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Best Famous Ocean Poems

Here is a collection of the all-time best famous Ocean poems. This is a select list of the best famous Ocean poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous Ocean poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of ocean poems.

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See also: Best Member Poems

by Maya Angelou | |

Still I Rise

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I'll rise.
Does my sassiness upset you? Why are you beset with gloom? 'Cause I walk like I've got oil wells Pumping in my living room.
Just like moons and like suns, With the certainty of tides, Just like hopes springing high, Still I'll rise.
Did you want to see me broken? Bowed head and lowered eyes? Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.
Does my haughtiness offend you? Don't you take it awful hard 'Cause I laugh like I've got gold mines Diggin' in my own back yard.
You may shoot me with your words, You may cut me with your eyes, You may kill me with your hatefulness, But still, like air, I'll rise.
Does my sexiness upset you? Does it come as a surprise That I dance like I've got diamonds At the meeting of my thighs? Out of the huts of history's shame I rise Up from a past that's rooted in pain I rise I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide, Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear I rise Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear I rise Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave, I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise I rise I rise.


by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow | |

The Fire of Drift-Wood

We sat within the farm-house old,
  Whose windows, looking o'er the bay,
Gave to the sea-breeze damp and cold,
  An easy entrance, night and day.
Not far away we saw the port, The strange, old-fashioned, silent town, The lighthouse, the dismantled fort, The wooden houses, quaint and brown.
We sat and talked until the night, Descending, filled the little room; Our faces faded from the sight, Our voices only broke the gloom.
We spake of many a vanished scene, Of what we once had thought and said, Of what had been, and might have been, And who was changed, and who was dead; And all that fills the hearts of friends, When first they feel, with secret pain, Their lives thenceforth have separate ends, And never can be one again; The first slight swerving of the heart, That words are powerless to express, And leave it still unsaid in part, Or say it in too great excess.
The very tones in which we spake Had something strange, I could but mark; The leaves of memory seemed to make A mournful rustling in the dark.
Oft died the words upon our lips, As suddenly, from out the fire Built of the wreck of stranded ships, The flames would leap and then expire.
And, as their splendor flashed and failed, We thought of wrecks upon the main, Of ships dismasted, that were hailed And sent no answer back again.
The windows, rattling in their frames, The ocean, roaring up the beach, The gusty blast, the bickering flames, All mingled vaguely in our speech; Until they made themselves a part Of fancies floating through the brain, The long-lost ventures of the heart, That send no answers back again.
O flames that glowed! O hearts that yearned! They were indeed too much akin, The drift-wood fire without that burned, The thoughts that burned and glowed within.


by Emily Dickinson | |

A bird came down the walk

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.
He glanced with rapid eyes That hurried all abroad,-- They looked like frightened beads, I thought; He stirred his velvet head Like one in danger; cautious, I offered him a crumb, And he unrolled his feathers And rowed him softer home Than oars divide the ocean, Too silver for a seam, Or butterflies, off banks of noon, Leap, splashless, as they swim.


More great poems below...

by George (Lord) Byron | |

Youth and Age

THERE'S not a joy the world can give like that it takes away 
When the glow of early thought declines in feeling's dull decay; 
'Tis not on youth's smooth cheek the blush alone which fades so fast  
But the tender bloom of heart is gone ere youth itself be past.
Then the few whose spirits float above the wreck of happiness 5 Are driven o'er the shoals of guilt or ocean of excess: The magnet of their course is gone or only points in vain The shore to which their shiver'd sail shall never stretch again.
Then the mortal coldness of the soul like death itself comes down; It cannot feel for others' woes it dare not dream its own; 10 That heavy chill has frozen o'er the fountain of our tears And though the eye may sparkle still 'tis where the ice appears.
Though wit may flash from fluent lips and mirth distract the breast Through midnight hours that yield no more their former hope of rest 'Tis but as ivy-leaves around the ruin'd turret wreathe 15 All green and wildly fresh without but worn and gray beneath.
Oh could I feel as I have felt or be what I have been Or weep as I could once have wept o'er many a vanish'd scene ¡ª As springs in deserts found seem sweet all brackish though they be So midst the wither'd waste of life those tears would flow to me! 20


by Percy Bysshe Shelley | |

Loves Philosophy

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 5 
All things by a law divine 
In one another's being mingle¡ª 
Why not I with thine? 

