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Poetry: A Hymn Of The Sea

Poetry: A Hymn Of The Sea image
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The sea is mighty, but a mightier sways His restless billows. Thou, whose hands liave scooped His boundlees gulfs and built his sliore, thy breath, That moved in theboginningo'er his racr, Moves o'er it evermore. The obedient waves. To its sirong jnolion, roll and rise and fall. Siill from that realm of rain thy cloud goes up, As at the first, to water the great earth, And keep her valleys green. A hundred realms Watch its broad shadow warping on the wind, And in the dropping sho'wer, with gladness, hcar Tliy promise of the harvest. I look forth, Over the boundles3blue, where, joyously, The bnght crests ol innumerable waves Glance to the sim at once, ns when the hands Of a great multitude are upward flung In ncclamation. I behold tlie ships Gliding from cape to cape, ftom isle to islc, Or stemming toward far lands, or haMeninghomc From the old world. It is thy Iriendly breeze Tliat bcars them, with the richesof the land, And treasure of dear hvesj till, in the port, The shouting seaman cliinbs and furls the sail. But who shall blde thy tempest, who shall face The hlost that wakes the fury of the sea? Oh God! thy j ïstice tnakes the wo;li turn pale, When on the armed fleet, that roya41y Bears down the surges, cnrrying war, to smite Some city. or invade sume thoughtlefsrealin, Descends the fieree. tornado. The vast hulks Arcwhirled like chnff upon the waves; the sails Fiy, rent like; the masts Are snapped asunder; downward from the decks, Düwnwárd are slung, into thefat'iomlcss gulf, Their crtxel engincs, and their hosts, arrayed In trappings of the batile-field. are whelmed' By whirlpool, ordashed dead upon the rocka. Then stand the naüonsstül withawe, and pause. A moment, from the bloody work of war. These restless surges eat away the shores Of earth' s old continent, the fcrtile plain "Wchers in shallows. licadssnd crumbles down, And the tide diifta the sea-snnd in the sueets Of the drowned city. Thou meanwhile, afar, Ín the green chambers of the middle sen, Where broadest spread the waters and the line Sinks deopest, while no cye beholds thy work, Creator! thou dost teach the coral worm To lny his mighty reefs. From age to age, He builds beneath the waters, till, at last, His bulwarks overlap the brine, and check The long wave rolling from the Southern pole To break upon Jipan. Thou bidst the fires, That stnoulder under ocean, heave on high The new mado mountains, and uplift their peaks, A place of refuge for the storm-driven bird. The birds and waiiing billows plant the rifts With hevb and tree; sweet fountains gush; sweet airs Ripple the living lakes,that, fringed with fiowcrs Are gathering in the hoüows. Thou dost look On thy creation and pronounce it good. lisvalleys; glorious with their suinmer green, Praise tiiee in silcnt beauty, and its woods, Swept by the niurinuring winds of occan, join The murmuring shores in a perpetual liynin.