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From the tumbling surf that buries

The Orkneyan skerries,
Answering the hoarse Hebrides ;
And from wrecks of ships, and drifting

Spars, uplifting
On the desolate, rainy seas ; -

A WEARY weed, tossed to and fro,

Drearily drenched in the ocean brine, Soaring high and sinking low,

Lashed along without will of mine; Sport of the spoom of the surging sea ;

Flung on the foam, afar and anear, Mark my manifold mystery, –

Growth and grace in their place appear.

Ever drifting, drifting, drifting

On the shifting
Currents of the restless main;
Till in sheltered coves, and reaches

Of sandy beaches,
All have found repose again.

So when storms of wild emotion

Strike the ocean
Of the poet's soul, ere long,
From each cave and rocky fastness

In its vastness,
Floats some fragment of a song:

I bear round berries, gray and red,

Rootless and rover though I be;
My spangled leaves, when nicely spread,

Arboresce as a trunkless tree;
Corals curious coat me o'er,

White and hard in apt array; Mid the wild waves' rude uproar,

Gracefully grow I, night and day. Hearts there are on the sounding shore,

Something whispers soft to me, Restless and roaming for evermore,

Like this weary weed of the sea; Bear they yet on each beating breast

The eternal type of the wondrous whole — Growth unfolding amidst unrest, Grace informing with silent soul.


From the far-off isles enchanted

Heaven has planted

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A picture had it been of lasting ease,

Elysian quiet without toil or strife; No motion but the moving tide, a breeze,

Or merely silent Nature's breathing life.

Such, in the fond illusion of my heart,

Such picture would I at that time have made; And seen the soul of truth in every part, A steadfast peace that might not be be


Thou little bird, thou dweller by the sea,
Why takest thou its melancholy voice,

And with that boding cry

O'er the waves dost thou fly?

er, bird, with me
Through the fair land rejoice!
Thy flitting form comes ghostly dim and pale,
As driven by a beating storm at sea ;

Thy cry is weak and scared,

As if thy mates had shared The doom of us. Thy wail

What does it bring to me? Thou call'st along the sand, and haunt'st the surge, Restless and sad; as if, in strange accord

With the motion and the roar

Of waves that drive to shore, One spirit did ye urge

The Mystery — the Word.

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So once it would have been ;- 'tis so no more;

I have submitted to a new control; A power is gone, which nothing can restore;

A deep distress hath humanized my soul.

Not for a moment could I now behold

A smiling sea, and be what I have been; The feeling of my loss will ne'er be old ;

This, which I know, I speak with mind serene.



Of thousands thou both sepulchre and pall, Old Ocean, art! A requiem o'er the dead

From out thy gloomy cells

A tale of mourning tells Tells of man's woe and fall,

His sinless glory fled.

I do not fear for thee, though wroth

The tempest rushes through the sky; For are we not God's children both, Thou little sand-piper and If


The Coral Grove.

Then turn thee, little bird, and take thy flight Where the complaining sea shall sadness bring

Thy spirit never more.

Come, quit with me the shore
For gladness, and the light
Where birds of summer sing.


The Sand- Piper. Across the narrow beach we flit,

One little sand-piper and I; And fast I gather, bit by bit,

The scattered drift-wood, bleached and dry. The wild waves reach their hands for it,

The wild wind raves, the tide runs high, As up and down the beach we flit

One little sand-piper and I.

Above our heads the sullen clouds

Scud black and swift across the sky; Like silent ghosts, in misty shrouds

Stand out the white light-houses nigh. Almost as far as eye can reach,

I see the close-reefed vessels fly, As fast we flit along the beach

One little sand-piper and I.

Deep in the wave is a coral grove,
Where the purple mullet and gold-fish rove;
Where the sea-flower spreads its leaves of

That never are wet with falling dew,
But in bright and changeful beauty shine
Far down in the green and glassy brine.
The floor is of sand, like the mountain drift,
And the pearl-shells spangle the flinty snow;
From coral rocks the sea-plants lift
Their boughs, where the tides and billows

flow; The water is calm and still below, For the winds and waves are absent there, And the sands are bright as the stars that glow In the motionless fields of upper air. There, with its waving blade of green, The sea-flag streams through the silent water, And the crimson leaf of the dulse is seen To blush, like a banner bathed in slaughter. There, with a light and easy motion, The fan-coral sweeps through the clear, deep

sea; And the yellow and scarlet tufts of ocean Are bending like corn on the upland lea. And life, in rare and beautiful forms, Is sporting amid those bowers of stone, And is safe, when the wrathful spirit of storms Has made the top of the wave his own. And when the ship from his fury flies, Where the myriad voices of ocean roar, When the wind-god frowns in the murky

skies, And demons are waiting the wreck on shore; Then, far below, in the peaceful sea, The purple mullet and gold-fish rove Where the waters murmur tranquilly, Through the bending twigs of the coral

I watch him as he skims along,

Uttering his sweet and mournful cry; He starts not at my fitful song,

Or flash of fluttering drapery: He has no thought of any wrong,

He scans me with a fearless eye; Staunch friends are we, well-tried and strong,

This little sand-piper and I.

Comrade, where wilt thou be to-night,

When the loosed storm breaks furiously? My drift-wood fire will burn so bright !

To what warm shelter canst thou fly!



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