Least Rivers—docile To Some Sea

212

Least Rivers—docile to some sea.
My Caspian—thee.

by Emily Dickinson.

An Hour Is A Sea

825

An Hour is a Sea
Between a few, and me—
With them would Harbor be—

by Emily Dickinson.

Should You But Fail At—sea

226

Should you but fail at—Sea—
In sight of me—
Or doomed lie—
Next Sun—to die—
Or rap—at Paradise—unheard
I'd harass God
Until he let you in!

by Emily Dickinson.

Zeal without Meekness, like a ship at sea,
To rising storms may soon become a prey;
And Meekness without Zeal is still the same,
When a dead calm stops ev'ry sailor's aim.

by John Byrom.

The Sea Took Pity

The sea took pity: it interposed with doom:
‘I have tall daughters dear that heed my hand:
Let Winter wed one, sow them in her womb,
And she shall child them on the New-world strand.’
. . . . . . . .

by Gerard Manley Hopkins.

Black Riders Came From The Sea

Black riders came from the sea.
There was clang and clang of spear and shield,
And clash and clash of hoof and heel,
Wild shouts and the wave of hair
In the rush upon the wind:
Thus the ride of sin.

by Stephen Crane.

The lover of child Marjory
Had one white hour of life brim full;
Now the old nurse, the rocking sea,
Hath him to lull.
The daughter of child Marjory
Hath in her veins, to beat and run,
The glad indomitable sea,
The strong white sun.

by Bliss William Carman.

A Mahomedan Ship Fireman

UP from the oven pit,
The hell where poor men toil,
At the sunset hour he comes
Clean-clothed, washed from soil.
On the fo'c's'le head he kneels,
His face to the hallowed West.
He prays, and bows and prays.
Does he pray for death and rest?

by Francis William Lauderdale Adams.

Whether My Bark Went Down At Sea

52

Whether my bark went down at sea—
Whether she met with gales—
Whether to isles enchanted
She bent her docile sails—

By what mystic mooring
She is held today—
This is the errand of the eye
Out upon the Bay.

by Emily Dickinson.

Love And The Sea

Love one day, in childish anger,
Tired of his divinity,
Sick of rapture, sick of languor,
Threw his arrows in the sea.
Since then Ocean, like a woman,
Variable of nature seems:
Smiling; cruel; kind; inhuman;
Gloomed with grief and drowned in dreams.

by Madison Julius Cawein.

To the maiden
The sea was blue meadow,
Alive with little froth-people
Singing.

To the sailor, wrecked,
The sea was dead grey walls
Superlative in vacancy,
Upon which nevertheless at fateful time
Was written
The grim hatred of nature.

by Stephen Crane.

Exultation Is The Going

76

Exultation is the going
Of an inland soul to sea,
Past the houses—past the headlands—
Into deep Eternity—

Bred as we, among the mountains,
Can the sailor understand
The divine intoxication
Of the first league out from land?

by Emily Dickinson.

The Sea Said 'Come' To The Brook

The Sea said 'Come' to the Brook -
The Brook said 'Let me grow' -
The Sea said 'Then you will be a Sea -
I want a Brook - Come now'!

The Sea said 'Go' to the Sea -
The Sea said 'I am he
You cherished' - 'Learned Waters -
Wisdom is stale - to Me'

by Emily Dickinson.

As If The Sea Should Part

695

As if the Sea should part
And show a further Sea—
And that—a further—and the Three
But a presumption be—

Of Periods of Seas—
Unvisited of Shores—
Themselves the Verge of Seas to be—
Eternity—is Those—

by Emily Dickinson.

Carmel-By-The-Sea

Blue waves that wash a curved beach
Of sand, like drifted snow;
Song-waves, that sing in silvery speech,
A music soft and low.

A cloudless sun in heaven’s blue sweep;
Great stars, how near that seem!
The night an hour of sea-lulled sleep,
The day a rosy dream.

by Ina D. Coolbrith.

On This Wondrous Sea

4

On this wondrous sea
Sailing silently,
Ho! Pilot, ho!
Knowest thou the shore
Where no breakers roar—
Where the storm is o'er?

In the peaceful west
Many the sails at rest—
The anchors fast—
Thither I pilot thee—
Land Ho! Eternity!
Ashore at last!

by Emily Dickinson.