See the mountains kiss high heaven  
And the waves clasp one another; 10 
No sister-flower would be forgiven 
If it disdain'd its brother; 
And the sunlight clasps the earth  
And the moonbeams kiss the sea¡ª 
What are all these kissings worth 15 
If thou kiss not me?


by William Cullen Bryant | |

Oh Mother of a Mighty Race

OH mother of a mighty race  
Yet lovely in thy youthful grace! 
The elder dames thy haughty peers  
Admire and hate thy blooming years.
With words of shame 5 And taunts of scorn they join thy name.
For on thy cheeks the glow is spread That tints thy morning hills with red; Thy step¡ªthe wild deer's rustling feet Within thy woods are not more fleet; 10 Thy hopeful eye Is bright as thine own sunny sky.
Ay let them rail¡ªthose haughty ones While safe thou dwellest with thy sons.
They do not know how loved thou art 15 How many a fond and fearless heart Would rise to throw Its life between thee and the foe.
They know not in their hate and pride What virtues with thy children bide; 20 How true how good thy graceful maids Make bright like flowers the valley-shades; What generous men Spring like thine oaks by hill and glen.
What cordial welcomes greet the guest 25 By thy lone rivers of the West; How faith is kept and truth revered And man is loved and God is feared In woodland homes And where the ocean-border foams.
30 There 's freedom at thy gates and rest For Earth's down-trodden and opprest A shelter for the hunted head For the starved laborer toil and bread.
Power at thy bounds 35 Stops and calls back his baffled hounds.
Oh fair young mother! on thy brow Shall sit a nobler grace than now.
Deep in the brightness of the skies The thronging years in glory rise 40 And as they fleet Drop strength and riches at thy feet.
Thine eye with every coming hour Shall brighten and thy form shall tower; And when thy sisters elder born 45 Would brand thy name with words of scorn Before thine eye Upon their lips the taunt shall die.


by Percy Bysshe Shelley | |

Stanzas Written in Dejection near Naples

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 5 
Around its unexpanded buds; 
Like many a voice of one delight¡ª 
The winds' the birds' the ocean-floods'¡ª 
The city's voice itself is soft like solitude's.
I see the deep's untrampled floor 10 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; The lightning of the noontide ocean 15 Is flashing round me and a tone Arises from its measured motion¡ª How sweet did any heart now share in my emotion! Alas! I have nor hope nor health Nor peace within nor calm around; 20 Nor that content surpassing wealth The sage in meditation found And walk'd with inward glory crown'd; Nor fame nor power nor love nor leisure.
Others I see whom these surround¡ª 25 Smiling they live and call life pleasure: To me that cup has been dealt in another measure.
Yet now despair itself is mild Even as the winds and waters are; I could lie down like a tired child 30 And weep away the life of care Which I have borne and yet must bear ¡ª Till death like sleep might steal on me And I might feel in the warm air My cheek grow cold and hear the sea 35 Breathe o'er my dying brain its last monotony.


by George (Lord) Byron | |

There be none of Beautys daughters

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 5 
The charmed ocean's pausing  
The waves lie still and gleaming  
And the lull'd winds seem dreaming: 

And the midnight moon is weaving 
Her bright chain o'er the deep 10 
Whose breast is gently heaving 
As an infant's asleep: 
So the spirit bows before thee 
To listen and adore thee; 
With a full but soft emotion 15 
Like the swell of summer's ocean.


by Percy Bysshe Shelley | |

Remorse

AWAY! the moor is dark beneath the moon  
Rapid clouds have drunk the last pale beam of even: 
Away! the gathering winds will call the darkness soon  
And profoundest midnight shroud the serene lights of heaven.
Pause not! the time is past! Every voice cries 'Away!' 5 Tempt not with one last tear thy friend's ungentle mood: Thy lover's eye so glazed and cold dares not entreat thy stay: Duty and dereliction guide thee back to solitude.
Away away! to thy sad and silent home; Pour bitter tears on its desolated hearth; 10 Watch the dim shades as like ghosts they go and come And complicate strange webs of melancholy mirth.
The leaves of wasted autumn woods shall float around thine head The blooms of dewy Spring shall gleam beneath thy feet: But thy soul or this world must fade in the frost that binds the dead 15 Ere midnight's frown and morning's smile ere thou and peace may meet.
The cloud shadows of midnight possess their own repose For the weary winds are silent or the moon is in the deep; Some respite to its turbulence unresting ocean knows; Whatever moves or toils or grieves hath its appointed sleep.
20 Thou in the grave shalt rest:¡ªyet till the phantoms flee Which that house and heath and garden made dear to thee erewhile Thy remembrance and repentance and deep musings are not free From the music of two voices and the light of one sweet smile.


