Albert Pike

(1809-1891 / USA)

The Sea-Shore

It rings as loud, it rolls as free,
As brightly flashes on this shore,
As where the deep, grave, calm vibration,
From its great heart's green, gushing core,
Washes the footprints of a nation
Of freemen, on New England's shore.

Its spirit cometh, pure and kind,
Cooling the heated brow of care;
It sleeps upon the silent ocean,
Watching the storm-wolves in their lair;
But yet it calms not my emotion:
My sorrows scourge, and I must bear.

It shines as bright my heart upon,
As in my own dear native land;
And inland far the snowy mountains,
By morning's crimson lightning fanned,
Are blazing like ethereal fountains;
Yet lone and desolate I stand.

As brightly opens its blue eye,
As on New England's sunny hills:
Over it snowy clouds are stealing,
With tender, melancholy thrills,
As over souls sad drifts of feeling;—
Its beauty neither soothes nor stills.

Their melancholy solitudes
Are deep and silent as at home,
Chequered with midnight intervening,
'Mid heavy green and purple gloom.
Alas! still deeper shades are screening
The heart that no sun-rays illume!

'Tis thou that dull and heavy art!
'Tis thou that hast nor calm nor peace!
Nature is beautiful as ever,
But changed thyself; thou changest these:
Lost happiness returneth never,
Nor hope, nor boyish impulses.

Were this but home, it were all grand,
All beautiful. It is not home:
The sky, the wind, the waves that shiver
Against the shore, the forest-gloom,
Whatever makes the heart-strings quiver,
All their vibrations echo 'Home.'

Submitted: Monday, February 24, 2014
Edited: Monday, February 24, 2014

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