I'd like to be a sailor - a sailor bold and bluff
Calling out, 'Ship ahoy!' in manly tones and gruff.
I'd learn to box the compass, and to reef and tack and luff;
I'd sniff and snifff the briny breeze and never get enough.
Perhaps I'd chew tobacco, or an old black pipe I'd puff,
But I wouldn't be a sailor if ...
The sea was very rough.
Would you?

by Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis.

The Drop, That Wrestles In The Sea

284

The Drop, that wrestles in the Sea—
Forgets her own locality—
As I—toward Thee—

She knows herself an incense small—
Yet small—she sighs—if All—is All—
How larger—be?

The Ocean—smiles—at her Conceit—
But she, forgetting Amphitrite—
Pleads—"Me"?

by Emily Dickinson.

Home is the sailor, home from sea:
Her far-borne canvas furled
The ship pours shining on the quay
The plunder of the world.

Home is the hunter from the hill:
Fast in the boundless snare
All flesh lies taken at his will
And every fowl of air.

'Tis evening on the moorland free,
The starlit wave is still:
Home is the sailor from the sea,
The hunter from the hill.

by Alfred Edward Housman.

A South-Sea Islander

ALOLL in the warm clear water,
On her back with languorous limbs,
She lies. The baby upon her breasts
Paddles and falls and swims.
With half-closed eyes she smiles,
Guarding it with her hands;
And the sob swells up in my heart —
In my heart that understands.
Dear, in the English country,
The hatefullest land on earth,
The mothers are starved and the children die,
And death is better than birth!

by Francis William Lauderdale Adams.

What is Hope? A smiling rainbow
Children follow through the wet;
’Tis not here, still yonder, yonder:
Never urchin found it yet.

What is Life? A thawing iceboard
On a sea with sunny shore;—
Gay we sail; it melts beneath us;
We are sunk, and seen no more.

What is Man? A foolish baby,
Vainly strives, and fights, and frets;
Demanding all, deserving nothing;—
One small grave is what he gets.

by Thomas Carlyle.

The Debt Unpayable

What have I given,
Bold sailor on the sea?
In earth or heaven,
That you should die for me?

What can I give,
O soldier, leal and brave,
Long as I live,
To pay the life you gave?

What tithe or part
Can I return to thee,
O stricken heart,
That thou shouldst break for me?

The wind of Death
For you has slain life's flowers,
It withereth
(God grant) all weeds in ours.

by Francis William Bourdillon.

Sea’s Answer, The

I
I am the Sea, which God’s controlling hand
Holds in command.
Subservient in seeming good or ill
To work His will.
II
Or if my voice in peace or pain be heard
I speak His word;
He shapes His purpose through world-wrack or rest
As seems Him best.

III
This globe-of his vast universe a part-
I am, thou art,
An atom, each, in the eternal plan
We may not scan.

by Ina D. Coolbrith.

The Debtor Abroad

Grief for an absent lover, husband, friend,
Is barely felt before it comes to end:
A score of early consolations serve
To modify its mouth's dejected curve.
But woes of creditors when debtors flee
Forever swell the separating sea.
When standing on an alien shore you mark
The steady course of some intrepid bark,
How sweet to think a tear for you abides,
Not all unuseful, in the wave she rides!
That sighs for you commingle in the gale
Beneficently bellying her sail!

by Ambrose Bierce.

The Music Of Your Voice

A vase upon the mantelpiece,
A ship upon the sea,
A goat upon a mountain-top
Are much the same to me;
But when you mention melon jam,
Or picnics by the creek,
Or apple pies, or pantomimes,
I love to hear you speak.

The date of Magna Charta or
The doings of the Dutch,
Or capes, or towns, or verbs, or nouns
Do not excite me much;
But when you mention motor rides -
Down by the sea for choice
Or chasing games, or chocolates,
I love to hear your voice.

by Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis.

The wind blows cold and the wind blow keen,
And the dreary wintry sleet is falling;
And ever the sand-dunes, white, between
The Ocean voice is callig.

Calls with the sound that the sailor fears;
And the gulls. Low-flying, hasten in,
And the bent boughs shiver in fringe of tears
While the long night hours begin.