by Percy Bysshe Shelley | |

The Invitation

BEST and brightest come away ¡ª 
Fairer far than this fair day  
Which like thee to those in sorrow 
Comes to bid a sweet good-morrow 
To the rough year just awake 5 
In its cradle on the brake.
The brightest hour of unborn Spring Through the winter wandering Found it seems the halcyon morn To hoar February born; 10 Bending from heaven in azure mirth It kiss'd the forehead of the earth And smiled upon the silent sea And bade the frozen streams be free And waked to music all their fountains 15 And breathed upon the frozen mountains And like a prophetess of May Strew'd flowers upon the barren way Making the wintry world appear Like one on whom thou smilest dear.
20 Away away from men and towns To the wild woods and the downs¡ª To the silent wilderness Where the soul need not repress Its music lest it should not find 25 An echo in another's mind While the touch of Nature's art Harmonizes heart to heart.
Radiant Sister of the Day Awake! arise! and come away! 30 To the wild woods and the plains To the pools where winter rains Image all their roof of leaves Where the pine its garland weaves Of sapless green and ivy dun 35 Round stems that never kiss the sun; Where the lawns and pastures be And the sandhills of the sea; Where the melting hoar-frost wets The daisy-star that never sets 40 And wind-flowers and violets Which yet join not scent to hue Crown the pale year weak and new; When the night is left behind In the deep east dim and blind 45 And the blue noon is over us And the multitudinous Billows murmur at our feet Where the earth and ocean meet And all things seem only one 50 In the universal Sun.


by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow | |

Seaweed

WHEN descends on the Atlantic 
The gigantic 
Storm-wind of the equinox  
Landward in his wrath he scourges 
The toiling surges 5 
Laden with seaweed from the rocks: 

From Bermuda's reefs; from edges 
Of sunken ledges  
In some far-off bright Azore; 
From Bahama and the dashing 10 
Silver-flashing 
Surges of San Salvador; 

From the tumbling surf that buries 
The Orkneyan skerries  
Answering the hoarse Hebrides; 15 
And from wrecks of ships and drifting 
Spars uplifting 
On the desolate rainy seas;¡ª 

Ever drifting drifting drifting 
On the shifting 20 
Currents of the restless main; 
Till in sheltered coves and reaches 
Of sandy beaches  
All have found repose again.
So when storms of wild emotion 25 Strike the ocean Of the poet's soul erelong From each cave and rocky fastness In its vastness Floats some fragment of a song: 30 From the far-off isles enchanted Heaven has planted With the golden fruit of Truth; From the flashing surf whose vision Gleams Elysian 35 In the tropic clime of Youth; From the strong Will and the Endeavor That forever Wrestle with the tides of Fate; From the wreck of Hopes far-scattered 40 Tempest-shattered Floating waste and desolate;¡ª Ever drifting drifting drifting On the shifting Currents of the restless heart; 45 Till at length in books recorded They like hoarded Household words no more depart.


by William Cullen Bryant | |

To a Waterfowl

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 5 
Might mark thy distant flight to do thee wrong  
As darkly seen against the crimson sky  
Thy figure floats along.
Seek'st thou the plashy brink Of weedy lake or marge of river wide 10 Or where the rocking billows rise and sink On the chafed ocean-side? There is a Power whose care Teaches thy way along that pathless coast¡ª The desert and illimitable air¡ª 15 Lone wandering but not lost.
All day thy wings have fanned At that far height the cold thin atmosphere Yet stoop not weary to the welcome land Though the dark night is near.
20 And soon that toil shall end; Soon shalt thou find a summer home and rest And scream among thy fellows; reeds shall bend Soon o'er thy sheltered nest.
Thou 'rt gone the abyss of heaven 25 Hath swallowed up thy form; yet on my heart Deeply hath sunk the lesson thou hast given And shall not soon depart.
He who from zone to zone Guides through the boundless sky thy certain flight 30 In the long way that I must tread alone Will lead my steps aright.


by Anonymous | |

THE SEA SHELL.

