« السابقةمتابعة »
And giving to the glancing sea-bird's wing
The semblance of a meteor.
Cameleon-like thou changest, but there's love
In all thy change, and constant sympathy
With yonder Sky-thy Mistress; from her brow
Thou tak’st thy moods and wear'st her colours on
Thy faithful bosom; morning's milky white,
Noon's sapphire, or the saffron glow of eve;
And all thy balmier hours, fair Element,
Have such divine complexion--crisped smiles,
Luxuriant heavings, and sweet whisperings,
That little is the wonder Love's own Queen
From thee of old was fabled to have sprung-
Creation's common ! which no human power
Can parcel or inclose; the lordliest floods
And cataracts that the tiny hands of man
Can tame, conduct, or bound, are drops of dew
To thee that couldst subdue the Earth itself,
And brook'st commandment from the heavens alone
For marshalling thy waves-
Yet, potent Sea! How placidly thy moist lips speak ev'n 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 ev’n the fisher's little bark As gently as a mother rocks her child ?The inhabitants of other worlds behold Our orb more lucid 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 with 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 life-
The 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-circling 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 pain'd 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,
Moor'd 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 boundless by the fire-fly--all the smells
Of tropic fruits that will regale her-all
The pomp of nature, and the inspiriting
Varieties of life she has to greet,
Come swarming o'er the meditative mind.
True, to the dream of Fancy, Ocean has
His darker tints; but where's the element
That chequers not its usefulness to man
With casual terror ? Scathes not Earth sometimes
Her children with Tartarean fires, or shakes
Their 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 globe revolve in purer air.
Here Morn and Eve with blushing thanks receive
Their fresh’ning dews, gay fluttering breezes cool
Their wings to fan the brow of fever'd 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 thund’ring concert with the quiring winds;
But long as Man to parent nature owns
Instinctive homage, and in times beyond
The power of thought to reach, bard after bard
Shall sing thy glory, Beatific Sea.
Nay, shrink not from that word, “ Farewell!'
As if 'twere Friendship's final knell;
Such fears may prove but vain :
So changeful is life's Feeting day,
Whene'er we sever--Hope may say,
We part, to meet again !
E’en the last parting Earth can know,
Brings not unutterable woe,
To souls that heavenward soar ;
For humble Faith, with stedfast eye,
Points to a brighter world on high,
Where hearts, that here at parting sigh,
May meet~to part no more !
PRINTED BY HENRY WARD, MERCERY LANE, CANTERBURY.