bark I leaned, and saw the city, and could mark How from their many isles, in evening's gleam, Iis temples and its palaces did seem Like fabrics of enchantment piled to heaven.