Ocean

O
Twelve Songs: IX by W. H. Auden
W. H. Auden
April 1936 Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
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A Donation of Shoes by Ted Kooser
Ted Kooser
They’re on their way to Goodwill
in Destiny’s old cardboard carton,
the flaps folded inside, lending its
scuffed shoulders a look of authority,
the box knowing the route, the shoes
badly lost and confused, their toes
starting in every direction at once,
clambering over each other, laces
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On Laws by Kahlil Gibran
Kahlil Gibran
Then a lawyer said, But what of our Laws,
master?
And he answered:
You delight in laying down laws,
Yet you delight more in breaking them.
Like children playing by the ocean who
build sand-towers with constancy and then
destroy them with laughter.
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49
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At Days Bay by James K. Baxter
James K. Baxter
To lie on a beach after
looking at old poems: how
slow untroubled by any
grouch of mine or yours, Father
Ocean tumbles in the bay
alike with solitary

divers, cripples, yelling girls
and pipestem kids. He does what
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This Is a Poem About My Life by Frank Lima
Frank Lima
the grapes
remind me of the whales
gathering salt for the ocean

this is a poem about my life

you've interrupted
my life and death schedule
which gives me that poetic look each day

this is a poem about my life
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Of Molluscs by May Sarton
May Sarton
As the tide rises, the closed mollusc
Opens a fraction to the ocean's food,
Bathed in its riches. Do not ask
What force would do, or if force could.

A knife is of no use against a fortress.
You might break it to pieces as gulls do.
No, only the rising tide and its slow progress
Opens the shell. Lovers, I tell you true.
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Ocean of Earth by Guillaume Apollinaire
Guillaume Apollinaire
To G. de Chirico I have built a house in the middle of the Ocean
Its windows are the rivers flowing from my eyes
Octopi are crawling all over where the walls are
Hear their triple hearts beat and their beaks peck against 
the windowpanes
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Ne’ilah by Marge Piercy
Marge Piercy
The hinge of the year
the great gates opening
and then slowly slowly
closing on us.

I always imagine those gates
hanging over the ocean
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The Ocean by Nathaniel Hawthorne
Nathaniel Hawthorne
The Ocean has its silent caves,
Deep, quiet, and alone;
Though there be fury on the waves,
Beneath them there is none.

The awful spirits of the deep
Hold their communion there;
And there are those for whom we weep,
The young, the bright, the fair.

Calmly the wearied seamen rest
Beneath their own blue sea.
The ocean solitudes are blest,
For there is purity.

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A Bird, came down the Walk - (359) by Emily Dickinson
Emily Dickinson
A Bird, came down the Walk -
He did not know I saw -
He bit an Angle Worm in halves
And ate the fellow, raw,

And then, he drank a Dew
From a convenient Grass -
And then hopped sidewise to the Wall
To let a Beetle pass -
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Lincoln Is Dead by George Moses Horton
George Moses Horton
He is gone, the strong base of the nation,
The dove to his covet has fled;
Ye heroes lament his privation,
For Lincoln is dead.

He is gone down, the sun of the Union,
Like Phoebus, that sets in the west;
The planet of peace and communion,
Forever has gone to his rest.

He is gone down from a world of commotion,
No equal succeeds in his stead;
His wonders extend with the ocean,
Whose waves murmur, Lincoln is dead.

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from “The Desk” by Marina Tsvetaeva
Marina Tsvetaeva

Fair enough: you people have eaten me,
I—wrote you down.
They’ll lay you out on a dinner table,
me—on this desk.

I’ve been happy with little.
There are dishes I’ve never tried.
But you, you people eat slowly, and often;
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September by Joanne Kyger
Joanne Kyger

The grasses are light brown
and the ocean comes in
long shimmering lines
under the fleet from last night
which dozes now in the early morning

Here and there horses graze
on somebody’s acreage
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The Lonesome Dream by Lisel Mueller
Lisel Mueller
In the America of the dream
the first rise of the moon
swings free of the ocean,
and she reigns in her shining flesh
over a good, great valley
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In Every Life by Alicia Ostriker
Alicia Ostriker
In every life there’s a moment or two
when the self disappears, the cruel wound
takes over, and then again
at times we are filled with sky
or with birds or
simply with the sugary tea on the table
said the old woman

I know what you mean said the tulip
about epiphanies
for instance a cloudless April sky
the approach of a butterfly
but as to the disappearing self
no
I have not yet experienced that
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from The Spring Flowers Own: “The morning after / my death” by Etel Adnan
Etel Adnan
The morning after my death we will sit in cafés but I will not be there
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Love Song by Henry Dumas
Henry Dumas
Beloved,
I have to adore the earth:

The wind must have heard
your voice once.
It echoes and sings like you.

