Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute
Jennifer Paduan
Ocean Poetry

Once by the Pacific

Robert Frost

The shattered water made a misty din.
Great waves looked over others coming in,
And thought of doing something to the shore
That water never did to land before.
The clouds were low and hairy in the skies,
Like locks blown forward in the gleam of eyes.
You could not tell, and yet it looked as if
The shore was lucky in being backed by cliff,
The cliff in being backed by continent;
It looked as if a night of dark intent
Was coming, and not only a night, an age.
Someone had better be prepared for rage.
There would be more than ocean-water broken
Before God's last Put out the Light was spoken. 

Sea Fever

John Masefield

I must go down to the seas again,
  to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship
  and a star to steer her by,
And the wheel's kick and the wind's song
  and the white sail's shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea's face
  and a grey dawn breaking.

I must go down to the seas again,
  for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call
  that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day
  with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume,
  and the sea-gulls crying.

I must go down to the seas again
  to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull's way and the whale's way
  where the wind's like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn
  from a laughing fellow rover,
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream
  when the long trick's over.

Winds of Fate

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

One ship sails east, another sails west
While the self-same breezes blow,
'Tis the set of the sail and not the gale
That determines where they go.

Like the winds of the sea are the ways of fate
As we journey along through life,
'Tis the set of the soul that determines the goal
And not the storms nor the strife.

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