Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. V. Nature
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Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume V. Nature.  1904.
 
VII. The Sea
Sea-Weed
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807–1882)
 
WHEN descends on the Atlantic
    The gigantic
Storm-wind of the equinox,
Landward in his wrath he scourges
    The toiling surges,        5
Laden with sea-weed from the rocks:
 
From Bermuda’s reefs; from edges
    Of sunken ledges,
In some far-off, bright Azore;
From Bahama, and the dashing,        10
    Silver flashing
Surges of San Salvador;
 
From the tumbling surf, that buries
    The Orkneyan skerries,
Answering the hoarse Hebrides;        15
And from wrecks of ships, and drifting
    Spars, uplifting
On the desolate, rainy seas;—
 
Ever drifting, drifting, drifting
    On the shifting        20
Currents of the restless main;
Till in sheltered coves, and reaches
    Of sandy beaches,
All have found repose again.
 
So when storms of wild emotion        25
    Strike the ocean
Of the poet’s soul, erelong,
From each cave and rocky fastness
    In its vastness,
Floats some fragment of a song:        30
 
From the far-off isles enchanted
    Heaven has planted
With the golden fruit of Truth;
From the flashing surf, whose vision
    Gleams Elysian        35
In the tropic clime of Youth;
 
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;—
 
Ever drifting, drifting, drifting
    On the shifting
Currents of the restless heart;        45
Till at length in books recorded,
    They, like hoarded
Household words, no more depart.
 
 
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