FIRM trust of the bold sailor on the shores of sudden storm,
What strength is in its structure and the fitness of its form!
Old ocean’s bed-rock gripping, with the hurricane’s tug ’twill cope,
And therefore ’tis the emblem held of man’s eternal hope.
Through the billows ceaseless raging, by the bleak and stormy steep,
Like a thunderbolt down-rushing it is shot into the deep;
Down where some mute sea-monster its so hideous bulk uprears,
And mightiest silence drowned hath lain for many a thousand years.
In some famed bay of battle when ’tis plunged with sullen roar,
In the Nile, In Navarino, or by Danish Elsinore,
How deep there shall its slumbers be beneath the sounding waves,
Amid the bones of gallant tars in glory’s watery graves.
In the bright and landlocked harbour, the weary voyage o’er,
When only pleasant breezes breathe sweet welcome from the shore,
Its massive form down-dropping to its quiet bed below
Gives signal to the first glad boat that beachward pants to go.
In the calm thou firm-fixed surety, thou strong helper in the storm,
Even a child when first beholding all the fitness of thy form,
Might well divine the dangers wherewithal ’tis thine to cope,
And take thee as the emblem meet of man’s eternal hope.