A Sabbath Morning at Sea.

has 4 versions
Index of texts
X Bibliographic Information

A Sabbath Morning at Sea.

Original Source

Poems (1856) Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Publication Details:

Published by Chapman & Hall.

London 1856 Poems (1853) Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Publication Details:

Published by Chapman & Hall.

London 1853 Poems (1850) Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Publication Details:

Published by Chapman & Hall.

London 1850 The Amaranth: A Miscellany of Original Prose and Verse T. K. Hervey
Publication Details:
(for 1839) (October 1838)

Witness List

  • Witness poems1856: Poems, 4th Ed. 1856
  • Witness amaranth1839: Amaranth, 1839
  • Witness poems1850: Poems, 2nd Ed. 1850
  • Witness poems1853: Poems, 3rd Ed. 1853

Electronic Edition Information:

Responsibility Statement:
  • Compiled by Dr. Sandra Donaldson
  • Encoded by Christina Phipps
  • Funding provided by University of North Dakota and National Endowment for the Humanities
Publication Details:

Published by University of North Dakota.

Grand Forks, North Dakota

Available for academic purposes only

Permission for additional use should be sought from the Director of the Chester Fritz Library, University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, North Dakota 58202

January 25, 2010

Encoding Principles

This project aims to make accurate texts of and critical apparatus for the literary works of Elizabeth Barrett Browning available to scholars, teachers, and students.

Only texts that Elizabeth Barrett Browning oversaw in her lifetime will be included in this collection.

XWitness
A SABBATH MORNING AT SEA.

A SABBATH MORNING AT SEA.

A SABBATH MORNING AT SEA.

A SABBATH MORNING AT SEA.

                    i.                     i.                     i.
The ship went on with solemn face; Our ship went on with solemn pace— The ship went on with solemn face: The ship went on with solemn face:
     To meet the darkness on the deep, To meet the darkness on the deep,      To meet the darkness on the deep,      To meet the darkness on the deep,
          The solemn ship went onward.      The solemn ship went onward,           The solemn ship went onward.           The solemn ship went onward.
I bowed down weary in the place, Against her side I bowed my face— I bowed down weary in the place; I bowed down weary in the place,
     For parting tears and present sleep The last day’s tears, the nightly sleep,      For parting tears and present sleep For parting tears and present sleep
          Had weighed mine eyelids downward.

     Did weigh mine eyelids downward.

          Had weighed mine eyelids downward.

          Had weighed mine eyelids downward.

O sweetest friends, asleep on shore,
Whatever dreams of wandering ships
Your parted love is making,
I know the day-smile waits before
My youngest brother’s sleeping lips,
To make you smile awaking!

God keep that boyish smile as glad—
My pleasant sight for yesterday—
      My memory for to-morrow!
God make the loving’s dream unsad—
Since those who love, if dreaming, may
     Love on, without the sorrow!

The light of prayer fell from my face—
As soft as God’s reply, the sleep
     Did quench it, floating downward.
Our ship went on with solemn pace—
To meet the darkness on the deep—
     The solemn ship went onward.

                    ii.                     ii.                     ii.
Thick sleep which shut all dreams from me, That sleep shut out all dream from me— Thick sleep, which shut all dreams from me, Thick sleep which shut all dreams from me,
     And kept my inner self apart It kept my being all apart,      And kept my inner self apart,      And kept my inner self apart
          And quiet from emotion,      And clear from its emotion—           And quiet from emotion,           And quiet from emotion,
Then brake away and left me free, Then brake away and left me free Then brake away and left me free, Then brake away and left me free,
     Made conscious of a human heart And conscious of my human heart      Made conscious of a human heart      Made conscious of a human heart
          Betwixt the heaven and ocean.

     Betwixt the heaven and ocean!

          Betwixt the heaven and ocean.

          Betwixt the heaven and ocean.

                    iii.                     iii.                     iii.
The new sight, the new wondrous sight! The new sight—the contrasted sight— The new sight, the new wondrous sight! The new sight, the new wondrous sight!
     The waters round me, turbulent,— The waters round me turbulent—       waters round me, turbulent,      The waters round me, turbulent,
          The skies impassive o'er me,      The skies calm-fixèd o’er me—           The skies, impassive o’er me,           The skies impassive o’er me,
Calm, in a moonless, sunless light, Calm in a moonless, sunless light, Calm in a moonless, sunless light, Calm in a moonless, sunless light,
     Half glorified by that intent As glorified by e’en the intent      As glorified by even the intent      As glorified by even the intent
          Of holding the day-glory!

     Of holding the day-glory!

          Of holding the day-glory!