The soil must have tasted
you once.
It is laden with your scent.
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An Apparatus by Keith Waldrop
Keith Waldrop
From where I sit, I can see other
things: a silver porcupine, pins
standing upright. It is a vanished tale of a
vanished forest at the shore of a vanished ocean.

I call the dead as often as I can. In the
vaults, among mummies—this is pure
memorial. I am the girl in whose
eyes the name is written.
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Flowers by the Sea by William Carlos Williams
William Carlos Williams
When over the flowery, sharp pasture’s
edge, unseen, the salt ocean

lifts its form—chicory and daisies
tied, released, seem hardly flowers alone

but color and the movement—or the shape
perhaps—of restlessness, whereas

the sea is circled and sways
peacefully upon its plantlike stem
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A Graveyard by Marianne Moore
Marianne Moore
Man, looking into the sea—
taking the view from those who have as much right to it as you have it to yourself—
it is human nature to stand in the middle of a thing
but you cannot stand in the middle of this:
the sea has nothing to give but a well excavated grave.
The firs stand in a procession—each with an emerald turkey-foot at the top—
reserved as their contours, saying nothing;
repression, however, is not the most obvious characteristic of the sea;
the sea is a collector, quick to return a rapacious look.
There are others besides you who have worn that look—
whose expression is no longer a protest; the fish no longer investigate them
for their bones have not lasted;
men lower nets, unconscious of the fact that they are desecrating a grave,
and row quickly away—the blades of the oars
moving together like the feet of water-spiders as if there were no such thing as death.
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Love Song for Alex, 1979 by Margaret Walker
Margaret Walker
My monkey-wrench man is my sweet patootie;
the lover of my life, my youth and age.
My heart belongs to him and to him only;
the children of my flesh are his and bear his rage
Now grown to years advancing through the dozens
the honeyed kiss, the lips of wine and fire
fade blissfully into the distant years of yonder
but all my days of Happiness and wonder
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A Song by Helen Maria Williams
Helen Maria Williams
I

No riches from his scanty store
My lover could impart;
He gave a boon I valued more —
He gave me all his heart!

II
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A Diamond by Jack Spicer
Jack Spicer
A Translation for Robert Jones A diamond
Is there
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Huge Vapours Brood above the Clifted Shore by Charlotte Smith
Charlotte Smith
Huge vapours brood above the clifted shore,
Night o'er the ocean settles, dark and mute,
Save where is heard the repercussive roar
Of drowsy billows, on the rugged foot
Of rocks remote; or still more distant tone
Of seamen, in the anchored bark, that tell
The watch relieved; or one deep voice alone,
Singing the hour, and bidding "strike the bell."
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The Place for No Story by Robinson Jeffers
Robinson Jeffers
The coast hills at Sovranes Creek;
No trees, but dark scant pasture drawn thin
Over rock shaped like flame;
The old ocean at the land’s foot, the vast
Gray extension beyond the long white violence;
A herd of cows and the bull
Far distant, hardly apparent up the dark slope;
And the gray air haunted with hawks:
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Swells by A. R. Ammons
A. R. Ammons
The very longest swell in the ocean, I suspect,
carries the deepest memory, the information of actions
summarized (surface peaks and dibbles and local sharp

slopes of windstorms) with a summary of the summaries
and under other summaries a deeper summary: well, maybe
deeper, longer for length here is the same as deep

time: so that the longest swell swells least; that
is, its effects in immediate events are least perceptible,
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To a Waterfowl by William Cullen Bryant
William Cullen Bryant
Whither, 'midst falling dew,
While glow the heavens with the last steps of day,
Far, through their rosy depths, dost thou pursue
Thy solitary way?

Vainly the fowler’s eye
Might mark thy distant flight, to do thee wrong,
As, darkly seen against the crimson sky,
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The Second Trying by Dahlia Ravikovitch
Dahlia Ravikovitch
If I could only get hold of the whole of you,
How could I ever get hold of the whole of you,
Even more than the most beloved idols,
More than mountains quarried whole,
More than mines
Of burning coal,
Let’s say mines of extinguished coal
And the breath of day like a fiery furnace.
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Our Valley by Philip Levine
Philip Levine
We don't see the ocean, not ever, but in July and August
when the worst heat seems to rise from the hard clay
of this valley, you could be walking through a fig orchard
when suddenly the wind cools and for a moment
you get a whiff of salt, and in that moment you can almost
believe something is waiting beyond the Pacheco Pass,
something massive, irrational, and so powerful even
the mountains that rise east of here have no word for it.

