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HYMN TO THE SEA.
Who shall declare the secret of thy birth,
Ere beast or happy bird
Through the vast silence stirred, Roll back the folded darkness of the primal night?
Thou and the earth, twin sisters, as they say,
With her to lie and play
The summer hours away, Curling thy loving ripples up her quiet shore.
She is a married matron long ago
Thy wild will is thine own,
Thy sole and virgin throne — Thy mood is ever changing — thy resolve the same.
HYMN TO THE SEA.
Sunlight and moonlight minister to thee;-
While the round vault above
In vast and silent love
All night thou utterest forth thy solemn moan,
Deep blue, ere yet the sun
His day-work hath begun Under the opening windows of the golden sky.
The spirit of the mountain looks on thee
Storm-mists of infant cloud
With a sight-baffling shroud, Mantling the grey-blue islands in the western sky.
Daughter and darling of remotest eld —
He tells old tales again,
He wearies of long pain Thou art as at the first — thou journiedst not with him.
O HOLY SEA!
O CRADLE of the rising sun, O holy sea!
O grave of every setting sun, O holy sea! O thou in balmy nights outspreading the crystal mirror
Where Luna looks, — a silent nun, - O holy sea ! O thou in silent midnights chiming, through thy wide
realm, With starry choirs, - sweet unison, -0 holy sea! The morning's and the evening's red bloom out from
thee, Two roses of thy garden-bed, O holy sea ! 0 Amphitrite's panting bosom, whose heavy waves
Now swell, now sink, beneath the moon, O holy sea! O Aphrodite's womb maternal ! bring forth thy child,
And borrow splendor from thy son, O holy sea! Sprinkle the earth's green wreath of spring with pearly
dew, For thine the pearls are, every one, O holy sea ! The Naiads of the meadows all, that sprang from thee,
Come back as Nereids at thy call, O holy sea ! The ships of thought sail over thee and sink in thee;
Atlantis rests there, mighty one, O holy sea! The beaker of the gods, that fell from high Olympus,
Hangs on the coral-twigs, far down, O holy sea ! My spirit yearneth like the moon to sink in thee; Forth send me from thee like the sun, O holy sea!
From the German of RÜCKERT.
HYMN TO THE SEA.
ALONG yon soft tumultuousness, the dawn
Reaches a glowing hand, and the mute world
Thrills back to life. This lustrous blossom, curled In on its dreaming heart, feels the forlorn Old Shadow lift, and guardedly discloses Its wayside cheer; and endless waves away
Flash the broad triumph of the light,
Rejoicing in the infinite And quenchless possibility of Day; Day,- that at least shall win far more than darkness
Over those morning waves, or when the bare
The eternal Beauty, that, these countless years, Makes earthly musings so divinely fair, Broods, listening to the prophecy thou chantest;— The subtle breath of mortal sympathies
Is she — wooing us unto right
In unsuspected ways — a light From inmost heaven, tempered to dreaming eyes A sweet foreshadow of the joy for which thou pantest.
Roll in from far thy deep, broad-skirted thunder,
On which the wild winds fawn! Thy voice by day!
But night adopts and trances it away
Tell in what deep, grey solitude
Thy voice is born — what caverns rude Still haunt it — and if the Infinite ALONE Touch it himself with calm, and utterance so profound.
I am borne outward by this fragrant breeze,
Which seems to press its warm lips to the sand
And then away,- beyond the singing land,
Life soars like an enfranchised flame;
The needy doubt, the hope, that came Before the laggard dawn to wake me, — fly; And dim Eternity flows in, like silent air.
Do tempests swing thee, or deep, choral nights
Chant unto murmurous slumber — yield me still
The calm of hushed abysses : human ill,
On patient, swelling breast upborne,
Waftest the dismal burthen on,