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Poems from “Thalatta.”

[The two poems which follow are from a volume called

“Thalatta; a book for the sea-side,” edited by my friend Samuel
Longfellow and myself in 1853.]

I. Calm.

'T is a dull, sullen day,--the dull beach o'er
In rippling curves the ebbing ocean flows;
Along each tiny crest that nears the shore
A line of soft green shadow rises, glides, and goes.

The tide recedes,--the flat smooth beach grows bare,
More faint the low sweet plashing on my ears,
Yet still I watch the dimpling shadows fair,
As each is born, glides, pauses, disappears. [78]

What channel needs our faith except the eyes?
God leaves no spot of earth unglorified;
Profuse and wasteful, lovelinesses rise;
New beauties dawn before the old have died.

Trust thou thy joys in keeping of the Power
Who holds these faint soft shadows in His hand;
Believe and live, and know that hour by hour
Will ripple newer beauty to thy strand.


II. the morning mist.

The mist that like a dim soft pall was lying,
Mingling the gray sea with the low gray sky,
Floats upward now; the sunny breeze is sighing,
And Youth stands pale before his destiny:
O passionate heart of Youth!
Each rolling wave with herald voice is crying;
Thou canst delay, but never shun replying,
It calls thee living or it calls thee dying,
Though beauty fade before the glare of truth.

Thou wanderest onward 'neath the solemn morning,
It seems like mid-day ere the sun rides high,
The soft mist fades, whose shadowy adorning
Wrapt in a dreamy haze the earth and sky;
The Ocean lies before!
O thou art lost if thou discard the warning
To make hot Day more fair than fairest dawning,
Till eve look back serenely on the morning
When Youth stood trembling on the ocean-shore.

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