TN all the tides of ocean in the seas
That chafe around the utmost Northern coast,
Where toppling cliffs from icy pinnacles
Plunge in the surf, and icebergs roll and toss,
And crystal floes of adamantine ice
Drift on their way—there art thou frequent found.
The fur-clad Esquimau, in skin canoe,
Plying his paddle in inclement seas,
Follows thy schools; and the swart Laplander
With his bone lance pursues thee to the death.
And in serener latitudes, where smooth
The smiling main scarce ruffles its expanse,
Round Indian isles that gem the purple deeps,
Where spicy forests breathe ambrosial balms
And palm-trees dip their tassels in the wave,—
There, too, thy gambolling multitudes abound.
The Patagonian, on his rocky cape
Gazing o'er ocean, views ye as ye pass,
And the big ship that through Magellan's Strait
Beats 'gainst the baffling winds, beholds thy course.
Far in Pacific tides, the passing fleet
Bound for remotest India, meets thy shoals,
Tumbling and plunging past the foamy prow;
And oft the seaman on the vessel's deck
Transfixes thee with lance or sharp harpoon.
In the salt bays and estuaries wide,
Far as the broad Atlantic beats the coast,
From coral reefs of Florida to the rocks
Of utmost North, thy roving schools abound.
McLellan, Isaac. Poems of the Rod and Gun. New York: Henry Thorpe, 1886.
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