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Dirty British coaster with a salt-caked smoke-stack Butting through the Channel in the mad March days

With a cargo of Tyne coal,

Road rails, pig-lead,
Firewood, ironware, and cheap tin trays.

John Masefield.


The Old Ships


I HAVE seen old ships sail like swans asleep
Beyond the village which men still call Tyre,
With leaden age o'ercargo'd, dipping deep
For Famagusta and the hidden sun
That rings black Cyprus with a lake of fire ;
And all those ships were certainly so old
Who knows how oft with squat and noisy gun,
Questing brown slaves or Syrian oranges,
The pirate Genoese
Hell-raked them till they roll'd
Blood, water, fruit and corpses up the hold.
But now through friendly seas they softly run,
Painted the mid-sea blue or shore-sea green,
Still pattern’d with the vine and grapes in gold.

But I have seen
Pointing her shapely shadows from the dawn
And image tumbled on a rose-swept bay
A drowsy ship of some yet older day;
And, wonder's breath indrawn,
Thought I—who knows—who knows—but in that same
(Fish'd up beyond Ææa, patch'd up new
-Stern painted brighter blue-)
That talkative, bald-headed seaman came
(Twelve patient comrades sweating at the oar)
From Troy's doom-crimson shore,

that talkative seaman] Ulysses,

And with great lies about his wooden horse
Set the crew laughing and forgot his course.

It was so old a ship--who knows, who knows?

- And yet so beautiful, I watch'd in vain To see the mast burst open with a rose, And the whole deck put on its leaves again.


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The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers: 1
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon !
This Sea that bares her bosom to the moon;
The winds that will be howling at all hours,
And are up-gather'd now like sleeping flowers ;
For this, for everything, we are out of tune;
It moves us not.-Great God! I'd rather be
A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn;
So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,
Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn ;
Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea ;
Or hear old Triton blow his wreathed horn.


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RARELY, rarely, comest thou,

Spirit of Delight!
Wherefore hast thou left me now

Many a day and night?
Many a weary night and day
'Tis since thou art fled away.


How shall ever one like me

Win thee back again ? With the joyous and the free

Thou wilt scoff at pain. Spirit false ! thou hast forgot

All but those who need thee not.


As a lizard with the shade

Of a trembling leaf,
Thou with sorrow art dismay'd ;

Even the sighs of grief
Reproach thee, that thou art not near,
And reproach thou wilt not hear.


Let me set my mournful ditty

To a merry measure ;
Thou wilt never come for pity,

Thou wilt come for pleasure ;
Pity then will cut away
Those cruel wings, and thou wilt stay.


I love all that thou lovest,

Spirit of Delight!
The fresh Earth in new leaves dress'd,

And the starry night;
Autumn evening, and the morn
When the golden mists are born.


I love snow, and all the forms

Of the radiant frost;

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I love waves, and winds, and storms,

Everything almost
Which is Nature's, and may be
Untainted by man's misery.


I love tranquil solitude,

And such society
As is quiet, wise, and good ;

Between thee and me
What difference ? but thou dost possess
The things I seek, not love them less.


I love Love-though he has wings,

And like light can flee,
But above all other things,

Spirit, I love thee-
Thou art love and life! Oh, come,
Make once more my heart thy home.


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I Pant for the music which is divine,

My heart in its thirst is a dying flower ; Pour forth the sound like enchanted wine,

Loosen the notes in a silver shower ; Like a herbless plain, for the gentle rain, I gasp, I faint, till they wake again.

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Let me drink of the spirit of that sweet sound,

More, oh more, I am thirsting yet ;
It loosens the serpent which care has bound

Upon my heart to stifle it;

The dissolving strain, through every vein,
Passes into

heart and brain. ..



Ode to the West Wind


O Wild West Wind, thou breath of Autumn's being, Thou, from whose unseen presence the leaves dead Are driven, like ghosts from an enchanter fleeing,

Yellow, and black, and pale, and hectic red,
Pestilence-stricken multitudes : 0 thou,
Who chariotest to their dark wintry bed

The winged seeds, where they lie cold and low,
Each like a corpse within its grave,

until Thine azure sister of the Spring shall blow

Her clarion o'er the dreaming earth, and fill
(Driving sweet buds like flocks to feed in air)
With living hues and odours plain and hill :

Wild Spirit, which art moving everywhere ;
Destroyer and preserver; hear, O hear!


Thou on whose stream, mid the steep sky's commotion, Loose clouds like earth's decaying leaves are shed, Shook from the tangled boughs of Heaven and Ocean,

Angels of rain and lightning : there are spread
On the blue surface of thine aëry surge,
Like the bright hair uplifted from the head

shook] shaken.

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