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Ocean: An Ode. Concluding with A wish.*

Edward Young 1681 (Upham) – 1765 (Welwyn)



I.
Sweet rural scene!
Of flocks and green!
At careless ease my limbs are spread;
All nature still
But yonder rill;
And listening pines not o'er my head:
II
In prospect wide,
The boundless tide!
Waves cease to foam, and winds to roar;
Without a breeze,
The curling seas
Dance on, in measure, to the shore.
III
Who sings the source
Of wealth and force?
Vast field of commerce and big war:
Where wonders dwell!
Where terrors swell!
And Neptune thunders from his car?
IV
Where? where are they,
Whom Pean's ray
Has touch'd, and bid divinely rave?
What, none aspire?
I snatch the lyre,
And plunge into the foaming wave.
V
The wave resounds!
The rock rebounds!
The Nereids to my song reply!
I lead the choir,
And they conspire
With voice and shell to lift it high;
VI
They spread in air
Their bosoms fair;
Their verdant tresses pour behind.
The billows beat
With nimble feet,
With notes triumphant swell the wind.
VII
Who love the shore,
And they conspire
With voice and shell to lift it high;
Let those adore
The God Apollo, and his Nine,
Parnassus' hill,
And Orpheus' skill;
But let Arion's harp be mine.
VIII
The main! the main!
Is Britain's reign;
Her strength, her glory, is her fleet;
The main! the main!
Be Briton's strain;
As Triton's strong, as Syren's sweet.
IX
Through nature wide,
Is nought descry'd
So rich in pleasure, or surprize;
When all-serene
How sweet the scene!
How dreadful, when the billows rise.
X
And storms deface
The fluid glass
In which ere-while Britannia fair
Look'd down with pride,
Like Ocean's bride,
Adjusting her majestic air.
XI
When tempests cease,
And hush'd in peace
The flatten'd surges smoothly spread
Deep silence keep,
And seem to sleep
Recumbent on their oozy bed;
XII
With what a trance
The level glance,
Unbroken, shoots along the seas!
Whichtempt from shore
the painted oar;
And every canvas courts the breeze!
XIII
When rushes forth
The frowning North
On blackening billows, with what dread
My shuddering soul
Beholds them roll,
And hears their roarings o'er my head!
XIV
With terror mark
Yon flying bark!
Now, center-deep descend the brave;
Now, toss'd on high
It takes the sky,
A feather on the towering wave!
XV
Now, spins around
In whirls profound;
Now, whelm'd; now, pendant near the clouds;
Now, stunn'd, it reels
Midst thunder's peals;
And, now, fierce lightening fires the shrouds.
XVI
All aether burns!
Chaos returns!
And blends once more the seas and skies;
No space between
Thy bosom green,
O Deep! and the blue concave, lies.
XVII
The northern blast,
The shatter'd mast,
The fyrt, the whirlpool, and the rock,
The breaking spout,
the stars gone out,
The boiling sreight, the monsters shock.
XVIII
Let others fear;
To Britain dear
What'er promotes her daring claim;
Those terrors charm,
Which keep her warm
In chace of honest gain or fame.
XIX
The stars are bright
To chear the night,
And shed, through shadows, temper'd fire;
And Phoebus flames
With burnish'd beams,
Which some adore, and all admire.
XX
Are then the seas
Outshone by these?
Bright Thetys! thou art not outshone;
With kin
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Submitted on May 13, 2011

2:45 min read
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Edward Young

Edward Young, LVO is the current Deputy Private Secretary to Queen Elizabeth II. more…

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