|The Ocean, Op. 99
Tear A Leaf From The Furies’ History,
Loosen The Wind’s Hoarse Blast,
Unroll The Scroll Of Stormy Mystery
Over The Ocean’s Vast!
Let The Wind With Its Shrill Lash
Whip The Waves Until They Gnash
And Spume And Foam And Seethe And Fret,
And Gape Their Jagged Jaws To Spet
Their Angry Spray Anent The Sky:
And Rear Their Towering Might To Try
To Quench The Heaven’s Sullen Ashes
And Fulminating Flashes
Leaping Through The Smoky Clouds,
That Hang Low Like Trailing Shrouds
From Wailing Winds Wild In Their Cry;
While The Echoing Thunder Crashes
Tremendously From High.
Rise, Thou Monster Muddy-Muscled,
Now If Ever Thou Hast Tussled,
Wrestle With Thy Protean Thews.
Engulf The Wind That Scornful Mocks,
Thy Hoary Head And Spray-Dashed Locks.
Show Thy Fangs And Foaming Teeth,
Growl Thy Darkest, Growl Beneath!
Rise, Oh Rise!
Blot The Light And Drown The Skies:
Stoop, Thou Heaven, Ope Thy Gate,
Not In Mercy But In Hate,
Rise, Oh Rise!
Death’s Abroad And Will Be Sate.
Naiads Bound In Graceful Slumber
Lie Within The Dark Green Caves;
Where The Flush Of Slipping Waves
Of The Willowy Weeds, And Laves
The Pearled Grottoes Without Number.
The Wash Of Waters Laps The Strand,
Then A Retreating Hush
Of Waves Soft Gliding From The Sand
With A Hearkening Tush.
The Undines Dance At The Curving Edge
Where Falls The Spray;
They Move To The Murmurs Of The Sedge
That Darks With Mystery The Ledge,
In The Moon’s Pale Day.
The Crooning Wind Floats Half Asleep
Tuning Its Haunting Monotone,
But Wandering Still On The Breast Of The Deep,
Alone — Alone –
Mingling Its Sigh With The Sedge’s Moan,
All Else Doth Silence Keep,
Save Where The Tripping Sea-Sprites Dance,
With Dripping Toes In Gleeful Advance
And Eager Retreat,
Treading The Time With Faery Feet,
Threading Mazes Like Those Of Crete,
Throughout The Serrate Rim.
The Dreaming Moon-Light Silvers All
In The Eve Serene;
And The Rolling Rise And Fall
Of The Waves, Careen,
Rhythmical And Gradual,
Hold The Sea In Silent Thrall
And Undulate The Sheen.
Now The Halcyon Breeds Its Young
On The Ocean’s Lull;
Now Is Heard The Distant Call
Of The Wandering Gull.
Under Night’s Deep Sapphire Pall
All Else To Sleep Is Sung.
Thy Deep Rest Pervades, My Soul
With Inviolable Quiet.
Oh, Thou Great, Dark Sea,
I Would Be One With Thee.
Gliding Like Thee To Thy Goal
Gaining Ever Closer Nigh It.
Riding On A Tidal Roll
Over Every Hindering Shoal,
And Ever Grandly Sweeping By It
|Frederick Delius (1862-1934) – Sea Drift
CHORUS: Once Paumanok,
When the lilac scent was in the air and
fifth-month grass was growing,
Up this seashore in some briers,
Two feather’d guests from Alabama,
And their nest, and four light-green eggs
Spotted with brown,
BARITONE: And every day the he-bird to and fro
near at hand,
And every day the she-bird crouch’d on
her nest, silent, with bright eyes,
And every day I, a curious boy, never too
close, never disturbing them,
Cautiously peering, absorbing,
CHORUS: Shine! shine! shine!
Pour down your warmth, great sun!
While we bask, we two together,
Winds blow south or winds blow north,
Day come white, or night come black.
BARITONE: Home, or rivers and mountain from
CHORUS: Singing all time, minding no time,
While we two keep together.
BARITONE: Till of a sudden,
Maybe kill’d, unknown to her mate,
One forenoon the she-bird crouch’d not
on the nest,
Nor return’d that afternoon, nor the next,
Nor ever appear’d again.
And thence forward all summer in the
sound of the sea,
And at night under the full of the moon
in calmer weather,
Over the hoarse surging of the sea,
Or flitting from brier to brier by day,
I saw, I heard at intervals the remaining
one, the he-bird,
The solitary guest from Alabama.
CHORUS: Blow! blow! blow!
Blow up sea-winds along Paumanok’s
I wait and I wait till you blow my mate
BARITONE: Yes, when the stars glisten’d,
All night long on the prong of a moss-
Down almost amid the slapping waves,
Sat the lone singer, wonderful, causing
He call’d on his mate,
He pour’d forth the meanings which I of
all men know.
Yes, my brother, I know.
The rest might not, but I have treasur’d
For more than once dimly down to the
Silent, avoiding the moonbeams,
blending myself with the shadows,
Recalling now the obscure shapes, the
echoes, the sounds and sights after
The white arms out in the breakers
I, with bare feet, a child, the wind
wafting my hair,
Listen’d long and long,
Listen’d to keep, to sing, now
translating the notes,
Following you my brother.
CHORUS: Soothe! soothe! soothe!
Close on its wave soothes the wave
And again another behind embracing
And lapping, every one close,
But my love soothes not me, not me,
Low hangs the moon, it rose late,
It is lagging–O I think it is heavy with
Love, with love.
BARITONE: O madly the sea pushes upon the land,
With love, with love.
O night! Do I not see my love fluttering
out among the breakers?
What is that little black thing I see there
in the white?
Loud! loud! loud!
Loud I call to you, my love!
High and clear I shoot my voice over
Surely you must know who is here,
You must know who I am, my love.
CHORUS: O rising stars!
Perhaps the one I want so much will rise,
Will rise with some of you.
O throat! O trembling throat!
Sound clearer through the atmosphere!
Pierce the woods, the earth,
Somewhere listening to catch you must
Be the one I want.
BARITONE: Shake out carols!
Solitary here, the night’s carols!
Carols of lonesome love! death’s carols!
Carols under that lagging, yellow,
O under that moon where she droops
almost down into the sea!
O reckless despairing carols.
But soft! sink low!
Soft! let me just murmur,
And do you wait a moment you husky
For somewhere I believe I heard my mate
responding to me,
So faint, I must be still, be still to listen,
But not altogether still, for then she
might not come immediately to me,
Hither my love!
Here I am! here!
With this just sustain’d note I announce
myself to you,
This gentle call is for you my love,
CHORUS: Do not be decoy’d elsewhere,
That is the whistle of the wind, it is not
That is the fluttering, the fluttering of
Those are the dark shadows of leaves.
O darkness! O in vain!
BARITONE: O I am very sick and sorrowful.
O brown halo in the sky near the moon,
drooping upon the sea
O troubled reflection in the sea!
O throat! O throbbing heart!
And I singing uselessly, uselessly all
O past! O happy life! O songs of joy!
In the air, in the woods, over fields,
Loved! loved! loved! loved! loved!
But my mate no more, no more with me!
We two together no more!