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And all we shrink from now may seem
No new revealing,
Familiar as our childhood's stream,
Or pleasant memory of a dream,
The loved and cherished Past upon the new life A luminous belt, a misty light,
stealing Beyond the dark pine bluff's and wastes of sandy gray.
Serene and mild, the untried light
May have its dawning ;
And, as in summer's northern night
The evening and the dawn unite,
The sunset hues of Time blend with the soul's Still as a picture, clear and free,
new morning. With varying outline mark the coast for miles
I sit alone ; in foam and spray around.
Wave after wave
Breaks on the rocks which, stern and gray, On-on - we tread with loose-flung rein
Shoulder the broken tide away,
Or murmurs hoarse and strong through mossy Through dark-green fields and blossoming
cleft and cave. grain, Where the wild brier-rose skirts the lane,
What heed I of the dusty land And bends above our heads the flowering locust
And noisy town? spray.
I see the mighty deep expand
From its white line of glimmering sand Ha! like a kind hand on my brow
To where the blue of heaven on bluer waves Coines this fresh breeze,
shuts down ! Cooling its dull and feverish glow, While through my being seems to flow
In listless quietude of mind, The breath of a new life, the healing of the
I yield to all seas!
The change of cloud and wave and wind ;
And passive on the flood reclined, Now rest we, where this grassy mound I wander with the waves, and with them rise His feet hath set
and fall. In the great waters, which have bound
But look, thou dreamer !- wave and shore His granite ankles greenly round
In shadow lie; With long and tangled moss, and weeds with cool spray wet.
The night-wind warns me back once more
To where, my native hill-tops o'er, Good by to pain and care! I take
Bends like an arch of fire the glowing sunset Mine ease to-day;
sky! Here, where the sunny waters break,
So then, beach, bluff, and wave, farewell ! And ripples this keen breeze, I shake
I bear with me All burdens from the heart, all weary thoughts
No token stone nor glittering shell, away.
But long and oft shall Memory tell I draw a freer breath – I seem
Of this brief thoughtful hour of musing by the Like all I sce
JOHN GREENLEAF WHITTIER. Waves in the sun the white-winged gleam
Of sea-birds in the slanting beam And far-off sails which flit before the south-wind free.
So when Time's veil shall fall asunder,
The soul may know
Nor sink the weight of mystery under,
WHEN descends on the Atlantic
The toiling surges,
From Bermuda's reefs ; from edges
Of sunken ledges,
From the tumbling surf that buries
The Orkneyan skerries,
Ever drifting, drifting, drifting
On the shifting
Of sandy beaches,
So when storms of wild emotion
Strike the ocean
In its vastness,
From the far-off isles enchanted
Heaven has planted
From the strong Will, and the Endeavor
That forever Wrestles with the tides of Fate; From the wreck of Hopes far-scattered,
Tempest-shattered, Floating waste and desolate ;
Ever drifting, drifting, drifting
On the shifting Currents of the restless heart; Till at length in books recorded,
They, like hoarded Household words, no more depart.
Sport of the spume of the surging sea ;
Flung on the foain, afar and anear,
Growth and grace in their place appear.
I bear round berries, gray and red,
Rootless and rover though I be ;
Arboresce as a trunkless tree;
White and hard in apt array ;
Gracefully grow I, night and day.
Hearts there are on the sounding shore,
Something whispers soft to me,
Like this weary weed of the sea;
The eternal type of the wondrous whole,
CORNELIUS GEORGE FEXNER.
THE PELICAN ISLAND.”
Light as a flake of foam upon the wind
HENRY WADSWORTH LONGFELLOW.
A WEARY weed, tossed to and fro,
Drearily drenched in the ocean brine, Soaring high and sinking low,
Lashed along without will of mine ;
A shoal of dolphins tumbling in wild glee, Fresh wreaths from the coral pavement spring, Glowed with such orient tints, they might have Like the terraced pride of Assyria's king; been
The turf looks green where the breakers rolled ; The rainbow's offspring, when it met the ocean O'er the whirlpool ripens the rind of gold ; In that resplendent vision I had seen.
The sea-snatched isle is the home of men, While yet in ecstasy, I hung o'er these,
And mountains exult where the wave hath been. With every motion pouring out fresh beauties, is though the conscious colors came and went But why do ye plant, 'neath the billows dark, At pleasure, glorying in their subtle changes, The wrecking reef for the gallant bark ? Enormous o'er the flood, Leviathan
There are snares enough on the tented field, Looked forth, and from his roaring nostrils sent Mid the blossomed sweets that the valleys yield ; Two fountains to the sky, then plunged amain There are serpents to coil ere the flowers are up, In headlong pastime through the closing gulf. There 's a poison drop in man's purest eup, These were but preludes to the revelry
There are foes that watch for his cradle breath, That reigned at sunset : then the deep let loose And why need ye sow the floods with death? Its blithe adventurers to sport at large, As kindly instinct taught them; buoyant shells, With mouldering bones the deeps are white, On stormless voyages, in fleets or single,
From the ice-clad pole to the tropics bright; Wherried their tiny mariners ; aloof,
The mermaid hath twisted her fingers cold On wing-like fins, in bow-and-arrow figures,
With the mesh of the sea-boy's curls of gold, The flying-fishes darted to and fro ;
And the gods of the ocean have frowned to see While spouting whales projected watery columns, The mariner's bed in their halls of glee ; That turned to arches at their height, and seemed Hath earth no graves, that ye thus must spread The skeletons of crystal palaces
The boundless sea for the thronging dead ? Built on the blue expanse, then perishing, Frail as the element which they were made of :
Ye build — ye build but ye enter not in, Dolphins, in gambols, lent the lucid brine
Like the tribes whom the desert devoured in their Hues richer than the canopy of eve, That overhung the scene with gorgeous clouds,
From the land of promise ye fade and die Decaying into gloom more beautiful
Ere its verdure gleams forth on your weary eye ; Than the sun's golden liveries which they lost :
As the kings of the cloud-crowned pyramid, Till light that hides, and darkness that reveals
Their noiseless bones in oblivion hid, - exchanging guard, like sentinels
Ye slumber unmarked mid the desolate main, Of day and night, transformed the face of While the wonderand pride of your works remain.
nature; Above was wakefulness, silence around, Beneath, repose,
- repose that reached even me. Power, will, sensation, memory, failed in turn;
THE CORAL INSECT.
THE PELICAN ISLAND."
By instinct taught, performed its little task,
From its own essence exquisitely modelled ;
There breed, and die, and leave a progeny,
Still multiplied beyond the reach of numbers, Toil on! toil on ! ye ephemeral train,
To frame new cells and tombs, then breed and die Who build in the tossing and treacherous main ; As all their ancestors had done, — and rest, Toil on! for the wisdom of man ye mock, Hermetically sealed, each in its shrine, With your sand-based structures and domes of A statue in this temple of oblivion ! rock,
Millions of millions thus, from age to age, Your columns the fathomless fountains' cave, With simplest skill and toil unweariable, And your arches spring up to the crested wave; No moment and no movement unimproved, Ye 're a puny race thus to boldly rear
Laid line on line, on terrace terrace spread, A fabric so vast in a realm so drear.
To swell the heightening, brightening, gradual
mound, Ye bind the deep with your secret zone, By marvellous structure climbing towards the day, The ocean is sealed, and the surge a stone,
LYDIA H. SIGOURNEY.