Oliver Wendell Holmes

(1809-1894 / United States)

After A Lecture On Shelley


ONE broad, white sail in Spezzia's treacherous bay
On comes the blast; too daring bark, beware I
The cloud has clasped her; to! it melts away;
The wide, waste waters, but no sail is there.

Morning: a woman looking on the sea;
Midnight: with lamps the long veranda burns;
Come, wandering sail, they watch, they burn for thee!
Suns come and go, alas! no bark returns.

And feet are thronging on the pebbly sands,
And torches flaring in the weedy caves,
Where'er the waters lay with icy hands
The shapes uplifted from their coral graves.

Vainly they seek; the idle quest is o'er;
The coarse, dark women, with their hanging locks,
And lean, wild children gather from the shore
To the black hovels bedded in the rocks.

But Love still prayed, with agonizing wail,
'One, one last look, ye heaving waters, yield!'
Till Ocean, clashing in his jointed mail,
Raised the pale burden on his level shield.

Slow from the shore the sullen waves retire;
His form a nobler element shall claim;
Nature baptized him in ethereal fire,
And Death shall crown him with a wreath of flame.

Fade, mortal semblance, never to return;
Swift is the change within thy crimson shroud;
Seal the white ashes in the peaceful urn;
All else has risen in yon silvery cloud.

Sleep where thy gentle Adonais lies,
Whose open page lay on thy dying heart,
Both in the smile of those blue-vaulted skies,
Earth's fairest dome of all divinest art.

Breathe for his wandering soul one passing sigh,
O happier Christian, while thine eye grows dim,--
In all the mansions of the house on high,
Say not that Mercy has not one for him!

Submitted: Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
0 person did not like.

What do you think this poem is about?



Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (After A Lecture On Shelley by Oliver Wendell Holmes )

Enter the verification code :

There is no comment submitted by members..

New Poems

  1. Love You Mom, Harold R Hunt Sr
  2. what is it for, Bull Hawking
  3. THE WEEKEND BASH., Harold R Hunt Sr
  4. Not with truth, gajanan mishra
  5. The race, Harold R Hunt Sr
  6. Folk dances., Gangadharan nair Pulingat..
  7. Day, Hanh Chau
  8. The Wild West., Harold R Hunt Sr
  9. I Am A Traveler., Tony Adah
  10. Broken Family, Broken Relationships, Wro.., Bijay Kant Dubey

Poem of the Day

poet Sir John Suckling

Dost see how unregarded now
That piece of beauty passes?
There was a time when I did vow
To that alone;
But mark the fate of faces;
...... Read complete »

 

Modern Poem

poet Elizabeth Bishop

 

Member Poem

Trending Poems

  1. Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
  2. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  3. Invictus, William Ernest Henley
  4. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  5. Dreams, Langston Hughes
  6. As I Grew Older, Langston Hughes
  7. If, Rudyard Kipling
  8. A Dream Within A Dream, Edgar Allan Poe
  9. Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
  10. Different Ways to Pray, Naomi Shihab Nye

Trending Poets

[Hata Bildir]