The Thunderstorm, by Felicia Hemans

Deep, fiery clouds o’ercast the sky,
Dead stillness reigns in air,
There is not e’en a breeze, on high
The gossamer to bear.

The woods are hushed, the waves at rest,
The lake is dark and still,
Reflecting, on its shadowy breast,
Each form of rock and hill.

The lime-leaf waves not in the grove,
Nor rose-tree in the bower;
The birds have ceased their songs of love,
Awed by the threatening hour.

‘T is noon;–yet nature’s calm profound
Seems as at midnight deep;
–But hark! what peal of awful sound
Breaks on creation’s sleep?

The thunder bursts!–its rolling might
Seems the firm hills to shake;
And in terrific splendor bright,
The gathered lightnings break.

Yet fear not, shrink not thou, my child!
Though by the bolt’s descent
Were the tall cliffs in ruins piled,
And the wide forests rent.

Doth not thy God behold thee still,
With all-surveying eye?
Doth not his power all nature fill,
Around, beneath, on high?

Know, hadst thou eagle-pinions free,
To track the realms of air,
Thou couldst not reach a spot where He
Would not be with thee there!

In the wide city’s peopled towers,
On the vast ocean’s plains,
‘Midst the deep woodland’s loneliest bowers,
Alike th’ Almighty reigns!

Then fear not, though the angry sky
A thousand darts should cast;–
Why should we tremble, e’en to die,
And be with Him at last?

The Ocean, by Felicia Hemans

They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters, these see the works of the Lord, and his wonders in the deep.
PSALM cvii. 23, 24.

He that in venturous barks hath been
A wanderer on the deep,
Can tell of many an awful scene,
Where storms for ever sweep.

For many a fair, majestic sight
Hath met his wandering eye,
Beneath the streaming northern light,
Or blaze of Indian sky.

Go! ask him of the whirlpool’s roar,
Whose echoing thunder peals
Loud, as if rushed along the shore
An army’s chariot wheels;

Of icebergs, floating o’er the main,
Or fixed upon the coast,
Like glittering citadel or fane,
‘Mid the bright realms of frost;

Of coral rocks, from waves below
In steep ascent that tower,
And fraught with peril, daily grow,
Formed by an insect’s power;

Of sea-fires, which at dead of night
Shine o’er the tides afar,
And make th’ expanse of ocean bright
As heaven, with many a star.

Oh God! thy name they well may praise,
Who to the deep go down,
And trace the wonders of thy ways,
Where rocks and billows frown.

If glorious be that awful deep,
No human power can bind,
What then art Thou, who bidst it keep
Within its bounds confined!

Let heaven and earth in praise unite,
Eternal praise to Thee,
Whose word can rouse the tempest’s might,
Or still the raging sea!

The Stars, by Felicia Hemans

The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament showeth his handy-work.
PSALM xix. 1.

No cloud obscures the summer sky,
The moon in brightness walks on high,
And, set in azure, every star
Shines, like a gem of heaven, afar!

Child of the earth! oh! lift thy glance
To yon bright firmament’s expanse;
The glories of its realm explore,
And gaze, and wonder, and adore!

Doth it not speak to every sense
The marvels of Omnipotence?
Seest thou not there th’ Almighty name,
Inscribed in characters of flame?

Count o’er those lamps of quenchless light,
That sparkle through the shades of night;
Behold them!–can a mortal boast
To number that celestial host?

Mark well each little star, whose rays
In distant splendor meet thy gaze;
Each is a world by Him sustained,
Who from eternity hath reigned.

Each, shining not for earth alone,
Hath suns and planets of its own,
And beings, whose existence springs
From Him, th’ all-powerful King of kings.

Haply, those glorious beings know
Nor stain of guilt, nor tear of woe;
But raising still th’ adoring voice,
For ever in their God rejoice.

What then art thou, oh! child of clay!
Amid creation’s grandeur, say?
–E’en as an insect on the breeze,
E’en as a dew-drop, lost in seas!

Yet fear thou not!–the sovereign hand,
Which spread the ocean and the land,
And hung the rolling spheres in air,
Hath, e’en for thee, a Father’s care!

