Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The Ocean - Nathaniel Hawthorne

The Ocean has its silent caves,
Deep, quiet, and alone;
Though there be fury on the waves,
Beneath them there is none.
The awful spirits of the deep
Hold their communion there;
And there are those for whom we weep,
The young, the bright, the fair.

Calmly the wearied seamen rest
Beneath their own blue sea.
The ocean solitudes are blest,
For there is purity.
The earth has guilt, the earth has care,
Unquiet are its graves;
But peaceful sleep is ever there,
Beneath the dark blue waves.

The ocean is a frightful place, unfathomable, where many people have gone and few returned.  Yet there is something sacred, almost inviolable, about its peace and alien quiet, in those very depths.  "Peaceful sleep is ever there, beneath the dark blue waves."  Fearful and peaceful all at once, the dark deep ocean here is death, the afterlife.  We cannot know it, and what truly occurs there is beyond our scope.  We fear and revere it, and mourn those who have gone there.  The language of the poem is simple and clear, with a lilting cadence and simple rhyme scheme.  It fits the calm ascribed to the depths, and puts me at peace.


  1. Thank you Christopher. This poem, amazingly, arrived at just the right moment and it has lessened my sadness somewhat.

    1. I'm glad the poem was able to provide even the smallest of comfort. I hope whatever sadness it is, you can endure and outlast it.

  2. Im reciting this poem today in class. When i found it, it gave me goosebumps. Its so eerie, but i love it

  3. Tommorow for me exam iam studying this poem