Verse > Anthologies > William Wilfred Campbell, ed. > The Oxford Book of Canadian Verse
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William Wilfred Campbell, comp.  The Oxford Book of Canadian Verse.  1913.
 
The Sea
By John Hawkins Hagarty (1816–1900)
 
            THE SEA! the sea!
For the light of thy waves we bless thee;
  For the foam on thine ancient brow;
For the winds, whose bold wings caress thee,
  Old Ocean! we bless thee now!        5
Oh, welcome thy long-lost minstrelsy;
Thy thousand voices; the wild, the free,
The fresh, cool breeze o’er thy sparkling breast;
The sunlit foam on each billow’s crest,
Thy joyous rush up the sounding shore,        10
Thy song of Freedom for evermore,
And thy glad waves shouting, ‘Rejoice! Rejoice!’
Old Ocean! welcome thy glorious voice!
 
            The sea! the sea!
We bless thee; we bless thee, Ocean!        15
  Bright goal of our weary track,
With the exile’s rapt devotion,
  To the home of his love come back.
When gloom lay deep on our fainting hearts,
When the air was dark with the Persian darts,        20
When the desert rung with the ceaseless war,
And the wish’d-for fountain and palm afar,
In Memory’s dreaming, in Fancy’s ear,
The chime of thy joyous waves was near,
And the last fond prayer of each troubled night        25
Was for thee and thine islands of love and light.
 
            The sea! the sea!
Sing on thy majestic paean;
  Leap up in the Delian’s smiles;
We will dream of the blue Aegean,        30
  Of the breath of Ionia’s isles;
Of the hunter’s shout through the Thracian woods;
Of the shepherd’s song by the Dorian floods;
Of the naiad springing by Attic fount;
Of the satyrs’ dance by the Cretan mount;        35
Of the sun-bright gardens, the bending vines,
Our virgins’ songs by the flower-hung shrines;
Of the dread Olympian’s majestic domes,
Our father’s graves and our own free homes.
 
            The sea! the sea!        40
We bless thee, we bless thee, Ocean!
  Bright goal of our stormy track,
With the exile’s rapt devotion,
  To the home of his love come back.
 
 
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