Ever drifting, drifting, drifting,

On the shifting
Currents of the restless heart;
Till at length in books recorded,

They, like hoarded
Household words, no more depart.


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From Bermuda's reefs; from edges

Of sunken ledges
In some far-off, bright Azore;
From Bahama, and the dashing,

Surges of San Salvador;
From the tumbling surf that buries

The Orkneyan skerries,
Answering the hoarse Hebrides;
And from wrecks of ships, and drifting

Spars, uplifting
On the desolate, rainy seas-
Ever drifting, drifting, drifting

*On the shifting
Currents of the restless main;
Till in sheltered coves, and reaches

Of sandy beaches,
All have found repose again.


NOTES AND QUESTIONS 1. What brings in the seaweed? To what does "he" refer in the first stanza? What words make you feel the power of the stormwind?

2. Do you know the location of the far-off islands and foreign places that the poet mentions? Do you need to know in order to appreciate the poetry? Taken together, what do they represent? Where does the seaweed come to rest?

8. Notice how the second half of the poem repeats both the thought and the form of the first half, substituting for the "ocean" the "poet's soul,” and drawing corresponding parallels to the end; point out what is compared to the storm; the seaweed; the far-off isles; the tropic lands; the wreck of ships; the restless sea; the coves and beaches. Which of the comparisons do you like best?

4. Do you like the short lines riming with the long lines? To appreciate this poem you need to read it aloud. Read it so as to get the best effect from the sound of the lines.

Library Reading. "The Secret of the Sea," Longfellow; “The Three Fishers,” Kingsley.



So when storms of wild emotion

Strike the ocean
Of the poet's soul, ere long
From each cave and rocky fastness,

In its vastness,
Floats some fragment of a song:


From the far-off isles enchanted,

Heaven has planted
With the golden fruit of Truth;
From the flashing surf, whose vision

Gleams Elysian
In the tropic clime of Youth;


The tide rises, the tide falls,
The twilight darkens, the curlew calls;
Along the sea-sands dark and brown
The traveler hastens toward the town,

And the tide rises, the tide falls,



From the strong Will, and the Endeavor

That forever Wrestles with the tides of Fate; From the wreck of Hopes far-scattered, 40

Tempest-shattered, Floating waste and desolate


Darkness settles on roofs and walls,
But the sea, the sea, in the darkness calls;
The little waves, with their soft, white hands,
Efface the footprints in the sands,

And the tide rises, the tide falls.
The morning breaks; the steeds in their stalls
Stamp and neigh, as the hostler calls;
The day returns, but nevermore
Returns the traveler to the shore,

And the tide rises, the tide falls.

14. Orkneyan skerries, rocky islands (the Orkneys) to the north of Scotland. 15. Hebrides, group of islands west of Scotland. 95. Elysian, heavenly; from Elysiumin classic mythology, the dwelling place of the happy souls after death. 36. tropic clime, warm, rich imagination.



There is a pleasure in the pathless woods;
There is a rapture on the lonely shore;
There is society, where none intrudes,
By the deep sea, and music in its roar-
I love not man the less but Nature

From these our interviews, in which I

6 . From all I may be, or have been before,

To mingle with the universe, and feel What I can ne'er express, yet cannot all


The armaments which thunder-strike

the walls Of rock-built cities, bidding nations

And monarchs tremble in their capitals;
The oak leviathans, whose huge ribs

Their clay creator the vain title take
Of lord of thee, and arbiter of war-
These are thy toys, and, as the snowy

They melt into thy yeast of waves,

which mar Alike the Armada's pride, or spoils of





Roll on, thou deep and dark blue Ocean

Thy shores are empires changed in all

save thee -roll! Ten thousand fleets sweep over thee in

Assyria, Greece, Rome, Carthage, what

are they? vain.

Thy waters washed them power while Man marks the earth with ruin-his

they were free, control Stops with the shore; upon the watery

And many a tyrant since; their shores

obey plain

The stranger, slave, or savage; their deThe wrecks are all thy deed; nor doth

cay remain A shadow of man's ravage, save his own,

Has dried up realms to deserts; not so

thouWhen, for a moment, like a drop of rain, He sinks into thy depths, with bubbling

Unchangeable save to thy wild waves'

play. groan


Time writes no wrinkle on thine azure Without a grave, unknelled, uncoffined,


44 and unknown.

Such as creation's dawn beheld, thou

rollest now. His steps are not upon thy paths—thy fields

Thou glorious mirror, where the AlAre not a spoil for him—thou dost arise

mighty's form And shake him from thee; the vile Glasses itself in tempests; in all time, strength he wields

Calm or convulsed-in breeze or gale or For earth's destruction thou dost all

storm, despise,

Icing the pole, or in the torrid clime Spurning him from thy bosom to the Dark-heaving; boundless, endless, and skies,


50 And send'st him, shivering in thy playful

The image of Eternity-the throne spray,

Of the Invisible; even from out thy slime And howling to his gods, where haply

The monsters of the deep are made; each lies His petty hope in some near port or bay, Obeys thee; thou goest forth, dread, And dashest him again to earth; there let




fathomless, alone. him lay.

Armada, the great Spanish feet defeated by the English in 1588. Many of the fleeing ships were destroyed by storms. Trafalgar, the greatest British naval victory

in the Napoleonic wars. A number of the captured vessels 27. lay, wrong word, used for the sake of the rime. were, like those of the Armada, destroyed by storms.


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NOTES AND QUESTIONS 1. What devices does Byron use to give to this poem its musical quality? Point out examples. Which lines do you think most musical?

2. Byron calls the ocean a “glorious mirror"; what other names does he give to it in this poem? In which stanzas does the poet address the ocean directly? Why do you think he uses direct address?