But over the path thro’ the Golden Door,
Where the troubled billows oam and flee,
Bonita’s Light from its rocky shore
Shines out to the ships at sea.

by Ina D. Coolbrith.

'The sky is clouded, the rocks are bare,
The spray of the tempest is white in air;
The winds are out with the waves at play,
And I shall not tempt the sea to-day.

'The trail is narrow, the wood is dim,
The panther clings to the arching limb;
And the lion's whelps are abroad at play,
And I shall not join in the chase to-day.'

But the ship sailed safely over the sea,
And the hunters came from the chase in glee;
And the town that was builded upon a rock
Was swallowed up in the earthquake shock.

by Francis Bret Harte.

On The Sea-Shore

Can nothing last?
No deep, intense emotion?
Have all things passed,
Can nothing last?
'Yes,' sighs the wind,
' My passion for the Ocean
Must always last.'

Is nothing True?
No words of protestation?
Love cries anew
' Is nothing True?'
'Yes,' sobs the sea,
' My endless adoration
For yonder rock is true !

'Will nothing stand
Against the stress of weather?
Storms sweep the land,
Will nothing stand ?
'Yes,' says the rock,
' For God and I together,
We two will stand.'

by Radclyffe Hall.

Lines Written By The Sea

If thou wert standing by yon tide,
And I were standing by thy side,
Methinks a death I could contrive,
Pleasanter than the life I live.
For I would lay me at thy feet,
And like a snowy winding-sheet,
The foaming fringes of the sea
Should roll themselves all over me,
And draw me but a little way
Into that cradle huge and gray,
And rock me all so tenderly,
And sing one sobbing lullaby,
And then unwind their foldings deep,
And lay me gently, fast asleep,
At thy dear feet, where I would lie
And sleep through all eternity.

by Frances Anne Kemble.

GIVE a man a horse he can ride,
   Give a man a boat he can sail;
And his rank and wealth, his strength and health,
   On sea nor shore shall fail.

Give a man a pipe he can smoke,
   Give a man a book he can read:
And his home is bright with a calm delight,
   Though the room be poor indeed.

Give a man a girl he can love,
   As I, O my love, love thee;
And his heart is great with the pulse of Fate,
   At home, on land, on sea.

by James Thomson.

Friend of my chamber--O thou spiral shell
That murmurest of the ever-murmuring sea!
Repeating with eternal constancy
Whatever memories the wave can tell;
Whatever harmonies may rise and swell,
Whatever sadness in the deep may be--
They are the ocean's, and desired of thee;
Thou treasurest what thou dost love so well.
So all my heart is one voluted fold,
Shielding one face, and evermore it seems
Upon the threshold of the prying day,
Hid in the tangle of reluctant dreams;
And in the noontide, and the evening grey,
Its light illumines secrecies untold

by Hubert Church.

Why should I be subsevient to fate
Si peu de chose before a giant world
Poor little ship with little sail unfurled
To catch the sun-breze at the harbor gate?
Why should I be a coal within the grate
Of never-ending love? Why intercurled
With some strange mermaid whom the tempests hurled
Far up the shore that mortals desecrate?
Why all these whys and wherefores of the mind
That strike like arrows on a marble floor
Beyond whose frigidness red lions roar
To guard the Sun I gave my youth to find?
And why should drowning in the blackest sea
Be better than to worship at her knee?

by Harry Crosby.

Old days, old ways, old homes beside the sea;
Old gardens with old-fashioned flowers aflame,
Poppy, petunia, and many a name
Of many a flower of fragrant pedigree.
Old hills that glow with blue- and barberry,
And rocks and pines that stand on guard, the same,
Immutable, as when the Pilgrim came,
And here laid firm foundations of the Free.
The sunlight makes the dim dunes hills of snow,
And every vessel's sail a twinkling wing
Glancing the violet ocean far away:
The world is full of color and of glow;
A mighty canvas whereon God doth fling
The flawless picture of a perfect day.

by Madison Julius Cawein.

I
This is my Sea, that to its circling sands
Reached dimpled hands,
Like a tired child that, lulled to slumber, lay
But yesterday.

II
Now a huge, hungry beast that from its lair
Would leap to tear
And crush and mangle and destroy its prey,
It threats today.

