Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, PEBBLES, by HERMAN MELVILLE

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

PEBBLES, by                 Poet's Biography
First Line: Though the clerk of the weather insist
Last Line: Distilled in wholesome dew named rosmarine.
Subject(s): Sea; Ocean


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 strays,
And, finding a Conch hoar with time, he delays
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 there.


Implacable I, the old implacable Sea:
Implacable most when most I smile serene --
Pleased, not appeased, by myriad wrecks in me.


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 her nest!


Healed of my hurt, I laud the inhuman Sea --
Yea, bless the Angels Four that there convene;
For healed I am even by their pitiless breath
Distilled in wholesome dew named rosmarine.

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