Verse > Anthologies > Samuel Kettell, ed. > Specimens of American Poetry
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Samuel Kettell, ed.  Specimens of American Poetry.  1829.
 
The Sea Diver
By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807–1882)
 
MY way is on the bright blue sea,
  My sleep upon its rocking tide;
And many an eye has followed me,
  Where billows clasp the worn sea-side.
 
My plumage bears the crimson blush,        5
  When ocean by the sun is kiss’d!
When fades the evening’s purple flush,
  My dark wing cleaves the silver mist.
 
Full many a fathom down beneath
  The bright arch of the splendid deep,        10
My ear has heard the sea-shell breathe
  O’er living myriads in their sleep.
 
They rested by the coral throne,
  And by the pearly diadem,
Where the pale sea-grape had o’ergrown        15
  The glorious dwellings made for them.
 
At night upon my storm-drench’d wing,
  I poised above a helmless bark,
And soon I saw the shatter’d thing
  Had pass’d away and left no mark.        20
 
And when the wind and storm had done,
  A ship, that had rode out the gale,
Sunk down—without a signal gun,
  And none was left to tell the tale.
 
I saw the pomp of day depart,—        25
  The cloud resign its golden crown,
When to the ocean’s beating heart,
  The sailor’s wasted corse went down.
 
Peace be to those whose graves are made
  Beneath the bright and silver sea!        30
Peace that their relics there were laid
  With no vain pride and pageantry.
 
 
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