Due to various assorted confusing misunderstandings and hectic end-of-senior-year stuff, I had to write two final stanzas for this Ode. Odes are supposed to be five verses, each with fourteen lines. This one is six verses, but the sixth one can be used in place of the fifth one (hence some repetition). 🙂
To the Sea:
O deepest Sea, beneath thy stormy eye
Lies all the wealth the bounteous earth commands;
Above thy foam the flocking seabirds fly.
Your gleaming spray is tossed by playful hands,
And pearls encrust thy skeleton sublime;
Thy glist’ning green is bound by golden sands.
They forests, rich with fish and corals, climb
From deepest trench to float the filmy crest,
Whose ancient roots grow long with salty slime.
From East you span, and to the farthest West;
Your fruitful grace sustains Leviathan’s play
Supporting ships that travel on your breast.
Thou glor’ious Sea, which over all holds sway,
Now hear my praise; consider this, if ye may!
Thy seas abound with broad and shining space,
Reflecting sun’s and moon’s and stars’ great light!
O Sea, thy forms so numerous, change with grace
From gentle, peaceful, slowly lapping shores
To twinkling bright with sunlit, gleaming face,
To coaxing glimpses caught through open doors,
Seductive, threat’ning, wild; deceitful sight!
Or whipping wind on tossing, foamy floors!
Your partner flees: the Wind in all his might
No match, and fury rages. Drowning, dead;
Calling, cursed, and thund’ring through the night
O Sea, when all thy gentle bathers fled,
We learned the watery grave’s deep dread!
O ancient Sea, though harsh thy actions be,
Some just, some vengeful, often calm; and so
Your mercies great extend quite tenderly.
In seasons due your water climbs to blow
In clouds about the open skies and then
Descends in gentle flurries of pure white snow.
Your waters flood the springy hills and fens,
Renew the homes of fish, and pathways pound
With springy smells to wake the bears in dens.
In summertime on Summer’s Eve the sound
Of wild rainstorms roar through forests, bold,
Recalling when rain sunk in sandy ground.
O sea, your worldwide reach is long and old;
And inland, oft we see your strength unfold!
From clouds to shore your gifts you oft bequeath.
The patter of light gentle rain resounds,
Refreshing all the thirsty world with calm
Until with joy all sorrow you have drowned.
You soothe the nighttime fears with patient balm,
Consoling throughs of woe with peaceful sleep
And dreams of floating gently in your palm.
Your perfect puddles nourish things that creep,
When children stomp, youru splashing crystals gleam,
Until till the sun comes out: away you seep.
And though they need the sun’s warm shining beam,
O Sea, it’s still of you that children dream.
We find you yet on many a distant star
And also in the blessed land of God.
O Sea, your power, through great doth shrink by far
Compared to feats of old; for once you flowed
Around Christ’s head and raised the mortal bar.
You raised the man for whome the cock thrice crowed,
And turned to wine at one divine command;
You calmed when Christ rebuked the winds that blow.
Your patience held when nails swift-pierced his hand,
Till mingled with incarnate blood did burst
And in one act performed your feat, most grand.
The heathens say that moment was your worst;
Thou art the sign of He who loosed the curse!
And just because I felt like including it, here is my alternate fifth stanza. J
O Sea, your power bends to serve His will;
Your parted waters helped the Israelites,
‘Fore gushing back, Egyptian kings to kill.
You sealed full sure Elijah’s altar plight,
Upon Carmel, by drenching wood and trench
But then gave way and torched to prove God right.
At Galilee a groom’s heart gave a wrench
When wine went dry; the jars were filled with you,
Then turned to wine by Christ, their thirst to quench.
And when He hung between the others they slew,
They speared his side; two liquids forth then burst,
And water tinged with blood was what they drew.
And though some say that moment was your worst,
O Sea, you helped to free us from our curse!