Felicia Dorothea Hemans

(25 September 1793 – 16 May 1835 / Liverpool, England)

The Treasures Of The Deep


What hid'st thou in thy treasure-caves and cells?
Thou hollow-sounding and mysterious main!
-Pale glistening pearls, and rainbow-colour'd shells,
Bright things which gleam unreck'd-of, and in vain!
-Keep, keep thy riches, melancholy sea!
We ask not such from thee.

Yet more, the depths have more!-what wealth untold,
Far down, and shining through their stillness lies!
Thou hast the starry gems, the burning gold,
Won from ten thousand royal Argosies!
-Sweep o'er thy spoils, thou wild and wrathful main!
Earth claims not these again.

Yet more, the depths have more!-thy waves have roll'd
Above the cities of a world gone by!
Sand hath fill'd up the palaces of old,
Sea-weed o'ergrown the halls of revelry.
-Dash o'er them, ocean! in thy scornful play!
Man yields them to decay.

Yet more! the billows and the depths have more!
High hearts and brave are gather'd to thy breast!
They hear not now the booming waters roar,
The battle thunders will not break their rest.
-Keep thy red gold and gems, thou stormy grave!
Give back the true and brave!

Give back the lost and lovely!-those for whom
The place was kept at board and hearth so long,
The prayer went up through midnight's breathless gloom,
And the vain yearning woke 'midst festal song!
Hold fast thy buried Isles, thy towers o'erthrown-
But all is not thine own.

To thee the love of woman hath gone down,
Dark flow thy tides o'er manhood's noble head,
O'er youth's bright locks, and beauty's flowery crown,
-Yet must thou hear a voice-restore the dead!
Earth shall reclaim her precious things from thee!
-Restore the dead, thou sea!

Submitted: Thursday, April 08, 2010

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