Treasure Island

Herman Melville

(1 August 1819 – 28 September 1891 / New York City, New York)

Pebbles


I
Though the Clerk of the Weather insist,
And lay down the weather-law,
Pintado and gannet they wist
That the winds blow whither they list
In tempest or flaw.

II
Old are the creeds, but stale the schools,
Revamped as the mode may veer,
But Orm from the schools to the beaches
strays
And, finding a Conch hoar with time, he
delays
And reverent lifts it to ear.
That Voice, pitched in far monotone,
Shall it swerve? shall it deviate ever?
The Seas have inspired it, and Truth--
Truth, varying from sameness never.

III
In hollows of the liquid hills
Where the long Blue Ridges run,
The flattery of no echo thrills,
For echo the seas have none;
Nor aught that gives man back man's strain--
The hope of his heart, the dream in his brain.

IV
On ocean where the embattled fleets repair,
Man, suffering inflictor, sails on sufferance
there.

V
Implacable I, the old Implacable Sea:
Implacable most when most I smile serene--
Pleased, not appeased, by myriad wrecks in
me.

VI
Curled in the comb of yon billow Andean,
Is it the Dragon's heaven-challenging crest?
Elemental mad ramping of ravening waters--
Yet Christ on the Mount, and the dove in
her nest!

VII
Healed of my hurt, I laud the inhuman Sea--
Yea, bless the Angels Four that there convene;
For healed I am ever by their pitiless breath
Distilled in wholesome dew named rosmarine.

Submitted: Saturday, April 17, 2010

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