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ON the beach where break the surges,
'Mid the flashing crystal spray,
As the fog rolled off at dawning,
Cold and still a fair girl lay.
Tangled folds of frozen ringlets
Half concealed the lovely face,
And the hand of cunning master
Could have added naught of grace.
Soft the wild waves broke about her,
Sadly rolled they out again;
Others came to kiss the fairest
Martyr to the boisterous main.
Richer grew the hue of heaven,
And the sun rose from the east,
While the waves kept chanting requiems,
With the sun for God's high-priest.
Came a darkness o'er the waters,
Angrier grew the stormy waves,
And they swept her out to Ocean,
To the noblest of all graves.
Nobler grave is none for mortal,
Shrined chapel, solemn tomb,
Stately crypt, nor peaceful churchyard
Where th' idle wanderers come.
But beneath the mighty ocean,
White caps gravestones o'er her head,
Sleeping in unrivalled glory,
Rests this princess of the dead.
Round about are noble heroes,
Warriors bold, who knew not fear,
Pilgrim, saint, and kingly sailor, -
All are brave who sleepeth here.
Oft some wanderer at the sunrise
Sees the deep fog roll away,
And a vision of this princess
Shrouded in the sparkling spray.
Long he watches, lost in rapture,
But she fadeth from his gaze;
Half believing, still he lingers,
Dreaming of the olden days.
But the sun, the great archbishop,
Casts a halo round the graves
Where the noble hearts are sleeping
In their kingdom of the waves.
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