Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, ADDRESS TO THE OCEAN, by BRYAN WALLER PROCTER



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ADDRESS TO THE OCEAN, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: O thou vast ocean! Ever-sounding sea!
Last Line: Eternity -- eternity -- and power.
Alternate Author Name(s): Cornwall, Barry; Proctor, Bryan Waller
Subject(s): Sea; Ocean


O THOU vast Ocean! ever-sounding Sea!
Thou symbol of a drear immensity!
Thou thing that windest round the solid world
Like a huge animal, which, downward hurled
From the black clouds, lies weltering and alone,
Lashing and writhing till its strength be gone!
Thy voice is like the thunder, and thy sleep
Is as a giant's slumber, loud and deep.
Thou speakest in the east and in the west
At once, and on thy heavily laden breast
Fleets come and go, and shapes that have no life
Or motion, yet are moved and meet in strife.
The earth has naught of this: no chance or change
Ruffles its surface, and no spirits dare
Give answer to the tempest-wakened air;
But o'er its wastes the weakly tenants range
At will, and wound its bosom as they go:
Ever the same, it hath no ebb, no flow:
But in their stated rounds the seasons come,
And pass like visions to their wonted home;
And come again, and vanish; the young Spring
Looks ever bright with leaves and blossoming;
And Winter always winds his sullen horn,
When the wild Autumn, with a look forlorn,
Dies in his stormy manhood; and the skies
Weep, and flowers sicken, when the summer flies.
O, wonderful thou art, great element,
And fearful in thy spleeny humors bent,
And lovely in repose! thy summer form
Is beautiful, and when thy silver waves
Make music in earth's dark and winding cave,
I love to wander on thy pebbled beach,
Marking the sunlight at the evening hour,
And hearken to the thought thy waters teach, --
Eternity -- Eternity -- and Power.




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