You probably think I'm nuts saying the mountains
have no word for ocean, but if you live here
you begin to believe they know everything.
They maintain that huge silence we think of as divine,
a silence that grows in autumn when snow falls
slowly between the pines and the wind dies
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Anna Maria Is Coming, or Maybe Thomas Barton, or Max! by Hilda Raz
Hilda Raz
New life! Will he toe out like Dolly, like John? Will her eyes be fires?
Blue and green, like Papa's, the ocean at the shore?
Will she sing in the bath? Play piano in her diapers?
Will her heart leap at large machinery? Will he say, "Dribe dribe,"
to his daddy, entering the tunnel? Will his hair be red? Will her hair curl?
Will her little face have the circumflex eyebrows of her mother?
The pointed chin?
Her hair be fair, bright blonde? Will she frown at the light by the river?
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As I Ebb’d with the Ocean of Life by Walt Whitman
Walt Whitman
1
As I ebb’d with the ocean of life,
As I wended the shores I know,
As I walk’d where the ripples continually wash you Paumanok,
Where they rustle up hoarse and sibilant,
Where the fierce old mother endlessly cries for her castaways,
I musing late in the autumn day, gazing off southward,
Held by this electric self out of the pride of which I utter poems,
Was seiz’d by the spirit that trails in the lines underfoot,
The rim, the sediment that stands for all the water and all the land of the globe.

Fascinated, my eyes reverting from the south, dropt, to follow those slender windrows,
Chaff, straw, splinters of wood, weeds, and the sea-gluten,
Scum, scales from shining rocks, leaves of salt-lettuce, left by the tide,
Miles walking, the sound of breaking waves the other side of me,
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The Bridge by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
I stood on the bridge at midnight,
As the clocks were striking the hour,
And the moon rose o'er the city,
Behind the dark church-tower.

I saw her bright reflection
In the waters under me,
Like a golden goblet falling
And sinking into the sea.

And far in the hazy distance
Of that lovely night in June,
The blaze of the flaming furnace
Gleamed redder than the moon.

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Delia 1: Unto the boundless Ocean of thy beauty by Samuel Daniel
Samuel Daniel
Unto the boundless Ocean of thy beauty
Runs this poor river, charged with streams of zeal:
Returning thee the tribute of my duty,
Which here my love, my youth, my plaints reveal.
Here I unclasp the book of my charged soul,
Where I have cast th'accounts of all my care:
Here have I summed my sighs, here I enroll
How they were spent for thee; look what they are.
Look on the dear expenses of my youth,
And see how just I reckon with thine eyes:
Examine well thy beauty with my truth,
And cross my cares ere greater sum arise.
Read it sweet maid, though it be done but slightly;
Who can show all his love, doth love but lightly.
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Failing and Flying by Jack Gilbert
Jack Gilbert
Everyone forgets that Icarus also flew.
It's the same when love comes to an end,
or the marriage fails and people say
they knew it was a mistake, that everybody
said it would never work. That she was
old enough to know better. But anything
worth doing is worth doing badly.
Like being there by that summer ocean
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Love’s Philosophy by Percy Bysshe Shelley
Percy Bysshe Shelley
The fountains mingle with the river
And the rivers with the ocean,
The winds of heaven mix for ever
With a sweet emotion;
Nothing in the world is single;
All things by a law divine
In one spirit meet and mingle.
Why not I with thine?—

See the mountains kiss high heaven
And the waves clasp one another;
No sister-flower would be forgiven
If it disdained its brother;
And the sunlight clasps the earth
And the moonbeams kiss the sea:
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Old Ironsides by Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.
Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.
Ay, tear her tattered ensign down!
Long has it waved on high,
And many an eye has danced to see
That banner in the sky;
Beneath it rung the battle shout,
And burst the cannon’s roar;—
The meteor of the ocean air
Shall sweep the clouds no more!
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"Out of the rolling ocean the crowd" by Walt Whitman
Walt Whitman
Out of the rolling ocean the crowd came a drop gently to me,
Whispering, I love you, before long I die,
I have travell’d a long way merely to look on you to touch you,
For I could not die till I once look’d on you,
For I fear’d I might afterward lose you.

