« VorigeDoorgaan »
It plays with the clouds, it mocks the skies,
In acclamation. I behold the ships
I love, O, how I love to ride
But who shall bide thy tempest, who shall On the fierce, foaming, bursting tide,
face Where every mad wave drowns the moon, The blast that wakes the fury of the sea ? And whistles aloft its tempest tune,
O God ! thy justice makes the world turn pale, And tells how goeth the world below,
When on the arméd fleet, that royally
Some city or invade some thoughtless realm,
Descends the fierce tornado. The vast hulks And backward flew to her billowy breast, Are whirled like chaff upon the waves ; the Like a bird that seeketh her mother's nest,
sails And a mother she was and is to me,
Fly, rent like webs of gossamer ; the masts For I was born on the open sea.
Are snapped asunder ; downward from the decks
Downward are slung, into the fathomless gulf, The waves were white, and red the morn,
Their cruel engines ; and their hosts, arrayed In the noisy hour when I was born ;
In trappings of the battle-field, are whelmed The whale it whistled, the porpoise rolled, By whirlpools or dashed dead upon the rocks. And the dolphins bared their backs of gold;
Then stand the nations still with awe, and And never was heard such an outcry wild,
pause As welcomed to life the ocean child.
A moment from the bloody work of war.
These restless surges eat away the shores
Of earth's old continents; the fertile plain But never have sought or sighed for change : Welters in shallows, headlands crumble down, And death, whenever he comes to me,
And the tide drifts the sea-sand in the streets Shall come on the wide, unbounded sea! Of the drowned city. Thou, meanwhile, afar
In the green chambers of the middle sea,
Creator! thou dost teach the coral worm
To lay his mighty reefs. From age to age,
He builds beneath the waters, till, at last, The sea is mighty, but a mightier sways His restless billows. Thou, whose hands have the long wave rolling from the southern pole
His bulwarks overtop the brine, and check scooped
To break upon Japan. Thou bid'st the fires, His boundless gulfs and built his shore, thy That smonlder under ocean, heave on high breath,
The new-made mountains, and uplift their peaks, That moved in the beginning o'er his face,
A place of refuge for the storm-driven bird. Moves o'er it evermore. The obedient waves
The birds and wafting billows plant the rifts To its strong motion roll, and rise and fall.
With herb and tree; sweet fountains gush ; Still from that realm of rain thy cloud goes up,
sweet airs As at the first, to water the great earth,
Ripple the living lakes that, fringed with flowAnd keep her valleys green. A hundred realms
ers, Watch its broad shadow warping on the wind, And in the dropping shower with gladness hear On thy creation and pronounce it good.
Are gathered in the hollows. Thou dost look Thy promise of the harvest. I look forth
Its valleys, glorious with their summer green, Over the boundless blue, where joyously
Praise thee in silent beauty ; and its woods The bright crests of innumerable waves
Swept by the murmuring winds of ocean, join Glance to the sun at once, as when the hands
The murmuring shores in a perpetual hymn. Of a great multitude are upward flung
WILLIAM CULLEN BRYANT.
Ah ! why hath Jehovah, in forming the world,
His ramparts of rocks round the continent hurled,
And cradled the deep in his hand,
To ravage the uttermost earth,
Distinct as the billows, yet one as the sea ?
Who traverse thy banishing waves,
The poor disinherited outcasts of man,
Whom Avarice coins into slaves.
From the homes of their kindred, their fore.
They are dragged on the hoary abyss ;
Then joy to the tempest that whelms them beneath,
And makes their destruction its sport;
And waft them in safety to port,
Where the vultures and vampires of Mammon
Where Europe exultingly drains
Where man rules o'er man with a merciless rod,
The hour is approaching,
- a terrible hour ! The blood of our ancestors nourished the tree; And Vengeance is bending her bow ;
From their tombs, from their ashes, it sprung;
Who inherit our battle-field graves ;
bold, When the sun o'er the ocean descending in smiles, We were not, we could not be, slaves ; Sinks softly and sweetly to rest ?
But firm as our rocks, and as free as our waves, No! - Father of mercy! befriend the opprest; The spears of the Romans we broke, ht the voice of thy gospel of peace
We never stooped under their yoke. May the sorrows of Africa cease ;
In the shipwreck of nations we stood up alone, — And slave and his master devoutly unite The world was great Cæsar's, but Britain our own. To walk in thy freedom and dwell in thy light !
As homeward my weary-winged Fancy extends
ADDRESS TO THE OCEAN.
Thou symbol of a drear immensity !
Like a huge animal, which, downward hurled
From the black clouds, lies weltering and alone, The panic-struck Ocean in agony roars, Lashing and writhing till its strength be gone! Rebounds from the battle, and flies to his shores. Thy voice is like the thunder, and thy sleep
Is as a giant's slumber, loud and deep.
At once, and on thy heavily laden breast
Or motion, yet are moved and meet in strife.
Ruffles its surface, and no spirits dare To spread her invincible name;
Give answer to the tempest-wakened air ; The universe rings with her fame;
But o'er its wastes the weakly tenants range But the cries of the fatherless mix with her At will, and wound its bosom as they go : praise,
Ever the same, it hath no ebb, no flow :
And pass like visions to their wonted home ;
Looks ever bright with leaves and blossoming ;
When the wild Autumn, with a look forlorn, Tor wealth is a phantom, and empire a snare ! Dies in his stormy manhood; and the skies 0, let not thy birthright be sold
Weep, and flowers sicken, when the summer flies. For reprobate glory and gold !
0, wonderful thou art, great element, Thy distant dominions like wild graftings shoot, And fearful in thy spleeny humors bent, They weigh down thy trunk, they will tear up And lovely in repose ! thy summer form tby root,
Is beautiful, and when thy silver waves
Make music in earth's dark and winding caves, The root of thine oak, O my country! that I love to wander on thy pebbled beach, stands
Marking the sunlight at the evening hour,
And hearken to the thoughts thy waters teach, --