'Twas an autumnal morn, celestial bright;
The rising sun-beams on the water play'd;
No mist or cloud bedimm'd the sacred light
In which earth, sky and ocean were array'd.
The rage of stormy winds and waves was hush'd;
All Nature's fiercer passions lull'd in sleep.
Th' untainted breath of Heaven lightly brush'd
The proudly swelling bosom of the deep.
The morning breeze invigorating blew,
But with mild influence breathing soft and bland.
Untir'd I stood, the curling waves to view,
In measur'd cadence, breaking on the strand.
A sense of Awe the lighter spirits bound.
The sullen murmur of the ocean's voice
That utter'd, grave and slow, an awful sound,
As though 'twould say - Beware how you rejoice;
The vast abyss, on which appear'd to lean
The wide-spread margin of the vaulted sky;
All gave a solemn grandeur to the scene,
That fill'd the soul, and rous'd the thoughts on high.
Unlike the joys to wealth supplied by art,
That for a moment catch the outward sense,
The charms of Nature sink into the heart,
And waken raptures more and more intense.
Ye who in throngs frequent this happy clime,
To breathe its pure and health-bestowing air.
To stay awhile the wasting hand of Time,
And injur'd health and failing strength repair,
Oh! seek not oft the dense and nightly crowd
Where tainted air, and phantoms whirling round,
And oft-repeated strains resounding loud,
And glaring lights, the sight and brain confound.
Hie to the beach or cliff at early prime,
The hour when Nature sings her noblest strain,
And taste of pleasures simple and sublime
That give no sting, and leave behind no stain.
And ye frail mortals, tottering, faint and weak,
Who roam o'er sea and land, relief to find,
In this soft clime a twofold blessing seek -
Health to the body, vigor to the mind.