Lydia Huntley Sigourney

When fervid summer crisps the shrinking nerve,
And every prismed rock doth catch the ray
As in a burning glass, tis wise to seek
This city of the wave. For here the dews
With which Hygeia feeds the flower of life
Are ever freshening in their secret founts.
Here may st thou talk with Ocean, and no ear
Of gossip islet on thy words shall feed.
Send thy free thought upon the winged winds,
That sweep the castles of an older world,
And what shall bar it from their ivyed heights?
Tis well to talk with Ocean. Man may cast
His pearl of language on unstable hearts,
And thriftless sower! reap the winds again.
But thou, all-conquering element, dost grave
Strong characters upon the eternal rock,
Furrowing the brow that holdeth speech with thee.
Musing beneath yon awful cliffs, the soul,
That brief shell-gatherer on the shore of time,
Feels as a brother to the drop that hangs
One moment trembling on thy crest, and sinks
Into the bosom of the boundless wave.
And see, outspreading her broad, silver scroll,
Forth comes the moon, that meek ambassador,
Bearing Heaven's message to the mighty surge.
Yet he, who listeneth to its hoarse reply,
Echoing in anger through the channel'd depths,
Will deem its language all too arrogant,
And Earth's best dialect too poor to claim
Benignant notice from the star-pav'd skies,
And man too pitiful, to lift himself
In the frail armor of his moth-crush'd pride,
Amid o'ershadowing Nature's majesty.