Sweet-fern and moss in many a glade are here.
Where, strewn in flocks, what cheek-flushed
Dimpling in dream—unconscious slumberers
While billows endless round the beaches die.
Though the Clerk of the Weather insist,
And lay down the weather-law,
Pintado and gannet they wist
That the winds blow whither they list
In tempest or flaw.
Old are the creeds, but stale the schools,
Revamped as the mode may veer,
But Orm from the schools to the beaches
And, finding a Conch hoar with time, he
And reverent lifts it to ear.
That Voice, pitched in far monotone,
Shall it swerve? shall it deviate ever?
The Seas have inspired it, and Truth—
Truth, varying from sameness never.
In hollows of the liquid hills
Where the long Blue Ridges run,
The flattery of no echo thrills,
For echo the seas have none;
Nor aught that gives man back man’s strain—
The hope of his heart, the dream in his brain.
On ocean where the embattled fleets repair,
Man, suffering inflictor, sails on sufferance
Implacable I, the old Implacable Sea:
Implacable most when most I smile serene—
Pleased, not appeased, by myriad wrecks in
Curled in the comb of yon billow Andean,
Is it the Dragon’s heaven-challenging crest?
Elemental mad ramping of ravening waters—
Yet Christ on the Mount, and the dove in
Healed of my hurt, I laud the inhuman Sea—
Yea, bless the Angels Four that there convene;
For healed I am ever by their pitiless breath
Distilled in wholesome dew named rosmarine.
LINES TRACED UNDER AN IMAGE OF AMOR THREATENING
Fear me, virgin whosoever
Taking pride from love exempt,
Fear me, slighted. Never, never
Brave me, nor my fury tempt:
Downy wings, but wroth they beat
Tempest even in reason’s seat.
With banners furled and clarions mute,
An army passes in the night;
And beaming spears and helms salute
The dark with bright.
In silence deep the legions stream,
With open ranks, in order true;
Over boundless plains they stream and
No chief in view!
Afar, in twinkling distance lost,
(So legends tell) he lonely wends
And back through all that shining host
His mandate sends.
In shards the sylvan vases lie,
Their links of dance undone,
And brambles wither by thy brim,
Choked fountain of the sun!
The spider in the laurel spins,
The weed exiles the flower:
And, flung to kiln, Apollo’s bust
Makes lime for Mammon’s tower.