Address to the Ocean

‘How long will ye round me be roaring’,
Once terrible waves of the sea?
While I at my door sit deploring
The treasure ye ravished from me.
When shipwreck the white surf is strewing,
This spray-beaten thatch will ye spare?
Come–let me exult in the ruin
Your smiles are put on to prepare.

Oh! thus that your voice had still thundered!
Your arms for destruction been spread!
My Charles and I ne’er had been sundered;
But now had I pillowed his head.

The love which the waves must dissever,
The hope which the winds might deceive,
Why these, my sole stay, could I ever
Permit him this bosom to leave?

Oh! where are thy beauties, my lover?
And where is thy dark flowing hair?
Oh God! that this storm would uncover
Thy body that once was so fair!
Through regions of darkness appalling
It sunk as the hurricane whirled;
By monsters beset in its falling,
The blood of the bottomless world.

Then ocean! thou canst not uncover
The body that once was so fair;
And lost are thy beauties, my lover!
And gone is thy dark-flowing hair!
Ye waters! I hear in your roaring
A voice from your deepest abode;
New victims in anger imploring–
My hope be the mercy of God.

– William Wordsworth

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