There is found a tiny sea shell,
Half-imbedded in the sand,
Sometimes flashing in the moonlight,
Like a diamond on the strand.
And from out the winding chambers
That are hid within the shell,
Ever steals a curious music,
That doth never sink nor swell.
But, like the far-off voice of ocean,
Murmurs forth its monotone,
Holding thus within its bosom
E’er an ocean of its own.
Thus the sea shells ever gather
Little oceans in their breasts,
Which do echo there for ever
Ocean’s hymn, which never rests.
Thus the soul will echo music,
Born in heaven, and not of earth;
And give praises all, for ever,
To the One that gave it birth.
[Pg 032]


by Margaret Atwood | |

Postcards

 I'm thinking about you.
What else can I say? The palm trees on the reverse are a delusion; so is the pink sand.
What we have are the usual fractured coke bottles and the smell of backed-up drains, too sweet, like a mango on the verge of rot, which we have also.
The air clear sweat, mosquitoes & their tracks; birds & elusive.
Time comes in waves here, a sickness, one day after the other rolling on; I move up, it's called awake, then down into the uneasy nights but never forward.
The roosters crow for hours before dawn, and a prodded child howls & howls on the pocked road to school.
In the hold with the baggage there are two prisoners, their heads shaved by bayonets, & ten crates of queasy chicks.
Each spring there's race of cripples, from the store to the church.
This is the sort of junk I carry with me; and a clipping about democracy from the local paper.
Outside the window they're building the damn hotel, nail by nail, someone's crumbling dream.
A universe that includes you can't be all bad, but does it? At this distance you're a mirage, a glossy image fixed in the posture of the last time I saw you.
Turn you over, there's the place for the address.
Wish you were here.
Love comes in waves like the ocean, a sickness which goes on & on, a hollow cave in the head, filling & pounding, a kicked ear.


by Erin Belieu | |

Against Writing about Children

 When I think of the many people
who privately despise children,
I can't say I'm completely shocked,

having been one.
I was not exceptional, uncomfortable as that is to admit, and most children are not exceptional.
The particulars of cruelty, sizes Large and X-Large, memory gnawing it like a fat dog, are ordinary: Mean Miss Smigelsky from the sixth grade; the orthodontist who slapped you for crying out.
Children frighten us, other people's and our own.
They reflect the virused figures in which failure began.
We feel accosted by their vulnerable natures.
Each child turns into a problematic ocean, a mirrored body growing denser and more difficult to navigate until sunlight merely bounces off the surface.
They become impossible to sound.
Like us, but even weaker.


by William Cullen Bryant | |

Hymn of the City

 Not in the solitude 
Alone may man commune with heaven, or see 
Only in savage wood 
And sunny vale, the present Deity; 
Or only hear his voice 
Where the winds whisper and the waves rejoice.
Even here do I behold Thy steps, Almighty!--here, amidst the crowd, Through the great city rolled, With everlasting murmur deep and loud-- Choking the ways that wind 'Mongst the proud piles, the work of humankind.
Thy golden sunshine comes From the round heaven, and on their dwellings lies, And lights their inner homes; For them thou fill'st with air the unbounded skies, And givest them the stores Of ocean, and the harvests of its shores.
Thy spirit is around, Quickening the restless mass that sweeps along; And this eternal sound-- Voices and footfalls of the numberless throng-- Like the resounding sea, Or like the rainy tempest, speaks of thee.
And when the hours of rest Come, like a calm upon the mid-sea brine, Hushing its billowy breast-- The quiet of that moment too is thine; It breathes of him who keeps The vast and helpless city while it sleeps.


