I would not always sail
Upon a sunny sea:

I would not always sail
      Upon a sunny sea:
The mountain wave, the sounding gale,
      Have deeper joys for me.

Let others love to creep
      Along the flowery dell:
Be mine upon the craggy steep,
      Among the storms to dwell.

The rock, the mist, the foam,
      The wonderful, the wild —
I feel they form my proper home,
      And claim me for their child.

The whirlwind's rushing wing,
      The stern volcano's voice,
To me an awful rapture bring:
      I tremble, and rejoice.

I love thy solemn roar,
      Thou deep, eternal sea,
Sounding along from shore to shore
      The boundless and the free.

I love the flood's hoarse song,
      The thunder's lordly mirth,
The midnight wind, that walks along
      The hushed and trembling earth;

The mountain, lone and high,
      The dark and silent wood,
The desert stretched from sky to sky
      In awful solitude.

A presence and a power
      In scenes like these I see:
The stillness of a midnight hour
      Has eloquence for me.

Then, bursting earth's control,
      My thoughts are all at flood:
I feel the stirrings in my soul
      Of an immortal mood.

My energies expand:
      My spirit looks abroad;
And, midst the terrible and grand,
      Feels nearer to her God.

Let others tamely weigh
      The danger and the pain:
I do not shrink the price to pay,
      To share the joy and gain.

~ Henry Francis Lyte

Sea Shore

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