|The mystery of the sea|
The Secret of the Sea
By Henry Wordsworth Longfellow
Ah! what pleasant visions haunt me
As I gaze upon the sea!
All the old romantic legends,
All my dreams, come back to me.
Sails of silk and ropes of sandal,
Such as gleam in ancient lore;
And the singing of the sailors,
And the answer from the shore!
[Tell me of] the Spanish ballad…
Of the noble Count Arnaldos…
Like the long waves on a sea-beach,
Where the sand as silver shines,
With a soft, monotonous cadence,
Flow its unrhymed lyric lines;--
Tell [me] how the Count Arnaldos,…
Saw a fair and stately galley,…
How he heard the ancient helmsman
Chant a song so wild and clear,
That the sailing sea-bird slowly
Poised upon the mast to hear,
Till his soul was full of longing,
And he cried, with impulse strong,--
"Helmsman! for the love of heaven,
Teach me, too, that wondrous song!"
"Wouldst thou,"--so the helmsman answered,
"Learn the secret of the sea?
Only those who brave its dangers
Comprehend its mystery!"
In each sail that skims the horizon,
In each landward-blowing breeze,
I behold that stately galley,
Hear those mournful melodies;
Till my soul is full of longing
For the secret of the sea,
And the heart of the great ocean
Sends a thrilling pulse through me.
A slightly shortened version, the full version is found here.
|my soul is full of longing for the secret of the sea|