by William Cullen Bryant | |

To A Cloud

 Beautiful cloud! with folds so soft and fair,
Swimming in the pure quiet air!
Thy fleeces bathed in sunlight, while below
Thy shadow o'er the vale moves slow;
Where, midst their labour, pause the reaper train
As cool it comes along the grain.
Beautiful cloud! I would I were with thee In thy calm way o'er land and sea: To rest on thy unrolling skirts, and look On Earth as on an open book; On streams that tie her realms with silver bands, And the long ways that seam her lands; And hear her humming cities, and the sound Of the great ocean breaking round.
Ay--I would sail upon thy air-borne car To blooming regions distant far, To where the sun of Andalusia shines On his own olive-groves and vines, Or the soft lights of Italy's bright sky In smiles upon her ruins lie.
But I would woo the winds to let us rest O'er Greece long fettered and oppressed, Whose sons at length have heard the call that comes From the old battle-fields and tombs, And risen, and drawn the sword, and on the foe Have dealt the swift and desperate blow, And the Othman power is cloven, and the stroke Has touched its chains, and they are broke.
Ay, we would linger till the sunset there Should come, to purple all the air, And thou reflect upon the sacred ground The ruddy radiance streaming round.
Bright meteor! for the summer noontide made! Thy peerless beauty yet shall fade.
The sun, that fills with light each glistening fold, Shall set, and leave thee dark and cold: The blast shall rend thy skirts, or thou may'st frown In the dark heaven when storms come down, And weep in rain, till man's inquiring eye Miss thee, forever from the sky.


by John Greenleaf Whittier | |

The Worship of Nature

 The harp at Nature's advent strung
Has never ceased to play; 
The song the stars of morning sung
Has never died away.
And prayer is made, and praise is given, By all things near and far; The ocean looketh up to heaven, And mirrors every star.
Its waves are kneeling on the strand, As kneels the human knee, Their white locks bowing to the sand, The priesthood of the sea! They pour their glittering treasures forth, Their gifts of pearl they bring, And all the listening hills of earth Take up the song they sing.
The green earth sends its incense up From many a mountain shrine; From folded leaf and dewy cup She pours her sacred wine.
The mists above the morning rills Rise white as wings of prayer; The altar-curtains of the hills Are sunset's purple air.
The winds with hymns of praise are loud, Or low with sobs of pain, -- The thunder-organ of the cloud, The dropping tears of rain.
With drooping head and branches crossed The twilight forest grieves, Or speaks with tongues of Pentecost From all its sunlit leaves.
The blue sky is the temple's arch, Its transept earth and air, The music of its starry march The chorus of a prayer.
So Nature keeps the reverent frame With which her years began, And all her signs and voices shame The prayerless heart of man.


by Oliver Wendell Holmes | |

The Two Streams

 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 
Through the cleft mountain-ledge.
The slender rill had strayed, But for the slanting stone, To evening's ocean, with the tangled braid Of foam-flecked Oregon.
So from the heights of Will Life's parting stream descends, And, as a moment turns its slender rill, Each widening torrent bends, -- From the same cradle's side, From the same mother's knee, -- One to long darkness and the frozen tide, One to the Peaceful Sea!


by Oliver Wendell Holmes | |

Old Ironsides

 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.
Her deck, once red with heroes' blood, Where knelt the vanquished foe, When winds were hurrying o'er the flood, And waves were white below, No more shall feel the victor's tread, Or know the conquered knee; -- The harpies of the shore shall pluck The eagle of the sea! Oh, better that her shattered hulk Should sink beneath the wave; Her thunders shook the mighty deep, And there should be her grave; Nail to the mast her holy flag, Set every threadbare sail, And give her to the god of storms, The lightning and the gale!


by Oliver Wendell Holmes | |

The Flower of Liberty

 WHAT flower is this that greets the morn,
Its hues from Heaven so freshly born?
With burning star and flaming band
It kindles all the sunset land:
Oh tell us what its name may be,--
Is this the Flower of Liberty? 

It is the banner of the free,
The starry Flower of Liberty!

In savage Nature's far abode
Its tender seed our fathers sowed;
The storm-winds rocked its swelling bud,
Its opening leaves were streaked with blood,
Till lo! earth's tyrants shook to see
The full-blown Flower of Liberty! 

Then hail the banner of the free,
The starry Flower of Liberty!

Behold its streaming rays unite,
One mingling flood of braided light,--
The red that fires the Southern rose,
With spotless white from Northern snows,
And, spangled o'er its azure, see
The sister Stars of Liberty! 

