American Poetry LVI - John S. Adams - The Mariner's Song


Ships on a rough Sea by
Johannes Christiaan Schotel

The Mariner's Song
John S. Adams (1704-1740)


O THE sea, the sea! I love the sea!
For nothing on earth seems half as free
As its crested waves; they mount on high,
And seem to sport with the star-gemmed sky.
Talk as you will of the land and shore;
Give me the sea, and I ask no more.
I love to float on the ocean deep,
To be by its motion rocked to sleep;
Or to sit for hours and watch the spray,
Marking the course of our outward way,
While upward far in a cloudless sky
With a shriek the wild bird passeth by.
And when above are the threatening clouds,
And the wild wind whistles 'mid the shrouds,
Our masts bend low till they kiss the wave,
As beckoning one from its ocean cave,
Then hurra for the sea! I love its foam,
And over it like a bird would roam.
There is that's dear in a mountain home,
With dog and gun 'mid the woods to roam;
And city life hath a thousand joys,
That quiver amid its ceaseless noise;
Yet nothing on land can give to me
Such joy as that of the pathless sea.
When morning comes, and the sun's first rays
All around our gallant topmast plays,
My heart bounds forth with rapturous glee,
O, then, 't is then that I love the sea!
Talk as you will of the land and shore;
Give me the sea, and I ask no more!

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