Shall I rebuke thee, Ocean, my old love,
That once, in rage, with the wild winds at strife,
Thou darest menace my unit of a life,
Sending my clay below, my soul above,
Whilst roar’d thy waves, like lions when they rove
By night, and bound upon their prey by stealth!
Yet didst thou n’er restore my fainting health? —
Didst thou ne’er murmur gently like the dove?
Nay, dost thou not against my own dear shore
Full break, last link between my land and me? —
My absent friends talk in thy very roar,
In thy waves’ beat their kindly pulse I see,
And, if I must not see my England more,
Next to her soil, my grave be found in thee!
† Written in 1835 after Hood’s disastrous voyage to Rotterdam, in which the ship was nearly lost, and Hood’s health was permanently affected.
Last updated Monday, December 22, 2014 at 10:51