Mary Eliza Tucker Lambert


I have pined for the sight of the sea for years-
Pined amid hoping, and wished amid fears;
And my heart grew glad, and it bounded in glee
At the sight of the broad expanse of the sea.
The sea, the beautiful, beautiful sea-
Beautiful, boundless, joyful and free!
See how they glimmer, those white-capped waves,
Reflecting the sunlight from deep ocean caves!
Can things so bright and beautiful, hide
The breakers that rise and sink with the tide?
There, see that gay gleaming of white, bead-like spray,
Transformed to a rainbow by Sol's colors gay;
It gleams for a moment, and then disappears,
Like lost pleasures, as seen through despair's briny tears.
Far, far in the distance, the houses so white,
Faintly show through their veiling of green, red and light;
Very soon the dry land we shall leave far away,
And onward we'll bound o'er the billows so gay.
But what is the matter? what is the little swell?
It can surely be nothing-I still feel quite well;
Then another, another, another small swell,
And my feelings are too undefined now to tell-
And the sea at length loses its silvery light,
And its snow-capped, bright waves grow as dark as midnight.
Ah, what has become of those laughing young graces
Who entered the vessel with bright, smiling faces?
Their gladness is lost in the swell of the sea,
And to Neptune they pray from their ills to be free.
I laugh, I can't help it, to see the distress;
And yet-I am sick myself, nevertheless!
'Tis the vessel that tosses, she sinks and she heaves,
And my sea-admiration all quits me and leaves.
I am sick as the mischief! The sea, oh, the sea!
Thou hast lost all thy charms and thy beauty to me.
Sick? Is there no word in our language to tell
The nausea and anguish of that rolling and swell?
'Tis so funny to see how each quick, sudden lurch,
Brings down a new victim from Romance's perch.
And now comes that torment-that Tom-the young sinner!
Says he, "darling sister, shall I bring up your dinner?"
Bah! dinner, you torment! oh, pray drown me, quick,
For I am so miserable-sick, oh, so sick!
The men, how I hate them! just see how they smile
At our torture, because they are well all the while.
Such pitching and tossing-inexpressible woe!
For we heave with the vessel, and join in each throe;
The faces around me I cannot portray-
But they show their disgust of the billows so gay.
There is nothing, no nothing, can bring us relief
From this torture of tortures, this grief of all grief.
The sea, the boundless expanse of the sea,
Thrills others with rapture, but cannot charm me.