III
This too will cease, my Sea! Cease as a dream!
But wilt thou seem
Ever again, in anger or in play,
As yesterday?

* The sound of the ocean on San Francisco’s ‘Tragic Dawn’
April 18,1906, the date of the great earthquake, is said to
have been appalling.

by Ina D. Coolbrith.

Sonnet Lxx: On Being Cautioned Against Walking On An Headland Overlooking The Sea, Because It Was Frequented By A Lunatic

Is there a solitary wretch who hies
To the tall cliff, with starting pace or slow,
And, measuring, views with wild and hollow eyes
Its distance from the waves that chide below;
Who, as the sea-born gale with frequent sighs
Chills his cold bed upon the mountain turf,
With hoarse, half-utter'd lamentation, lies
Murmuring responses to the dashing surf?
In moody sadness, on the giddy brink,
I see him more with envy than with fear;
He has no nice felicities that shrink
From giant horrors; wildly wandering here,
He seems (uncursed with reason) not to know
The depth or the duration of his woe.

by Charlotte Smith.

By The Summer Sea

Sunlight and shrill cicada and the low,
Slow, sleepy kissing of the sea and shore,
And rumor of the wind. The morning wore
A sullen face of fog that lifted slow,
Letting her eyes gleam through of grayest glow;
Wearing a look like that which once she wore
When, Gloucesterward from Dogtown there, they bore
Some old witchwife with many a gibe and blow.
But now the day has put off every care,
And sits at peace beside the smiling sea,
Dreaming bright dreams with lazy-lidded eyes:
One is a castle, precipiced in air,
And one a golden galleons can it be
'Tis but the cloudworld of the sunset skies?

by Madison Julius Cawein.

Sonnet Xlii. To G. W. C. August 1, 1846.

THE day so long remembered comes again.
The years have vanished. On the vessel's deck
We stand and wave adieux, until a speck
Our bark appears to friends whose eyes would fain
Follow our voyage o'er the unknown main.
Shadows of sails and masts and rigging fleck
The sunlit ship. The captain's call and beck
Hurry the cheery sailors as they strain
The windy sheets; while we in careless mood
Gaze on the silver clouds and azure sea,
Filled with old ocean's novel solitude,
And dream of that new life of Italy,
The golden fleece for which we sailed away,
Whose splendor freshens this memorial day.

by Christopher Pearse Cranch.

Saturday Night Song At Sea

Come fill the can again, boys,
One parting glass, one parting glass;
Ere we shall meet again, boys,
Long years may pass, long years may pass.
We'll drink the gallant bark, boys,
That's borne us through, that's borne us through,
Bright waves and billows dark, boys,
Our ship and crew, our ship and crew.
We'll drink those eyes that bright, boys,
With smiling ray, with smiling ray,
Have shone like stars to light, boys,
Our wat'ry way, our wat'ry way.
We'll drink our English home, boys,
Our fatherland, our fatherland,
And the shores to which we're come, boys,
A sister strand, a sister strand.

by Frances Anne Kemble.

Sonnet Xliii: The Unhappy Exile

The unhappy exile, whom his fates confine
To the bleak coast of some unfriendly isle,
Cold, barren, desart, where no harvests smile,
But thirst and hunger on the rocks repine;
When, from some promontory's fearful brow,
Sun after sun he hopeless sees decline
In the broad shipless sea—perhaps may know
Such heartless pain, such blank despair as mine;
And, if a flattering cloud appears to show
The fancied semblance of a distant sail,
Then melts away—anew his spirits fail,
While the lost hope but aggravates his woe!
Ah! so for me delusive Fancy toils,
Then, from contrasted truth—my feeble soul recoils.

by Charlotte Smith.

The sea was witness of the words you said :
She hushed her every tide that she might hear
Your whispered love, and while you bent so near
My bosom, laying down your weary head
To rest thereon—the corals in their bed
Stirred with emotion, shaken as with fear,
And foam grew paler, passionately drear
As some wan smile, upon a face that 's dead.

I took your hand in mine, your living hand !
And pressed it closer, closer in mine own.
A nameless terror shocked me while I scanned
Your ardent face ; there rose a stifled moan
To part my lips; I saw the future stand
Before me, and behold! I was alone.

by Radclyffe Hall.

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