Gateway to the Classics: Poems Every Child Should Know by Mary E. Burt
 
Poems Every Child Should Know by  Mary E. Burt

A Life on the Ocean Wave

"A Life on the Ocean Wave," by Epes Sargent (1813-80), gives the swing and motion of the water of the great ocean. Children remember it almost unconsciously after hearing it read several times.

A life on the ocean wave,

A home on the rolling deep,

Where the scattered waters rave,

And the winds their revels keep!

Like an eagle caged, I pine

On this dull, unchanging shore:

Oh! give me the flashing brine,

The spray and the tempest's roar!


Once more on the deck I stand

Of my own swift-gliding craft:

Set sail! farewell to the land!

The gale follows fair abaft.

We shoot through the sparkling foam

Like an ocean-bird set free;—

Like the ocean-bird, our home

We'll find far out on the sea.


The land is no longer in view,

The clouds have begun to frown;

But with a stout vessel and crew,

We'll say, Let the storm come down!

And the song of our hearts shall be,

While the winds and the waters rave,

A home on the rolling sea!

A life on the ocean wave!


Epes Sargent.


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