Thou too art here with thy soft inland tones,
Mother of our new birth;
The lonely ocean learns thy orisons,
And loves thy sacred mirth:
When storms are high, or when the fires of war
Come lightening round our course,
Thou breath’st a note like music from afar,
Tempering rude hearts with calm angelic force.
Far, far away, the homesick seaman’s hoard,
Thy fragrant tokens live,
Like flower-leaves in a previous volume stored,
To solace and relieve
Some heart too weary of the restless world;
Or like thy Sabbath Cross,
That o’er this brightening billow streams unfurled,
Whatever gale the labouring vessel toss.
Oh, kindly soothing in high Victory’s hour,
Or when a comrade dies,
In whose sweet presence Sorrow dares not lower,
Nor Expectation rise
Too high for earth; what mother’s heart could spare
To the cold cheerless deep
Her flower and hope? but Thou art with him there,
Pledge of the untired arm and eye that cannot sleep:
The eye that watches o’er wild Ocean’s
Each in his coral cave,
Fondly as if the green turf wrapt his head
Fast by his father’s grave, —
One moment, and the seeds of life shall spring
Out of the waste abyss,
And happy warriors triumph with their King
In worlds without a sea, unchanging orbs of bliss.
A thou hast testified of Me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome. Acts xxiii. 11.
Beneath the burning eastern sky
The Cross was raised at morn:
The widowed Church to weep stood by,
The world, to hate and scorn.
Now, journeying westward, evermore
We know the lonely Spouse
By the dear mark her Saviour bore
Traced on her patient brows.
At Rome she wears it, as of old
Upon th’ accursed hill:
By monarchs clad in gems and gold,
She goes a mourner still.
She mourns that tender hearts should bend
Before a meaner shrine,
And upon Saint or Angel spend
The love that should be thine.
By day and night her sorrows fall
Where miscreant hands and rude
Have stained her pure ethereal pall
With many a martyr’s blood.
And yearns not her parental heart,
To hear their secret sighs,
Upon whose doubting way apart
Bewildering shadows rise?
Who to her side in peace would cling,
But fear to wake, and find
What they had deemed her genial wing
Was Error’s soothing blind.
She treasures up each throbbing prayer:
Come, trembler, come and pour
Into her bosom all thy care,
For she has balm in store.
Her gentle teaching sweetly blends
With this clear light of Truth
The aerial gleam that Fancy lends
To solemn thoughts in youth. —