the sunny day went by,
And night came brooding o’er the seas;
A thick cloud swathed the distant sky,
And hollow murmurs filled the breeze.
The white gull screaming, left the rock,
And seaward bent its glancing wing,
While heavy waves, with measured shock,
Made the dun cliff with echoes ring.
How changed the scene! The glassy deep
That slumbered in its resting-place,
And seeming in its morning sleep
To woo me to its soft embrace,
Now wakened, was a fearful thing,—
A giant with a scowling form,
Who from his bosom seemed to fling
The blackened billows to the storm.
The wailing winds in terror gushed
From the swart sky, and seemed to lash
The foaming waves, which madly rushed
Toward the tall cliff with headlong dash.
Upward the glittering spray was sent,
Backward the growling surges whirled,
And splintered rocks by lightnings rent,
Down thundering midst the waves were hurled.
I trembled, yet I would not fly;
I feared, yet loved, the awful scene;
And gazing on the sea and sky,
Spell-bound I stood the rocks between.
strange that I, a mountain boy,
A lover of green fields and flowers,—
One, who with laughing rills could toy,
And hold companionship for hours,
With leaves that whispered low at night,
Or fountains bubbling from their springs,
Or summer winds, whose downy flight,
Seemed but the sweep of angel wings:—
’Twas strange that I should love the clash
Of ocean in its maddest hour,
And joy to see the billows dash
O’er the rent cliff with fearful power.
’Twas strange,—but I was nature’s own,
Unchecked, untutored; in my soul
A harp was set that gave its tone
To every touch without control.
The zephyr stirred in childhood warm,
Thoughts like itself, as soft and blest;
And the swift fingers of the storm
Woke its own echo in my breast.
Aye, and the strings that else had lain
Untouched, and to myself unknown,
Within my heart, gave back the strain
That o’er the sea and rock was thrown.
Yes, and wild passions, which had slept
Within their cradle, as the waves
At morning by the winds unswept,
Rippling within their infant caves—
Now, wakened into billows, rose,
And held communion with the storm:
I saw the air and ocean close
In deadly struggle; marked the form
Of the dun cloud with misty wing,
That wrestled with the giant main;
I saw the racing billows spring
Like lions leaping from the plain;