OCEANIDES. No. III.
THE BURDEN OF THE SEA.
By Mrs. Fletcher, (Late Miss Jewsbury.)
THE sea hath spoken! Hear, O Earth!
Where everlasting hills arise;
And all the host of heaven, stand forth;
Together with the crystal skies;
And thouworlds curse and blessingMAN,
Creating, desolating all
That mind may gather in its span
Stand forth, and bear a mightier thrall!
"I am thy prophetpuny world,
'Tis God himself that speaks by me!
By me, his wrath is oftenest hurled;
Hear, then, the vision of the sea:
Ye talk of kingdoms and of kings,
Of fleets to triumph oer me, born,
Knowthat my weeds are mightier things,
And laugh you in my depths to scorn.
"Famed cities with their harbours strong:
Where now is Tyre?
and Zidon where?
I made their power, and I have rung
Their knell, upon the mountains bare:
The merchant and the mariner,
In purple clothed, and sage with skill,
Looked on me as their Servitor
They found I had a master's will.
never dared my frown;
Nor Belus, gorgeous power and bold;
Wise Egypt daredand, overthrown,
Her hosts lie gathered in my fold.
As ocean, or as inland sea,
By golden Ind
or Grecian isle,
I mock at manthe same to me
The royal fleet, the pirate vile.
"I bear them to their port of rest
How loud their vaunts of lordly pride!
Like foam I dash them from my breast
How cruel then my waters wide!
Yet am I one, or calm or heaving,
The changing, yet the changeless sea;
And victor, vanquishedjoyous, grieving
But one, is mortal man to me.
"The billows that engulph a fleet
And desolate a thousand homes,
The sea-bird skims with careless feet;
I know not little, know not great
Earth hath for me nor friend not foe:
To me God never gave a mate;
The hollow of his hand I know.
"I work his willa spirit bland,
A gentle minister of good;
Or scatter death from land to land,
And make a burial place my flood.
Of myriad navies, myriad hosts,
I have the wrecks beneath my waves;
Call ye them trophies?idle boasts!
They match the coral of my caves.
"Vaunt on, proud creatures, formed of clay,
Subdue, and build, and desolate;
And grave in brass from day to day
Your strength, your glory, and your state:
March through your lands from east to west,
And be like Lucifers your will;
But I am Godsand on my breast
Veil that high lookbe meekbe still."