by: John Stuart Blackie (1809-1895)

      hat dost thou say,
      Thou old grey sea,
      Thou broad briny water
      To me?
      With thy ripple and thy plash,
      And thy waves as they lash
      The old grey rocks on the shore?
      With thy tempests as they roar,
      And thy crested billows hoar,
      And thy tide evermore,
      Fresh and free;
      With thy floods as they come,
      And thy voice never dumb,
      What thouhgt art thou speaking to me?
      What thing should I say
      On this bright summer day,
      Thou strange human dreamer, to thee?
      One wonder the same
      All things do proclaim
      In the sky, and the land, and the sea;
      'Tis the unsleeping force
      Of a GOD in his course,
      Whose life is the law of the whole,
      As he breathes out his power
      In the pulse of the hour,
      And the march of the years as they roll;
      You may measure his ways
      In the weeks and the days,
      And the stars as they wheel round the pole,
      But no finger is thine
      To touch the divine
      All-plastic, all-permeant soul,
      As it shapes and it moulds,
      And its virtue unfolds,
      In the garden of things as they grow,
      And flings forth the tide
      Of its strength far and wide,
      In wonders above and below.

      Thou huge-heaving sea
      That art speaking to me
      Of the power and the pride of a God,
      I would travel like thee
      With force fresh and free
      Through the breadth of my human abode,
      Never languid and low,
      But with bountiful flow,
      Of thoughts that are kindred to God;
      Ever surging and streaming,
      Ever beaming and gleaming,
      Like the lights as they shift on the glass,
      Ever swelling and heaving,
      And largely receiving
      The beauty of things as they pass.

      Thou broad-billowed sea
      Never sundered from thee
      May I wander the welkin below;
      May the plash and the roar
      Of thy waves on the shore
      Beat the march to my feet as they go;
      Ever strong, ever free,
      When the breath of the sea
      Like the fan of an angel I know;
      Every rising with power,
      To the call of the hour,
      Like the swell of thy tides as they flow.

"The Sea" is reprinted from The Selected Poems of John Stuart Blackie. Ed. Archibald Stodart Walker. London: John Macqueen, 1896.




[ A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z ]

Home · Poetry Store · Links · Email · © 2003