Sea Vision


(From the French of John Antoine Nau).

The flat cold oceans a green mirror heave
Beneath the rocks that bord a dreary land;
A sea-gull wings the air with a bright band
Of sun adorned, culled from the rosy eve.
All languishes as in some torpid feve,
That smooths the jagged edges of the strand;
Exotic sweetness breathes a mute command
To all who dreams in the cold moonlight weave.
There on the glimmering and unfathomed deep
A vision comes, that with an unfelt surge
Floats to the distance under secret urge,
Thrilling my soul and banishing my sleep –
A long three-masted ship that vaguely looms
Like a black swan, graceful with up-swept plumes!

Sixty-sixth Sonnet

10. 6. 29