Thursday, February 26, 2009

By the Sea

"Seaside Souvenirs" painting by Marnie Johnson

I live near the Sea and in a very tropical humid climate. Usually I am indoors since I cannot tolerate the heat and humidity combined. These past few days though, I have had the good fortune of the temperatures being in the tolerable 70's with very little humidity. Days like these remind me why I remain here.


The Secret of the Sea

Ah! what pleasant visions haunt me
As I gaze upon the sea!
All the old romantic legends,
All my dreams, come back to me.

Sails of silk and ropes of sandal,
Such as gleam in ancient lore;
And the singing of the sailors,
And the answer from the shore!

Most of all, the Spanish ballad
Haunts me oft, and tarries long,
Of the noble Count Arnaldos
And the sailor's mystic song.

Like the long waves on a sea-beach,
Where the sand as silver shines,
With a soft, monotonous cadence,
Flow its unrhymed lyric lines:--

Telling how the Count Arnaldos,
With his hawk upon his hand,
Saw a fair and stately galley,
Steering onward to the land;--

How he heard the ancient helmsman
Chant a song so wild and clear,
That the sailing sea-bird slowly
Poised upon the mast to hear,

Till his soul was full of longing,
And he cried, with impulse strong,--
"Helmsman! for the love of heaven,
Teach me, too, that wondrous song!"

"Wouldst thou,"--so the helmsman answered,
"Learn the secret of the sea?
Only those who brave its dangers
Comprehend its mystery!"

In each sail that skims the horizon,
In each landward-blowing breeze,
I behold that stately galley,
Hear those mournful melodies;

Till my soul is full of longing
For the secret of the sea,
And the heart of the great ocean
Sends a thrilling pulse through me.

Content of BY THE SEASIDE: The Secret of the Sea [Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's poem collection: The Seaside and The Fireside]

12 comments:

OH MY #6 said...

HI Yoli,

Glad to hear you have had better climate that you can tolerate. I have been thinking of you wondering how the paperwork is going.

Lea
xo

Yoli said...

The paperwork is going smoothly. I have my first homestudy visit this Sunday.

rosemary said...

This makes me so homesick for the beach. Love the poem!

The Wanderers' Daughter said...

Lucky you! I enjoyed the humidity in San Francisco...but it wreaks havoc on my hair and I would wear a hat 365 days a year if I lived there.
As for the temps...funny, it's been in the low '70s here too! Very mild winter in Denver. And I am not complaining.

The Wanderers' Daughter said...

ps - you are so calm in the paperwork stage...I keep forgetting you're in the midst of it! Paperwork makes me break out in hives just thinking about it. Shudder.

Cynthia said...

Hi Yoli, so beautiful and awake you seem...lovely sea poem and description. I also live in a place where it is usually quite warm. Won't you visit Oasis blog? I'd love to meet you. I have my puppy, Mr.D'Arcy and kitty-cat, Miss Junie focus this week. <3

willow said...

I love the midwest, but I do long for the sea.

rochambeau said...

Dear Yoli,
Hello from your sister in dislike of heat and humidity, but alas I'm here in the center of it all now.

Like you, I have a special love of the sea and water. Are you a water sign?

How's the new bebe?
xox
Constance

tangobaby said...

I live by the cold but beautiful Pacific and although it's not anywhere near 70 degrees today, you make me want to take the train across town so I can walk on the dunes.

thank you for reminding me how close I am to the ocean!

xoxo

A Cuban In London said...

There's an old Cuban axiom that goes 'Nadie sabe lo que tiene hasta que lo pierde'. I miss the sea immensely. And when I was in Cuba recently I was lucky enough to stay at a hotel that overlooked Malecon so every morning I would get up and see the sun rise above the ocean. The poem you posted is ever so beautiful. Many thanks.

Greetings from London.

dutchbaby said...

I love this poem, thank you for sharing it.

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Ah, I do long Longfellow. One just seems to ride along on his words in a perfect meter.

Lucky, lucky you to live by the sea. I do share your intolerance for the combination of heat and humidity, however. Much more so when I had migraines. Yuk. Air-conditioning is one of those modern conveniences that really did make life a bit better.