Now we have met, we have look’d, we are safe,
Return in peace to the ocean my love,
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Prison Song by Alan Dugan
Alan Dugan
The skin ripples over my body like moon-wooed water,
rearing to escape me. Where could it find another
animal as naked as the one it hates to cover?
Once it told me what was happening outside,
who was attacking, who caressing, and what the air
was doing to feed or freeze me. Now I wake up
dark at night, in a textureless ocean of ignorance,
or fruit bites back and water bruises like a stone.
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Recycling by Landis Everson
Landis Everson
How did the valentines age so fast?
Most of the names are forgotten.
Billy, Billy, Billy, Jill
I think strangers sent them out like advertising
hoping I'd surrender. But

Jill, Jill, Jill and Billy Bill,
shared memories aren't easily kept.
Secrets wash out of the ocean blank all over.
I am sitting on a beach chair
somewhere in the middle of the century, pretending

I remember a garden of broken banjos and
butterflies,
old movies. Valentines from Valentino,
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Sand Flesh and Sky by Clarence Major
Clarence Major
Our ropes are the roots
of our life. We fish
low in the earth,
the river beneath runs through our veins,
blue and cold in a riverbed.

When the sun comes up,
the moon moves slowly to the left.

I tie the logs and limbs together,
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Seaman’s Ditty by Gary Snyder
Gary Snyder
I’m wondering where you are now
Married, or mad, or free:
Wherever you are you’re likely glad,
But memory troubles me.

We could’ve had us children,
We could’ve had a home—
But you thought not, and I thought not,
And these nine years we roam.
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Sonnet: They Dub Thee Idler by Henry Timrod
Henry Timrod
They dub thee idler, smiling sneeringly,
And why? because, forsooth, so many moons,
Here dwelling voiceless by the voiceful sea,
Thou hast not set thy thoughts to paltry tunes
In song or sonnet. Them these golden noons
Oppress not with their beauty; they could prate,
Even while a prophet read the solemn runes
On which is hanging some imperial fate.
How know they, these good gossips, what to thee
The ocean and its wanderers may have brought?
How know they, in their busy vacancy,
With what far aim thy spirit may be fraught?
Or that thou dost not bow thee silently
Before some great unutterable thought?
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Squall by Stanley Moss
Stanley Moss
I have not used my darkness well,
nor the Baroque arm that hangs from my shoulder,
nor the Baroque arm of my chair.
The rain moves out in a dark schedule.
Let the wind marry. I know the creation
continues through love. The rain’s a wife.
I cannot sleep or lie awake. Looking
at the dead I turn back, fling
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from Stops Along the Western Bank of the Missouri River: Of the River Itself by Michael Anania
Michael Anania
This is my advice to foreigners:
call it simply—the river;
never say old muddy
or even Missouri,
and except when it is necessary
ignore the fact that it moves.
It is the river, a singular,
stationary figure of division.
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Stowaway by Stanley Moss
Stanley Moss
1.

Aging, I am a stowaway in the hold of my being.
Even memory is a finger to my lips.
Once I entered down the center aisle
at the Comédie Française, the Artemis of Ephesus
on my arm, all eyes on her rows of breasts and me.
“Who is this master of her ninety nipples?”
the public whispered.
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To the Poor by Anna Lætitia Barbauld
Anna Lætitia Barbauld
Child of distress, who meet’st the bitter scorn
Of fellow-men to happier prospects born,
Doomed Art and Nature’s various stores to see
Flow in full cups of joy—and not for thee;
Who seest the rich, to heaven and fate resigned,
Bear thy afflictions with a patient mind;
Whose bursting heart disdains unjust control,
Who feel’st oppression’s iron in thy soul,
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The Two Streams by Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.
Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.
Behold the rocky wall
That down its sloping sides
Pours the swift rain-drops, blending, as they fall,
In rushing river-tides!

Yon stream, whose sources run
Turned by a pebble’s edge,
Is Athabasca, rolling toward the sun
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Ode to a Large Tuna in the Market by Pablo Neruda
Pablo Neruda
Here,
among the market vegetables,
this torpedo
from the ocean
depths,
a missile
that swam,
now
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Consolation by Wisława Szymborska
Wisława Szymborska
Darwin.
They say he read novels to relax,
But only certain kinds:
nothing that ended unhappily.
If anything like that turned up,
enraged, he flung the book into the fire.