3. On page 516 you read that Nature brings a message of beauty to us; what beauty inspired Byron in this poem? What characteristic of the ocean does the poet bring out by contrast in the fifth stanza?

4. In the second and third stanzas the poet contrasts the ocean and the earth in their relation to man; what differences are noted? With what is "watery plain" contrasted? How has man extended his control beyond the shore in recent years? What contrast does the poet make in the fourth stanza? What other poems about the ocean have you read?

Library Reading. Bring to class and read “The Sea,” Procter (in Home Book of Verse, Burton E. Stevenson); “On the Sea," Keats; “Sea Fever," Masefield (in Salt Water Ballads).

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The sunlight glitters keen and bright

Where, miles away,
Lies stretching to my dazzled sight

A luminous belt, a misty light,
Beyond the dark pine bluffs and wastes of

sandy gray.

So when Time's veil shall fall asunder,

The soul may know No fearful change, nor sudden wonder,

Nor sink the weight of mystery under, But with the upward rise, and with the

vastness grow.



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NOTES AND QUESTIONS 1. At what time of day does the poet approach the seashore? Point out the words that tell you this. Describe the view of the sea as he first caught sight of it.

2. What imaginative picture does the poet give you of the mound on which he sat? Was the road which the poet traveled to the seashore such as to make him happy or sad? Read aloud the lines that give the answer. 3. Explain the thought, “I seem like all I

With this thought in mind, the poet feels that the “mystery” of the future may not hold any great change from the “vastness" of the present; how does he think we may, in the future, look back upon the past?

4. What is the beautiful comparison in the tenth stanza? How does the poet describe the horizon?

5. How does the thirteenth stanza tell that the poet feels himself a part of all he sees? Ву what name does he call himself in the next to the last stanza?

6. What does he carry away with him from the sea? Is an hour of musing wasted time? What great inventions can you name that began as "dreams"? What other great accomplishments have had their beginnings in thoughtful musings?

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In listless quietude of mind,

I yield to all The change of cloud and wave and wind,

And passive on the flood reclined, I wander with the waves, and with them rise and fall.


But look, thou dreamer!-wave and

shore In shadow lie; The night-wind warns me back once

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,

Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun; Conspiring with him how to load and bless With fruit the vines that round the

thatch-eaves run; To bend with apples the mossed cottage

trees, And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core; To swell the gourd, and plump the

hazel shells With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,

And still more, later flowers for the bees, Until they think warm days will never

cease, For Summer has o'er-brimmed their

clammy cells.


To where, my native hilltops o'er, Bends like an arch of fire the glowing sunset sky.



So then, beach, bluff, and wave, farewell!

I bear with me
No token stone nor glittering shell,

But long and oft shall Memory tell Of this brief thoughtful hour of musing by the Sea.



summer's northern night, the time when, in countries near the north pole, the sun is visible almost the Wivne twenty-four hours.

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Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing Library Reading. "Indian Summer,” Teaswind;

dale; "The Autumn Rose,” Patterson; “The Or on a half-reaped furrow sound asleep,

End of Summer," Millay (in The Melody of Drowsed with the fume of poppies, while

Earth, Richards); “When the Frost Is on the thy hook

Pumpkin,” Riley; “Autumn,” Dickinson.
Spares the next swath and all its

twinéd flowers;
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost


PERCY BYSSHE SHELLEY Steady thy laden head across a brook; 20 Or by a cider-press, with patient look, I bring fresh showers for the thirsting Thou watchest the last oozings, hours

flowers by hours.

From the seas and the streams;

I bear light shade for the leaves when laid Where are the songs of Spring? Aye, where

In their noonday dreams; are they?

From my wings are shaken the dews that Think not of them, thou hast thy music

waken too

The sweet buds every one, While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying

When rocked to rest on their mother's day,

breast, And touch the stubble-plains with rosy

As she dances about the sun. hue;

I wield the flail of the lashing hail, Then in a wailful choir the small gnats

And whiten the green plains under; 10

And then again I dissolve it in rain,
Among the river sallows, borne aloft

And laugh as I pass in thunder.
Or sinking as the light wind lives or

dies; And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly I sift the snow on the mountains below, bourn;

And their great pines groan aghast; Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble And all the night 'tis my pillow white, soft

While I sleep in the arms of the blast. The redbreast whistles from a garden

Sublime on the towers of my skyey bowers, croft;

Lightning, my pilot, sits; And gathering swallows twitter in the In a cavern under is fettered the thunderskies.

It struggles and howls by fits;

Over earth and ocean, with gentle motion, 17. drowsed, etc., made drowsy by the opium in the This pilot is guiding me, poppies.

Lured by the love of the genii that move

In the depths of the purple sea;

Over the rills, and the crags, and the hills, NOTES AND QUESTIONS

Over the lakes, and the plains, 1. What does the poet describe in the first Wherever he dream, under mountain or stanza? Point out words used in unusual or

stream, especially vivid ways, in this stanza.

The spirit he loves remains; 2. What are the “songs" of autumn? Read And I, all the while, bask in heaven's blue aloud the lines that tell this. Can you think

smile, of other autumn songs not mentioned in the

Whilst he is dissolving in rains. poem? How do the songs of autumn differ from the songs of spring? How can you train your ear to hear the songs of autumn?

The sanguine sunrise, with his meteor eyes, Theme Topic. Write an account of a mod

And his burning plumes outspread, ern “winnowing” (threshing) scene; a reaping Leaps on the back of my sailing rack, scene; or a harvest-home festival. Make it as vivid as you can by mentioning details of

When the morning-star shines dead, sound, color, etc.

83. ruck, flying, broken cloud.






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