Then hail the banner of the free,
The starry Flower of Liberty!

The blades of heroes fence it round,
Where'er it springs is holy ground;
From tower and dome its glories spread;
It waves where lonely sentries tread;
It makes the land as ocean free,
And plants an empire on the sea!

Then hail the banner of the free,
The starry Flower of Liberty!

Thy sacred leaves, fair Freedom's flower,
Shall ever float on dome and tower,
To all their heavenly colors true,
In blackening frost or crimson dew,--
And God love us as we love thee,
Thrice holy Flower of Liberty!

Then hail the banner of the free,
The starry FLOWER OF LIBERTY!


by Oliver Wendell Holmes | |

Brother Jonathans Lament

 SHE has gone,-- she has left us in passion and pride,--
Our stormy-browed sister, so long at our side!
She has torn her own star from our firmament's glow,
And turned on her brother the face of a foe!

Oh, Caroline, Caroline, child of the sun,
We can never forget that our hearts have been one,--
Our foreheads both sprinkled in Liberty's name,
From the fountain of blood with the finger of flame!

You were always too ready to fire at a touch;
But we said, "She is hasty,-- she does not mean much.
" We have scowled, when you uttered some turbulent threat; But Friendship still whispered, "Forgive and forget!" Has our love all died out? Have its altars grown cold? Has the curse come at last which the fathers foretold? Then Nature must teach us the strength of the chain That her petulant children would sever in vain.
They may fight till the buzzards are gorged with their spoil, Till the harvest grows black as it rots in the soil, Till the wolves and the catamounts troop from their caves, And the shark tracks the pirate, the lord of the waves: In vain is the strife! When its fury is past, Their fortunes must flow in one channel at last, As the torrents that rush from the mountains of snow Roll mingled in peace through the valleys below.
Our Union is river, lake, ocean, and sky: Man breaks not the medal, when God cuts the die! Though darkened with sulphur, though cloven with steel, The blue arch will brighten, the waters will heal! Oh, Caroline, Caroline, child of the sun, There are battles with Fate that can never be won! The star-flowering banner must never be furled, For its blossoms of light are the hope of the world! Go, then, our rash sister! afar and aloof, Run wild in the sunshine away from our roof; But when your heart aches and your feet have grown sore, Remember the pathway that leads to our door!


by Paul Laurence Dunbar | |

Ships that Pass in the Night

 Out in the sky the great dark clouds are massing; 
I look far out into the pregnant night,
Where I can hear the 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.
I stretch my hands imploring, cry aloud, My voice falls dead a foot from mine own lips, And but its ghost doth reach that vessel, passing, passing.
O Earth, O Sky, O Ocean, both surpassing, O heart of mine, O soul that dreads the dark! Is there no hope for me? Is there no way That I may sight and check that speeding bark Which out of sight and sound is passing, passing?


by Mihai Eminescu | |

OF ALL THE SHIPS

Of all the ships the ocean rolls 
   How many find untimely graves 
Piled high by you upon the shoals, 
   O waves and winds, o winds and waves? 

  
How many a bird that leaves its bower 
   And o'er the sky in autumn draves 
You beat and blindly  overpower, 
   O winds and waves, o waves and winds?  
 

Should easy luck or high endeavour 
   Be our aim it little saves, 
For you pursue our footsteps ever, 
   O waves and winds, o winds and waves.
Still, it is past our comprehending What design your song enslaves, Rolling on until time's ending, O winds and waves, o waves and winds.
English version by Corneliu M.
Popescu Transcribed by Oana Platon 10th class A Alexandru Papiu Ilarian " Highschool Dej, Romania Teacher coordinator: Cornelia Platon


by Marianne Moore | |

A Grave

 Man looking into the sea,
taking the view from those who have as much right to it as
 you have to it 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.
The wrinkles progress among themselves in a phalanx— beautiful under networks of foam, and fade breathlessly while the sea rustles in and out of the seaweed; the birds swim through the air at top speed, emitting cat-calls as heretofore— the tortoise-shell scourges about the feet of the cliffs, in motion beneath them; and the ocean, under the pulsation of lighthouses and noise of bell-bouys, advances as usual, looking as if it were not that ocean in which dropped things are bound to sink— in which if they turn and twist, it is neither with volition nor consciousness.