True or not,
I’m ready to believe it.
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At Darien Bridge by James L. Dickey
James L. Dickey
The sea here used to look
As if many convicts had built it,

Standing deep in their ankle chains,
Ankle-deep in the water, to smite

The land and break it down to salt.
I was in this bog as a child

When they were all working all day
To drive the pilings down.
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Encounter by Thomas McGrath
Thomas McGrath
At two thousand feet the sea wrinkles like an old man’s hand.
Closer, in a monotone of peristalsis,
Its fugue-like swells create and recreate
One image in an idiot concentration.

From horizon to horizon, this desert
With the eye athirst for something stable
When off to southeast-ward—
It was a plane all right, or had been,
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Good-Bye by Ralph Waldo Emerson
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Good-bye, proud world! I'm going home:
Thou art not my friend, and I'm not thine.
Long through thy weary crowds I roam;
A river-ark on the ocean brine,
Long I've been tossed like the driven foam;
But now, proud world! I'm going home.

Good-bye to Flattery's fawning face;
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The History of America by Alicia Ostriker
Alicia Ostriker
—for Paul Metcalf A linear projection: a route. It crosses
The ocean in many ships. Arriving in the new
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Job’s Question on Nevis by Grace Schulman
Grace Schulman
“Turn back!” was all she snapped out as she passed
in a red dress that caught sunrays through mist.
I saw her lurch upwind, kick off spiked heels,
climb out to the edge of a knife-sharp rockpile,

and, arms outstretched, lead the sea’s tympani,
lure the din, guiding the steamy waves
to shore. Will the Almighty answer me?
she sang out to the ocean’s rising octaves,
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Languages by Carl Sandburg
Carl Sandburg
THERE are no handles upon a language
Whereby men take hold of it
And mark it with signs for its remembrance.
It is a river, this language,
Once in a thousand years
Breaking a new course
Changing its way to the ocean.
It is mountain effluvia
Moving to valleys
And from nation to nation
Crossing borders and mixing.
Languages die like rivers.
Words wrapped round your tongue today
And broken to shape of thought
Between your teeth and lips speaking
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Lines Written in the Bay of Lerici by Percy Bysshe Shelley
Percy Bysshe Shelley
She left me at the silent time
When the moon had ceas'd to climb
The azure path of Heaven's steep,
And like an albatross asleep,
Balanc'd on her wings of light,
Hover'd in the purple night,
Ere she sought her ocean nest
In the chambers of the West.
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The Little Waves of Breffny by Eva Gore-Booth
Eva Gore-Booth
The grand road from the mountain goes shining to the sea,
And there is traffic in it and many a horse and cart,
But the little roads of Cloonagh are dearer far to me,
And the little roads of Cloonagh go rambling through my heart.

A great storm from the ocean goes shouting o’er the hill,
And there is glory in it and terror on the wind,
But the haunted air of twilight is very strange and still,
And the little winds of twilight are dearer to my mind.
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Milton by Alfred, Lord Tennyson
Alfred, Lord Tennyson
(Alcaics)
O mighty-mouth'd inventor of harmonies,
O skill'd to sing of Time or Eternity,
God-gifted organ-voice of England,
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On the Departure of Sir Walter Scott from Abbotsford, for Naples by William Wordsworth
William Wordsworth

A trouble, not of clouds, or weeping rain,
Nor of the setting sun's pathetic light
Engendered, hangs o'er Eildon's triple height:
Spirits of Power, assembled there, complain
For kindred Power departing from their sight;
While Tweed, best pleased in chanting a blithe strain,
Saddens his voice again, and yet again.
Lift up your hearts, ye Mourners! for the might
Of the whole world's good wishes with him goes;
Blessings and prayers in nobler retinue
Than sceptred king or laurelled conqueror knows,
Follow this wondrous Potentate. Be true,
Ye winds of ocean, and the midland sea,
Wafting your Charge to soft Parthenope!
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Ships that Pass in the Night by Paul Laurence Dunbar
Paul Laurence Dunbar
Out in the sky the great dark clouds are massing;
I look far out into the pregnant night,
Where I can hear a solemn booming gun
And catch the gleaming of a random light,
That tells me that the ship I seek is passing, passing.

