The deep, the fathomless, th’eternal sea,
Speaks with a thousand voices to the soul:
It sweetly smiles in its tranquillity,
And mocks when its infuriate billows roll.
It tells of roving pleasures to the free,
Hardship and toil to those beneath control,
And echoes, trumpet-tongued, the victor’s song
When gallant navies move its breast along.
The ocean, too, has morals of its own,
Imaging with its hues life’s phases ever;
First when the golden flood of sunlight’s thrown
Upon its surface; or when moon beams quiver:
Again, when darkness on its breast comes down,
Or when the lightning-shafts the dun clouds sever;
Or when, o’er sunken rocks, its hues are green—
Or, in th’horizon, azure and serene.
Thou hast within thy depths, I Mighty Sea!
To deck the brow of monarchs the bright gem;
And groves of rich red coral that should be
The poet’s theme, for him to sing of them;
The treasures too, of many an argosy,
And pearls to place in Beauty’s diadem!—
What countless lives and riches in thy womb,
Destructive element, have found a tomb!
 George W. M. Reynolds, ‘The Sea’, The London Journal, 12 April 1845, 112.