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THIS great poet was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1787, and was educated at Harvard College. He studied law in Baltimore, and after practising a short time in the courts, turned his attention to literature. In 1833 appeared his "Poems and Prose Writings," in one volume; and he has since published a few pieces in the periodicals. Mr. Dana's works are of the first rank in literary art, and they are pervaded by a profoundly religious and philosophical spirit.


THE island lies nine leagues away.
Along its solitary shore,

Of craggy rock and sandy bay,

No sound but ocean's roar,

Save, where the bold, wild sea-bird makes her home,
Her shrill cry coming through the sparkling foam.

But when the light winds lie at rest,

And on the glassy, heaving sea,
The black duck, with her glossy breast,
Sits swinging silently;

How beautiful! no ripples break the reach,

And silvery waves go noiseless up the beach.

And inland rests the green, warm dell;

The brook comes tinkling down its side;
From out the trees the Sabbath bell

Rings cheerful, far and wide,

Mingling its sound with bleatings of the flocks,
That feed about the vale among the rocks.

Nor holy bell nor pastoral bleat

In former days within the vale;
Flapped in the bay the pirate's sheet;

Curses were on the gale;

Rich goods lay on the sand, and murdered men ;
Pirate and wrecker kept their revels then.

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Now stretch your eye off shore, o'er waters made To cleanse the air and bear the world's great trade, To rise, and wet the mountains near the sun, Then back into themselves in rivers run, Fulfilling mighty uses far and wide,

Through earth, in air, or here, as ocean-tide.

Ho! how the giant heaves himself, and strains
And flings to break his strong and viewless chains;
Foams in his wrath; and at his prison doors,
Hark! hear him! how he beats and tugs and roars,
As if he would break forth again, and sweep
Each living thing within his lowest deep.
Type of the Infinite! I look away
Over thy billows, and I cannot stay
My thought upon a resting-place, or make
A shore beyond my vision, where they break;
But on my spirit stretches, till it's pain

To think; then rests, and then puts forth again.
Thou hold'st me by a spell; and on thy beach
I feel all soul; and thoughts unmeasured reach
Far back beyond all date. And, O! how old
Thou art to me. For countless years thou hast rolled.
Before an ear did hear thee, thou didst mourn,
Prophet of sorrows, o'er a race unborn;
Waiting, thou mighty minister of death,
Lonely thy work, ere man had drawn his breath.
At last thou didst it well! The dread command
Came, and thou swept'st to death the breathing land;
And then once more, unto the silent heaven
Thy lone and melancholy voice was given.

And though the land is thronged again, O Sea!
Strange sadness touches all that goes with thee.
The small bird's plaining note, the wild, sharp call,

Share thy own spirit: it is sadness all!
How dark and stern upon thy waves looks down

Yonder tall cliff-he with the iron crown!

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