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The rocky ledge runs far into the sea,
And on its outer point, some miles away, The Lighthouse lifts its massive masonry,
A pillar of fire by night, of cloud by day. Even at this distance I can see the tides,
Upbeaving, break unheard along its base, A speechless wrath, that rises and subsides
In the white lip and tremor of the face. And as the evening darkens, lo! how bright,
Through the deep purple of the twilight air, Beams forth the sudden radiance of its light
With strange, unearthly splendour in its glare! Not one alone; from each projecting cape
And perilous reef along the ocean's verge, Starts into life a dim, gigantic shape,
Holding its lantern o'er the restless surge. Like the great giant Christopher, it stands
Upon the brink of the tempestuous wave,
The night-o'ertaken mariner to saye.
Bending and bowing o'er the billowy swells,
They wave their silent welcomes and farewells. They come forth from the darkness, and their sails
Gleam for a moment only in the blaze, And eager faces, as the light unveils,
Gaze at the tower, and vanish while they gaze. The mariner remembers when a child,
On his first voyage, he saw it fade and sink; And when, returning from adventures wild,
He saw it rise again o'er ocean's brink. Steadfast, serene, immovable, the same
Year after year, through all the silent night, Burns on for evermore that quenchless flame,
Shines on that inextinguishable light! It sees the ocean to its bosom clasp
The rocks and sea-sand with the kiss of peace; It sees the wild winds lift it in their grasp,
And hold it up, and shake it like a fleece.
The startled waves leap over it; the storm
Smites it with all the scourges of the rain,
Press the great shoulders of the hurricane.
Of wings and winds and solitary cries,
Dashes himself against the glare, and dies.
Still grasping in his hand the fire of Jove,
But hails the mariner with words of love.
And with your floating bridge the ocean span;
Be yours to bring man nearer unto man!”
SIR HUMPHREY GILBERT.
SOUTHWARD with fleet of ice
“Do not fear ! Heaven is near," Sailed the corsair Death;
He said, “ by water as by land !" Wild and fast blew the blast, And the east-wind was his breath.
In the first watch of the night,
Without a signal's sound, His lordly ships of ice
Out of the sea, mysteriously, Glistened in the sun;
The fleet of Death rose all around. On each side, like pennons wide, Flashing crystal streamlets run.
The moon and the evening star
Were banging in the shrouds ; His sails of white sea-mist
Every mast, as it passed, Dripped with silver rain ;
Seemed to rake the passing clouds But where he passed there were cast Leaden shadows o'er the main.
They grappled with their prize,
At midnight black and cold ! Eastward from Campobello
As of a rock was the shock ; Sir Humphrey Gilbert sailed ; Heavily the ground-swell rolled. Tbree days or more seaward he bore, Then, alas ! the land-wind failed.
Southward through day and dark,
They drift in close embrace, Alas! the land-wind failed,
With mist and rain o'er the open main; And ice-cold grew the night;
Yet there seems no change of place. And never more, on sea or shore, Should Sir Humphrey see the light. Southward, for ever southward,
They drift through dark and day; He sat upon the deck,
And like a dream in the Gulf-stream The Book was in his hand;
Sinking, vanish all away.
THE SECRET OF THE SEA. Ag! what pleasant visions haunt me How he heard the ancient helmsman As I gaze upon the sea !
Chant a song so wild and clear, All the old romantic legends,
That the sailing sea-bird slowly
Till his soul was full of longing,
And he cried with impulse strong, — And the singing of the sailors,
“Helmsman ! for the love of heaven, And the answer from the shore !
Teach me, too, that wondrous song!”
“Wouldst thou," so the helmsman anMost of all, the Spanish ballad
swered, Haunts me oft, and tarries long,
“Learn the secrets of the sea ? Of the noble Count Arnaldos
Only those who brave its dangers
Comprehend its mystery !"
In each landward-blowing breeze, With a soft monotonous cadence,
I behold that stately galley,
Hear those mournful melodies ; Telling how the Count Arnaldos, Till my soul is full of longing With his hawk upon his hand,
For the secret of the sea,
And the heart of the great ocean
Sends a thrilling pulse through me.
THE EVENING STAR.
Just above yon sandy bar,
| Chrysaor, rising out of the sea, As the day grows fainter and dimmer, Showed thus glorious and thus emulous, Lonely and lovely, a single star
Leaving the arms of Callirrhoe, Lights the air with a dusky glimmer. For ever tender, soft, and tremulous. Into the ocean faint and far
Thus o'er the ocean faint and far Palls the trail of its golden splen- Trailed the gleam of his falchiun dour,
brightly. And the gleam of that single star Is it a God, or is it a star,
Is ever refulgent, soft, and tender. That, entranced, I gaze on nightly!
By the Fireside.
THERE is no flock, however watched and tended,
But one dead lamb is there!
But has one vacant chair!.
And mournings for the dead;
Will not be comforted!
Not from the ground arise,
Assume this dark disguise.
Amid these earthly damps,
May be heaven's distant lamps.
This life of mortal breath
Whose portal we call Death.
But gone unto that school
And Christ himself doth rule.
By guardian angels led,
She lives, whom we call dead.
In those bright realms of air;
Behold her grown more fair.
Thus do we walk with her, and keep unbroken
The bond which nature gives,
May reach her where she lives.
For when with raptures wild
She will not be a child;
Clothed with celestial grace;
Shall we behold her face.
And anguish long suppressed,
That cannot be at rest,
We may not wholly stay;
The grief that must have way.
THE BUILDERS. ALL are architects of Pate,
Each minute and unseen part;
For the Gods see everywhere.
Let us do our work as well,
Both the unseen and the seen ; Nothing useless is, or low;
Make the house, where Gods may dwell, Each thing in its place is best ;
Beautiful, entire, and clean.
Else our lives are incomplete,
Standing in these walls of Time, For the structure that we raise,
Broken stairways, where the feet
Stumble as they seek to climb.
Ruild to-day, then, strong and sure,
With a firm and ample base ;
And ascending and secure
Thus alone can we attain
To those turrets, where the eye In the elder days of Art,
Sees the world as one vast plain, Builders wrought with greatest care, ! And one boundless reach of sky.