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Poem by Henry Timrod
Storm and Calm
Sweet are these kisses of the South, As dropped from woman's rosiest mouth, And tenderer are those azure skies Than this world's tenderest pair of eyes! But ah! beneath such influence Thought is too often lost in Sense; And Action, faltering as we thrill, Sinks in the unnerved arms of Will. Awake, thou stormy North, and blast The subtle spells around us cast; Beat from our limbs these flowery chains With the sharp scourges of thy rains! Bring with thee from thy Polar cave All the wild songs of wind and wave, Of toppling berg and grinding floe, And the dread avalanche of snow! Wrap us in Arctic night and clouds! Yell like a fiend amid the shrouds Of some slow-sinking vessel, when He hears the shrieks of drowning men! Blend in thy mighty voice whate'er Of danger, terror, and despair Thou hast encountered in thy sweep Across the land and o'er the deep. Pour in our ears all notes of woe, That, as these very moments flow, Rise like a harsh discordant psalm, While we lie here in tropic calm. Sting our weak hearts with bitter shame, Bear us along with thee like flame; And prove that even to destroy More God-like may be than to toy And rust or rot in idle joy!
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