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.

Den Tydske Marine

Som Gergesenske Sviin fik Lyst
At springe fra den steile Kyst,
Saa foer i Tydsken Fanden løs,
Nu absolut han vil tilsøes.

by Christian Winther.

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.

So many droplets in the sea

So many droplets in the sea, in bread so many grains;
So too of our multiplicity, nothing but God remains.

English version by Gabriel Rosenstock
Original Language German

by Angelus Silesius.

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.

SILENCE deep rules o'er the waters,

Calmly slumb'ring lies the main,
While the sailor views with trouble

Nought but one vast level plain.

Not a zephyr is in motion!

Silence fearful as the grave!
In the mighty waste of ocean

Sunk to rest is ev'ry wave.

by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

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.

Sleep Compared To The Sea.

The tide comes in, a surge from the great sea,
And every little muddy creek and inlet
Now sweltering in the heat, will soon be filled
With the salt sweetness; even as sleep comes
After a term of toil to the tired brain,
A-surge from out the infinite, and fills
All of life's inlets with a dewy ease.

by Robert Crawford.

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.

The sea took a sailor to its depths.--
His mother, unsuspecting, goes and lights

a tall candle before the Virgin Mary
for his speedy return and for fine weather --

and always she turns her ear to the wind.
But while she prays and implores,

the icon listens, solemn and sad,
knowing that the son she expects will no longer return.

by Constantine P. Cavafy.

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.

Let me stop here. Let me, too, look at nature awhile.
The brilliant blue of the morning sea, of the cloudless sky,
the yellow shore; all lovely,
all bathed in light.

Let me stand here. And let me pretend I see all this
(I really did see it for a minute when I first stopped)
and not my usual day-dreams here too,
my memories, those images of sensual pleasure.

by Constantine P. Cavafy.

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.

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.

It's like him, of course,
this little pencil portrait.
Hurriedly sketched, on the ship's deck,
the afternoon magical,
the Ionian Sea around us.
It's like him. But I remember him as better looking.
He was almost pathologically sensitive,
and this highlighted his expression.
He appears to me better looking
now that my soul brings him back, out of Time.
Out Of Time. All these things are very old
the sketch, the ship, the afternoon.

by Constantine P. Cavafy.

Music, like an ocean, often carries me away!
Through the ether far,
or under a canopy of mist, I set sail
for my pale star.
Breasting the waves, my lungs swollen
like a ship’s canvas,
night veils from me the long rollers,
I ride their backs:
I sense all a suffering vessel’s passions
vibrating within me:
while fair winds or the storm’s convulsions
on the immense deep
cradle me. Or else flat calm, vast mirror there
of my despair!

by Charles Baudelaire.

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 Spirit's Salute

THE hero's noble shade stands high

On yonder turret grey;
And as the ship is sailing by,

He speeds it on his way.

"See with what strength these sinews thrill'd!

This heart, how firm and wild!
These bones, what knightly marrow fill'd!

This cup, how bright it smil'd!

"Half of my life I strove and fought,

And half I calmly pass'd;
And thou, oh ship with beings fraught,

Sail safely to the last!"

by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

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.

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.

Saa briseblaa mod den klinthøje Kyst
gaar Stranden som Nyn af den kærestes Røst,
naar med røde Tøfler og slentrende Fjed
hun kommer om Morgnen ad Trapperne ned.

Jeg ser fra en Skrænt, som er mos-kølig, fin,
over Storebælts Lærred et Lufthav som Vin,
hvis Sol kysser Varme til Knoklernes Grund,
som det unge Goddag af den blodfine Mund.

Og jeg tror, om jeg laa mellem Tangplanter død,
som et bleget Skelet: hvis jeg bares til Glød
af Sollys og Kys af de Læbers Koral -
brød der Blomster frem af min Dødningeskal.

by Sophus Niels Christen Claussen.

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.

A Song Of The Sea.

Here within the half-light 'tween the night and day
Upon the sands I lie, with thoughts that idly stirr'd
Seem, as in a dream, with life and death to play,
As o'er the sea there flits a pale white bird.
In my heart I hear it, the murmur of the sea,
Ah! and memories of other lives are stirr'd,
As somewise there came a mystic voice to me
As o'er the sea there flits a pale white bird.
Who but knows that in me is a ghost that hears
A voice it heard of old in the primeval word —
A memory so dim, it like a dream appears
As o'er the sea there flits a pale white bird!

by Robert Crawford.

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.

The Sea Of Time.

On that strange sea
Where Man's bark moves as toward eternity,
What sails put forth that are not seen again!
.... Joyous it may be, or in pain,
The mariner doth drive still on and on
Beneath no mortal star,
And to no mortal port — as one
Who may but anchor somewhere so afar,
Not himself recks if he shall reach no more
In that tremendous sea another shore:
He is so like a wave himself at last,
He would toss through the future as the past —
But tethered as a whale is to a wave,
So he might still the one life have
Through all the changes that may be
On that tremendous sea!

by Robert Crawford.