Forms Of Prayer To Be Used At Sea

The shower of moonlight falls as still and clear
Upon this desert main
As where sweet flowers some pastoral garden cheer
With fragrance after rain:
The wild winds rustle in piping shrouds,
As in the quivering trees:
Like summer fields, beneath the shadowy clouds
The yielding waters darken in the breeze.

Thou too art here with thy soft inland tones,
Mother of our new birth;
The lonely ocean learns thy orisons,
And loves thy sacred mirth:
When storms are high, or when the fires of war
Come lightening round our course,
Thou breath'st a note like music from afar,
Tempering rude hearts with calm angelic force.

Far, far away, the homesick seaman's hoard,
Thy fragrant tokens live,
Like flower-leaves in a previous volume stored,
To solace and relieve
Some heart too weary of the restless world;
Or like thy Sabbath Cross,
That o'er this brightening billow streams unfurled,
Whatever gale the labouring vessel toss.

Oh, kindly soothing in high Victory's hour,
Or when a comrade dies,
In whose sweet presence Sorrow dares not lower,
Nor Expectation rise
Too high for earth; what mother's heart could spare
To the cold cheerless deep
Her flower and hope? but Thou art with him there,
Pledge of the untired arm and eye that cannot sleep:

The eye that watches o'er wild Ocean's dead,
Each in his coral cave,
Fondly as if the green turf wrapt his head
Fast by his father's grave, -
One moment, and the seeds of life shall spring
Out of the waste abyss,
And happy warriors triumph with their King
In worlds without a sea, unchanging orbs of bliss.

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