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EVENING VOLUNTARY.

141

By some acknowledgment of thanks and praise,
Soft in its temper as those vesper lays
Sung to the Virgin, while accordant oars
Urge the slow bark along Calabrian shores ;
A sea-born service, through the mountains felt,
Till into one loved vision all things melt:
Or like those hymns that soothe with graver sound
The gulfy coast of Norway iron-bound;
And from the wide and open Baltic rise
With punctual care, Lutherian harmonies.
Hush, not a voice is here! but why repine
Now when the star of eve comes forth to shine,
On British waters with that look benign?
Ye mariners, that plough your onward way
Or in the haven rest, or sheltering bay,
May silent thanks at least to God be given,
With a full heart; our thoughts are heard in Heaven!'

WORDSWORTI.

THE SEA – IN CALM.

Look what immortal floods the sunset pours
Upon us — Mark! how still (as though in dreams
Bound) the once wild and terrible ocean seems!
How silent are the winds ! no billow roars;
But all is tranquil as Elysian shores.
The silver margin which aye runneth round
The moon-enchanted sea, hath here no sound:
Even echo speaks not on these radiant moors !

What! is the Giant of the ocean dead,
Whose strength was all unmatched beneath the sun ?
No: he reposes! Now his toils are done,
More quiet than the babbling brooks is he.
So mightiest powers by deepest calms are fed,
And sleep, how oft, in things that gentlest be!

BARRY CORNWALL.

CAPE-COTTAGE AT SUNSET.

We stood upon the ragged rocks,

When the long day was nearly done; The waves had ceased their sullen shocks,

And lapped our feet with murmuring tone, And o’er the bay in streaming locks

Blew the red tresses of the sun.

Along the West the golden bars

Still to a deeper glory grew; Above our heads the faint, few stars

Looked out from the unfathomed blue : And the far city's clamorous jars

Seemed melted in that evening hue.

O sunset sky! O purple tide!

O friends to friends that closer pressed ! Those glories have in darkness died,

And ye have left my longing breast. I could not keep you by my side,

Nor fix that radiance in the West.

Upon those rocks the waves shall beat

With the same low and murmuring strain,
Across those waves, with glancing feet,

The sunset rays shall seek the main ;
But when together shall we meet
Upon that far-off shore again ?

W. B. GLAZIER.

A SEA-SIDE WALK.

We walked beside the sea, After a day which perished silently Of its own glory, — like the Princess weird, Who combating the Genius, scorched and seared, Uttered with burning breath, `Ho, victory!' And sank adown, an heap of ashes pale.

So runs the Arab tale.

The sky above us showed An universal and unmoving cloud, On which the cliffs permitted us to see Only the outlines of their majesty, As master-minds, when gazed at by the crowd: And shining with a gloom, the water gray

Swang in its morn-taught way.

A SEA-SIDE WALK.

145

Nor moon nor stars were out, They did not dare to tread so soon about, Though trembling in the footsteps of the sun. The light was neither night's nor day's, but one Which, lifelike, had a beauty in its doubt; And Silence's impassioned breathings round

Seemed wandering into sound.

O solemn-beating heart Of Nature! I have knowledge that thou art Bound unto man's by cords he cannot sever, — And what time they are slackened by him ever, So to attest his own supernal part, Still runneth thy vibration, fast and strong,

The slackened cord along.

For though we never spoke Of the gray water and the shaded rock, – Dark wave and stone, unconsciously, were fused Into the plaintive speaking that we used Of absent friends and memories unforsook ; And, had we seen each other's face, we had Seen, haply, each was sad.

ELIZABETH BARRETT BROWNING.

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