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HYMN TO THE SEA.

Who shall declare the secret of thy birth,
Thou old companion of the circling earth ?
And having reached with keen poetic sight

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,
In the old prime were fashioned in one day;
And therefore thou delightest evermore

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
With nations at her side ; her milk doth flow
Each year; but thee no husband dares to tame,

Thy wild will is thine own,

Thy sole and virgin throne — Thy mood is ever changing — thy resolve the same.

HYMN TO THE SEA.

27

Sunlight and moonlight minister to thee;-
O'er the broad circles of the shoreless sea
Heaven's two great lights forever set and rise ;

While the round vault above

In vast and silent love
Is gazing down upon thee with his hundred eyes.

All night thou utterest forth thy solemn moan,
Counting the weary minutes all alone;
Then in the morning thou dost calmly lie

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
Over an hundred hills; quaint shadows flee
Across thy marbled mirror; brooding lie

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 —
Time's childhood, and Time's age thou hast beheld;
His arm is feeble, and his eye is dim;

He tells old tales again,

He wearies of long pain Thou art as at the first — thou journiedst not with him.

HENRY ALFORD.

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

loses.

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
Into its clear, sad universe of wonder.
O, weary of life's shallow, lavish sound,
Enrich me beyond hunger with that tone!

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,
To that hoar silence of the lone mid-seas,
Where thou, in unrelated strength, a bare,
Vast heart, throbbest beneath the eternal Eye.

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,
Patience transfigures on her visioned heights.
Thou dost not rive the blood-drenched deck apart,
Nor whelm the slaver's freight of woes; but, soft,

On patient, swelling breast upborne,

Waftest the dismal burthen on,
As trusting in the love that waits aloft,
And the slow germ of good in man's unquiet heart.

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