Be thou at peace!–th’ all-seeing eye,
Pervading earth, and air, and sky,
The searching glance which none may flee,
Is still, in mercy, turned on thee.

The Rivers, by Felicia Hemans

Go! trace th’ unnumbered streams, o’er earth
That wind their devious course,
That draw from Alpine heights their birth,
Deep vale, or cavern source.

Some by majestic cities glide,
Proud scenes of man’s renown,
Some lead their solitary tide,
Where pathless forests frown.

Some calmly roll in golden sands,
Where Afric’s deserts lie;
Or spread, to clothe rejoicing lands
With rich fertility.

These bear the bark, whose stately sail
Exulting seems to swell;
While these, scarce rippled by a gale,
Sleep in the lonely dell.

Yet on, alike, though swift or slow
Their various waves may sweep,
Through cities or through shades they flow
To the same boundless deep.

Oh! thus, whate’er our path of life,
Through sunshine or through gloom,
Through scenes of quiet or of strife,
Its end is still the tomb.

The chief, whose mighty deeds we hail,
The monarch throned on high,
The peasant in his native vale,
All journey on–to die!

But if Thy guardian care, my God!
The pilgrim’s course attend,
I will not fear the dark abode,
To which my footsteps bend.

For thence thine all-redeeming Son,
Who died, the world to save,
In light, in triumph, rose, and won
The victory from the grave!

The Sun, by Felicia Hemans

The Sun comes forth;–each mountain height
Glows with a tinge of rosy light,
And flowers, that slumbered through the night,
Their dewy leaves unfold;
A flood of splendor bursts on high,
And ocean’s breast reflects a sky
Of crimson and of gold.

Oh! thou art glorious, orb of day!
Exulting nations hail thy ray,
Creation swells a choral lay,
To welcome thy return;
From thee all nature draws her hues,
Thy beams the insect’s wings suffuse,
And in the diamond burn.

Yet must thou fade;–when earth and heaven
By fire and tempest shall be riven,
Thou, from thy sphere of radiance driven,
Oh Sun! must fall at last;
Another heaven, another earth,
Far other glory shall have birth,
When all we see is past.

But He, who gave the word of might,
“Let there be light”–and there was light,
Who bade thee chase the gloom of night,
And beam, the world to bless;–
For ever bright, for ever pure,
Alone unchanging shall endure,
The Sun of Righteousness!

Topsy Turvey World, by Albert Midlane

If the butterfly courted the bee,
And the owl the porcupine;
If the churches were built in the sea,
And three times one was nine;
If the pony rode his master,
If the buttercups ate the cows,
If the cat had the dire disaster
To be worried, sir, by the mouse;
If mamma, sir, sold the baby
To a gypsy for half-a-crown;
If a gentleman, sir, was a lady—
The world would be Upside Down!
If any or all of these wonders
Should ever come about,
I should not consider them blunders,
For I should be Inside Out!

Krinken, by Eugene Field

Krinken was a little child,—
It was summer when he smiled.
Oft the hoary sea and grim
Stretched its white arms out to him,
Calling, “Sun-child, come to me;
Let me warm my heart with thee!”
But the child heard not the sea
Calling, yearning evermore
For the summer on the shore.

Krinken on the beach one day
Saw a maiden Nis at play;
On the pebbly beach she played
In the summer Krinken made.
Fair, and very fair, was she,
Just a little child was he.
“Krinken,” said the maiden Nis,
“Let me have a little kiss,—
Just a kiss, and go with me
To the summer-lands that be
Down within the silver sea.”

Krinken was a little child—
By the maiden Nis beguiled,
Hand in hand with her went he
And ’twas summer in the sea.
And the hoary sea and grim
To its bosom folded him—
Clasped and kissed the little form,
And the ocean’s heart was warm.

Now the sea calls out no more;
It is winter on the shore,—
Winter where that little child
Made sweet summer when he smiled;
Though ’tis summer on the sea
Where with maiden Nis went he,—
It is winter on the shore,
Winter, winter evermore.

Of the summer on the deep
Come sweet visions in my sleep;
His fair face lifts from the sea,
His dear voice calls out to me,—
These my dreams of summer be.

