Six Sea Songs

Song Cycle by Eric Harding Thiman (1900 - 1975)

Word count: 214

?. Break, break, break [sung text not yet checked]

Break, break, [break,]1
  On [thy]2 cold grey stones, O Sea! 
And I would that my tongue could utter 
  The thoughts that arise in me. 

[O]3 well for the fisherman's boy, 
  That he shouts [with]4 his sister at play! 
[O]3 well for the sailor lad, 
  That he sings in his boat on the bay! 

And the stately ships [go]5 on 
  To their haven under the hill; 
But O for the touch of a [vanish'd]6 hand, 
  And the sound of a voice that is still! 

Break, break, [break,]1
  At the foot of thy crags, O Sea! 
But the tender grace of a day that is dead 
  Will never come back to me.


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View original text (without footnotes)
Poet's note: "Made in a Lincolnshire lane at five o'clock in the morning, between blossoming hedges"
Written in memory of Tennyson's friend Arthur Hallam (d. 1833).
1 Végh: "o sea, o sea"
2 Manning: "the"
3 Manning: "Ah"
4 Manning: "to"
5 Manning: "sail"
6 Végh: "vanished"

Research team for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator] , Sharon Krebs [Guest Editor]

?. To sea! To sea! [sung text not yet checked]

To sea, to sea! The calm is o'er;
  The wanton water leaps in sport,
And rattles down the pebbly shore;
  The dolphin wheels, the sea-cows snort,
And unseen Mermaids' pearly song
Comes bubbling up, the weeds among.
  Fling broad the sail, dip deep the oar:
  To sea, to sea! the calm is o'er.
To sea, to sea! our wide-wing'd bark
  Shall billowy cleave its sunny way,
And with its shadow, fleet and dark,
  Break the cav'd Tritons' azure day,
Like mighty eagle soaring light
O'er antelopes on Alpine height.
  The anchor heaves, the ship swings free,
  The sails swell full. To sea, to sea!


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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]