The sea! the sea! the open sea!
The blue, the fresh, the ever free!
Without a mark, without a bound,
It runneth the earth’s wide regions round;
It plays with the clouds; it mocks the skies,
Or like a cradled creature lies.
I’m on the sea! I’m on the sea!
I am where I would ever be;
With the blue above and the blue below,
And silence wheresoe’er I go.
If a storm should come and awake the deep
What matter? I shall ride and sleep.
I love, oh, how I love to ride
On the fierce, foaming, bursting tide,
When every mad wave drowns the moon,
Or whistles aloud his tempest tune,
And tells how goeth the world below,
And why the southwest blasts do blow.
I never was on the dull, tame shore,
But I loved the great sea more and more,
And back I flew to her billowy breast,
Like a bird that seeketh its mother’s nest;
And a mother she was, and is, to me,
For I was born on the open sea!
I’ve lived, since then, in calm and strife,
Full fifty summers a sailor’s life,
With wealth to spend and a power to range,
But never have sought nor sighed for change;
And Death, whenever he comes to me,
Shall come on the wild, unbounded sea.