Krinken was a little child,
By the maiden Nis beguiled;
Oft the hoary sea and grim
Reached its longing arms to him,
Crying, “Sim-child, come to me;
Let me warm my heart with thee!”
But the sea calls out no more;
It is winter on the shore,—
Winter, cold and dark and wild.

Krinken was a little child,—
It was summer when he smiled;
Down he went into the sea,
And the winter bides with me,
Just a little child was he.

The Brook, by Alfred Tennyson

I chatter, chatter, as I flow
To join the brimming river;
For men may come and men may go,
But I go on forever.

I wind about, and in and out,
With here a blossom sailing,
And here and there a lusty trout,
And here and there a grayling.

I steal by lawns and grassy plots,
I slide by hazel covers;
I move the sweet forget-me-nots
That grow for happy lovers.

I slip, I slide, I gloom, I glance,
Among my skimming swallows;
I make the netted sunbeams dance
Against my sandy shallows.

I murmur under moon and stars
In brambly wildernesses;
I linger by my shingly bars;
I loiter round my cresses.

And out again I curve and flow
To join the brimming river;
For men may come and men may go,
But I go on forever.

The Wind and the Moon, by George MacDonald

Said the Wind to the Moon, “I will blow you out,
You stare
In the air
Like a ghost in a chair,
Always looking what I am about—
I hate to be watched; I’ll blow you out.”

The Wind blew hard, and out went the Moon.
So, deep
On a heap
Of clouds to sleep,
Down lay the Wind, and slumbered soon,
Muttering low, “I’ve done for that Moon.”

He turned in his bed; she was there again!
On high
In the sky,
With her one ghost eye,
The Moon shone white and alive and plain.
Said the Wind, “I will blow you out again.”

The Wind blew hard, and the Moon grew dim.
“With my sledge,
And my wedge,
I have knocked off her edge!
If only I blow right fierce and grim,
The creature will soon be dimmer than dim.”

He blew and he blew, and she thinned to a thread.
“One puff
More’s enough
To blow her to snuff!
One good puff more where the last was bred,
And glimmer, glimmer, glum will go the thread.”

He blew a great blast, and the thread was gone
In the air
Nowhere
Was a moonbeam bare;
Far off and harmless the shy stars shone—
Sure and certain the Moon was gone!

The Wind he took to his revels once more;
On down,
In town,
Like a merry-mad clown,
He leaped and hallooed with whistle and roar—
“What’s that?” The glimmering thread once more!

He flew in a rage—he danced and blew;
But in vain
Was the pain
Of his bursting brain;
For still the broader the Moon-scrap grew,
The broader he swelled his big cheeks and blew.

Slowly she grew—till she filled the night,
And shone
On her throne
In the sky alone,
A matchless, wonderful silvery light,
Radiant and lovely, the queen of the night.

Said the Wind: “What a marvel of power am I
With my breath,
Good faith!
I blew her to death—
First blew her away right out of the sky—
Then blew her in; what strength have I!”

But the Moon she knew nothing about the affair;
For high
In the sky,
With her one white eye,
Motionless, miles above the air,
She had never heard the great Wind blare.

A Life on the Ocean Wave, by Epes Sargent

A life on the ocean wave,
A home on the rolling deep,
Where the scattered waters rave,
And the winds their revels keep!
Like an eagle caged, I pine
On this dull, unchanging shore:
Oh! give me the flashing brine,
The spray and the tempest’s roar!

Once more on the deck I stand
Of my own swift-gliding craft:
Set sail! farewell to the land!
The gale follows fair abaft.
We shoot through the sparkling foam
Like an ocean-bird set free;—
Like the ocean-bird, our home
We’ll find far out on the sea.

The land is no longer in view,
The clouds have begun to frown;
But with a stout vessel and crew,
We’ll say, Let the storm come down!
And the song of our hearts shall be,
While the winds and the waters rave,
A home on the rolling sea!
A life on the ocean wave!

Ingratitude, by William Shakespeare

Blow, blow, thou winter wind,
Thou are not so unkind
As man’s ingratitude;
Thy tooth is not so keen
Because thou are not seen,
Although thy breath be rude.

Freeze, freeze, thou bitter sky,
Thou dost not bite so nigh
As benefits forgot;
Though thou the waters warp,
Thy sting is not so sharp
As friend remembered not.