Hush! Thou Wild, Wild Sea [poem by Menie Parkes]

[Editor: This poem by Menie Parkes was published in Poems (1867).]

Hush! Thou Wild, Wild Sea.

Hush, thou wild, wild sea!
Cease calling unto me
With thy rough, raging voices!
I cannot bear thy mournful tones,
I quail before those shrieks and groans,
Like as a fiend rejoices.

Cease, wailing waves o’er myriad graves,
And on the black rocks beating,
Thy weary tale of woe and wail
Repeating, aye, repeating.

Hush, passion-heart, be calm and still!
Down wayward, wandering, writhing will!
The teaching of the waves
Is false when it doth lead thee on
To vain regrets for things undone
And grief o’er glassy graves.

The past is not to be retrieved!
The future may be won!
Be still, ye moanings unbelieved!
Not every hope is gone.

A deeper tone booms through the waves,
A holier thought that springs and saves
Me from this dream of care;
By ocean’s surging, saddening strife,
Its constant clang of death and life,
The rocks before it wear.

And not a labor is so hard,
But to the touch of strength and will,
Shall yield its purposes unmarred
By want of strength and want of skill.

Then cease, ye waves, your mournful wail,
As tho’ our hearts are void of strength;
The heavenly fire within our souls
Shall outlive earth and sea at length.

Menie Parkes, Poems, F. Cunninghame, Sydney, [1867], pages 104-105

[Editor: Corrected the title of the poem “Hush! The Wild, Wild Sea” to “Hush! Thou Wild, Wild Sea”, with regard to the “Errata” corrections.]

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