My tearful eyes my soul's deep hurt are glassing;
For I would hail and check that ship of ships.
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The Slow Pacific Swell by Yvor Winters
Yvor Winters
Far out of sight forever stands the sea,
Bounding the land with pale tranquillity.
When a small child, I watched it from a hill
At thirty miles or more. The vision still
Lies in the eye, soft blue and far away:
The rain has washed the dust from April day;
Paint-brush and lupine lie against the ground;
The wind above the hill-top has the sound
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Sonnet 64: When I have seen by Time's fell hand defac'd by William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare
When I have seen by Time's fell hand defac'd
The rich proud cost of outworn buried age;
When sometime lofty towers I see down-ras'd
And brass eternal slave to mortal rage;
When I have seen the hungry ocean gain
Advantage on the kingdom of the shore,
And the firm soil win of the wat'ry main,
Increasing store with loss and loss with store;
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Sonnet 19: When I consider how my light is spent by John Milton
John Milton
When I consider how my light is spent,
Ere half my days, in this dark world and wide,
And that one Talent which is death to hide
Lodged with me useless, though my Soul more bent
To serve therewith my Maker, and present
My true account, lest he returning chide;
“Doth God exact day-labour, light denied?”
I fondly ask. But patience, to prevent
That murmur, soon replies, “God doth not need
Either man’s work or his own gifts; who best
Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best. His state
Is Kingly. Thousands at his bidding speed
And post o’er Land and Ocean without rest:
They also serve who only stand and wait.”
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Stanzas for Music by Lord Byron (George Gordon)
Lord Byron (George Gordon)
There be none of Beauty's daughters
With a magic like thee;
And like music on the waters
Is thy sweet voice to me:
When, as if its sound were causing
The charmed ocean's pausing,
The waves lie still and gleaming,
And the lull'd winds seem dreaming:
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Stanzas Written in Dejection, near Naples by Percy Bysshe Shelley
Percy Bysshe Shelley
The sun is warm, the sky is clear,
The waves are dancing fast and bright,
Blue isles and snowy mountains wear
The purple noon's transparent might,
The breath of the moist earth is light,
Around its unexpanded buds;
Like many a voice of one delight,
The winds, the birds, the ocean floods,
The City's voice itself, is soft like Solitude's.

I see the Deep's untrampled floor
With green and purple seaweeds strown;
I see the waves upon the shore,
Like light dissolved in star-showers, thrown:
I sit upon the sands alone,—
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Time by Percy Bysshe Shelley
Percy Bysshe Shelley
Unfathomable Sea! whose waves are years,
Ocean of Time, whose waters of deep woe
Are brackish with the salt of human tears!
Thou shoreless flood, which in thy ebb and flow
Claspest the limits of mortality!

And sick of prey, yet howling on for more,
Vomitest thy wrecks on its inhospitable shore;
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To the Western World by Louis Simpson
Louis Simpson
A siren sang, and Europe turned away
From the high castle and the shepherd’s crook.
Three caravels went sailing to Cathay
On the strange ocean, and the captains shook
Their banners out across the Mexique Bay.

And in our early days we did the same.
Remembering our fathers in their wreck
We crossed the sea from Palos where they came
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Ultima Thule: Dedication to G. W. G. by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
With favoring winds, o'er sunlit seas,
We sailed for the Hesperides,
The land where golden apples grow;
But that, ah! that was long ago.

How far, since then, the ocean streams
Have swept us from that land of dreams,
That land of fiction and of truth,
The lost Atlantis of our youth!

Whither, ah, whither? Are not these
The tempest-haunted Orcades,
Where sea-gulls scream, and breakers roar,
And wreck and sea-weed line the shore?

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The Virgin by William Wordsworth
William Wordsworth

Mother! whose virgin bosom was uncrost
With the least shade of thought to sin allied.
Woman! above all women glorified,
Our tainted nature's solitary boast;
Purer than foam on central ocean tost;
Brighter than eastern skies at daybreak strewn
With fancied roses, than the unblemished moon
Before her wane begins on heaven's blue coast;
Thy image falls to earth. Yet some, I ween,
Not unforgiven the suppliant knee might bend,
As to a visible Power, in which did blend
All that was mixed and reconciled in thee
Of mother's love with maiden purity,
Of high with low, celestial with terrene!
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Driving West in 1970 by Robert Bly
Robert Bly
My dear children, do you remember the morning
When we climbed into the old Plymouth
And drove west straight toward the Pacific?

We were all the people there were.
We followed Dylan's songs all the way west.
It was Seventy; the war was over, almost;

And we were driving to the sea.
We had closed the farm, tucked in
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