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Old ocean's and melancholy waste,
The planets, all the infinite host of heaven, 5 Are shining on the sad abodes of death,
Through the still lapse of ages. All that tread
Of morning, and traverse Barca's desert sands 10 Or lose thyself in the continuous woods
Where rolls the Oregon, and hears no sound
the dead are there, And millions in those solitudes, since first
The flight of years began, have laid them down 15 In their last sleep — the dead reign there alone.
So shalt thou rest — and what if thou withdraw
Will share thy destiny. The gay will laugh 20 When thou art gone, the solemn brood of care
Plod on, and each one, as before, will chase
And make their bed with thee. As the long train 25 Of ages glide away,
the sons of men,
Shall, one by one, be gathered to thy side,
So live, that when thy summons comes to join
His chamber in the silent halls of death, 35 Thou go not, like the quarry-slave at night
Scourged to his dungeon; but, sustained and soothed
(The Colowing extract is a portion of a scrmon of striking eloquence and Deauty by tie Rev. Leonard Swain, of Providence, Rhode Island, published in the Bibliotheca Sacra.”]
The traveller who would speak of his experience in foreign lands must begin with the sea. God has spread this vast pavement of his temple between the hemispheres, so
that he who sails to foreign shores must pay a double 5 tribute to the Most High ; for through this temple he has
to carry his anticipations as he goes, and his memories when he returns. The sea speaks for God; and however eager the tourist may be to reach the strand that lies be
fore him, and enter upon the career of business or pleasure 10 that awaits him, he must check his impatience during this
long interval of approach, and listen to the voice with which Jehovah speaks to him as, horizon after horizon, he moves to his purpose along the aisles of God's mighty
tabernacle of the deep. 15 It is a common thing, in speaking of the sea, to call it
" a waste of waters." But this is a mistake. Instead of being an encumbrance or a superfluity, the sea is as essential to the life of the world, as the blood is to the life of
the human body. Instead of being a waste and desert, it 20 keeps the earth itself from becoming a waste and a desert.
It is the world's fountain of life and health and beauty; and if it were taken away, the grass would perish from the mountains, the forests would crumble on the hills, the harvests would become powder on the plains, the continent
vould be one vast Sahara of frosts and fire, and the solid globe itself, scarred and blasted on every side, would swing in the heavens, silent and dead as on the first morning of creation.
Water is as indispensable to all life, vegetable or animal, as the air itself. From the cedar on the mountains to the lichen that clings to the wall; from the elephant that pastures on the forests, to the animalcule that floats
in the sunbeam ; from the leviathan that heaves the sea 10 into billows, to the microscopic creatures that swarm, a
million in a single foam-drop, — all alike depend for their existence on this single element and unust perish if it be withdrawn.
This element of water is supplied entirely by the sea. 15 The sea is the great inexhaustible fountain which is con.
tinually pouring up into the sky precisely as many streams, and as large, as all the rivers of the world are pouring into it.
The sea is the real birthplace of the clouds and the 20 rivers, and out of it come all the rains and dews of heaven.
Instead of being a waste and an encumbrance, therefore, it is a vast fountain of fruitfulness, and the nurse and mother of all the living Out of its mighty breast come the re
sources that feed and support the population of the world. 25 Omnipresent and everywhere alike is this need and bless
ing of the sea. It is felt as truly in the centre of the continent, where, it may be, the rude inhabitant never heard of the ocean,
as it is on the circumference of the wave-beaten shore.
We are surrounded, every moment, by the presence and bounty of the sea. It looks out upon us from every
violet in our garden-bed ; from every spire of grass that drops upon our passing feet the beaded dew of the morning; from the
bending grain that fills the arm of the reaper; from bursting 35 presses, and from barns filled with plenty; from the broad
foreheads of our cattle and the rosy faces cf our children;
from the cool dropping well at our door; from the brook that murmurs from its side, and from the elm and spreading maple that weave their protecting branches beneath the
sun, and swing their breezy shadows over our habitation. 5 It is the sea that feeds us. It is the sea that clothes
It cools us with the summer cloud, and warms us with the blazing fires of winter. We make wealth for ourselves and for our children out of its rolling waters, though we
may live a thousand leagues away from its shore, and never 10 have looked on its crested beauty, or listened to its eternal
anthem. Thus the sea, though it bears no harvest on its bosom, yet sustains all the harvests of the world. Though a desert itself, it makes all the other wildernesses of the
carth to bud and blossom as the rose. Though its own 15 waters are as salt and wormwood, it makes the clouds of
heaven to drop with sweetness, opens springs in the valleys and rivers among the hills, and fountains in all dry places, and gives drink to all the inhabitants of the earth.
The sea is a perpetual source of health to the world. 20 Without it there could be no drainage for the lands. It
is the scavenger of the world. Its agency is omnipresent. Its vigilance is omniscient. Where no sanitary committee could ever come, where no police could ever penetrate, its
myriad eyes are searching, and its million hands are busy 25 exploring all the lurking-places of decay, bearing swiftly
off the dangerous sediments of life, and laying them a thousand miles away in the slimy bottom of the deep.
The sea is also set to purify the atmosphere. The winds, whose wings are heavy and whose breath is sick 30 with the malaria of the lands over which they have blown,
are sent out to range over these mighty pastures of the deep, to plunge and play with its rolling billows, and dip their pinions over and over in its healing waters. There
they rest. when they are weary, cradled into sleep on that 35 vast swinging couch of the ocean. There they rouse them
selves when they are refreshed, and lifting its waves upon
their shoulders, they dash it into spray, and hurl it backwards and forwards through a thousand leagues of sky. Thus their whole substance is drenched, and bathed, and
washed, and winnowed, and sifted through and through, by 5 this glorious baptism. Thus they fill their mighty lungs
once more with the sweet breath of ocean, and, striking their wings for the shore, they go breathing health and vigor along all the fainting hosts that wait for them in
mountain and forest and valley and plain, till the whole 10 drooping continent lifts up its rejoicing face, and mingles
its laughter with the sea that has waked it from its fevered sleep, and poured its tides of returning life through all its shrivelled arteries.
The ocean is not the idle creature that it seems, with 15 its vast and lazy length stretched between the continents,
with its huge bulk sleeping along the shore, or tumbling in aimless fury from pole to pole. It is a mighty giant, who, leaving his oozy bed, comes up upon the land to
spend his strength in the service of man. He there allows 20 his captors to chain him in prisons of stone and iron, to
bind his shou. ders to the wheel, and set him to grind the food of the nations, and weave the garments of the world. The mighty shaft, which that wheel turns, runs out into all
the lands; and geared and belted to that centre of power, 25 ten thousand times ten thousand clanking engines roll
their cylinders, and ply their hammers, and drive their million shuttles.
Thus the sea keeps all our mills and factories in m: tion. Thus the sea spins our thread and weaves our cloth. 30 It is the sea that cuts our iron bars like wax, rolls them
out into proper thinness, or piles them up in the solid shaft strong enough to be the pivot of a revolving planet. It is the sea that tunnels the mountain, and bores the
mine, and lifts the coal from its sunless depths, and the 35 ore from its rocky bed. It is the sea that lays the iron track, that builds the iron horse, that fills his nostrils