          Of holding the day-glory!

                    iv.                     iv.                     iv.
Two pale thin clouds did stand upon Three pale thin clouds did stand upon Two pale thin clouds did stand upon Two pale thin clouds did stand upon
     The meeting line of sea and sky, The meeting line of sea and sky,      The meeting line of sea and sky,      The meeting line of sea and sky,
          With aspect still and mystic. With aspect high and mystic—           With aspect still and mystic.           With aspect still and mystic:
I think they did foresee the sun, I think they did foresee the sun, I think they did foresee the sun, I think they did foresee the sun,
     And rested on their prophecy And rested on their prophecy      And rested on their prophecy      And rested on their prophecy
          In quietude majestic,

     In quietude majestic—

          In quietude majestic;

          In quietude majestic;

                    v.                     v.                     v.
Then flushed to radiance where they stood, Then flushed with radiance where they stood,— Then flushed to radiance where they stood, Then flushed to radiance where they stood,
     Like statues by the open tomb As statues will upon the tomb,      Like statues by the open tomb      Like statues by the open tomb
          Of shining saints half risen.—      When saints have almost risen!—           Of shining saints half risen.—           Of shining saints half risen.—
The sun!—he came up to be viewed, The sun came upward to be viewed, The sun!—he came up to be viewed; The sun!—he came up to be viewed,
     And sky and sea made mighty room And sky and sea made mighty room      And sky and sea made mighty room      And sky and sea made mighty room
          To inaugurate the vision.

     For splendours of the vision.

          To inaugurate the vision!

          To inaugurate the vision!

                    vi.                     vi.                     vi.
I oft had seen the dawnlight run, The new sight!—the new wondrous sight!— I oft had seen the dawnlight run, I oft had seen the dawnlight run,
     As red wine, through the hills, and break I oft had seen the daytime break,      As red wine, through the hills, and break      As red wine, through the hills, and break
          Through many a mist's inurning;      From wave to hill returning—           Through many a mist’s inurning;           Through many a mist’s inurning;
But, here, no earth profaned the sun! But here, no earth profaned the light— But, here, no earth profaned the sun! But, here, no earth profaned the sun!
     Heaven, ocean, did alone partake Heaven, ocean, did alone partake      Heaven, ocean, did alone partake      Heaven, ocean, did alone partake
          The sacrament of morning.

The sacrament of morning.

          The sacrament of morning.

          The sacrament of morning.

                    vii.                     vii.                     vii.
Away with thoughts fantastical! Those thoughts were high-fantastical! Away with joys fantastical! Away with joys fantastical!
     I would be humble to my worth, I thought again—In such quaint mirth,      I would be humble to my worth,      I would be humble to my worth,
          Self-guarded as self-doubted.      Why am I not self-doubted?           Self-guarded if self-doubted.           Self-guarded if self-doubted.
Though here no earthly shadows fall, Though here no earthly shadow fall, Though here no earthly shadows fall, Though here no earthly shadows fall,
     I, joying, grieving without earth, I, grieving, joying, without earth,      I, joying, grieving without earth,      I, joying, grieving without earth,
          May desecrate without it.

     May desecrate without it!

          May desecrate without it.

          May desecrate without it.

                    viii.                     viii.                     viii.
God's sabbath morning sweeps the waves; Am I (God’s Sabbath sweeps the waves!) God’s sabbath morning sweeps the waves: God’s sabbath morning sweeps the waves;
     I would not praise the pageant high, A praiser of the pageantry,      I would not praise the pageant high,      I would not praise the pageant high
          Yet miss the dedicature.      And not a dedicator?—            And miss the dedicature:           And miss the dedicature!
I, carried toward the sunless graves I, drawn toward the sunless graves I, drawn down toward the sunless graves I, drawn down toward the sunless graves
     By force of natural things,—should I By force of natural things, can I      By force of natural things,—should I      By force of natural things,—should I
          Exult in only nature?

     Exult in only Nature?

          Exult in only nature?

          Exult in only nature?

                    ix.                     ix.                     ix.
And could I bear to sit alone And could I bear to stand alone I could not bear to sit alone I could not bear to sit alone
     'Mid nature's fixed benignities, Among her fixed benignities,      In nature’s fixed benignities,      In nature’s fixed benignities
          While my warm pulse was moving?      With pulses ever-moving?—           While my warm pulse was moving.           While my warm pulse was moving.
Too dark thou art, O glittering sun, Too dusky art thou, radiant sun, Too dark thou art, O glittering sun, Too dark thou art, O glittering sun,
     Too strait ye are, capacious seas, Too straight ye are, capacious seas,      Too strait ye are, capacious seas,      Too strait ye are, capacious seas,
          To satisfy the loving!

     To satisfy the loving!

          To satisfy the loving.

          To satisfy the loving.

                    x.                     x.                     x.
It seems a better lot than so, The thought of Love did make me low:— It seems a better lot than so, It seems a better lot than so,
     To sit with friends beneath the beech, And then I thought how ’neath the beech,      To sit with friends beneath the beech,      To sit with friends beneath the beech,
          And feel them dear and dearer;      The wayside pond doth mirror,           And call them dear and dearer;           And call them dear and dearer;
Or follow children as they go Small children, on that day, would go, Or follow children as they go Or follow children as they go
     In pretty pairs, with softened speech, In pretty pairs—with whispered speech,      In pretty pairs, with softened speech      In pretty pairs, with softened speech
          As the church-bells ring nearer.

      As the church-bells rang nearer!

As the church-bells ring nearer.

As the church-bells ring nearer.

                    xi.                     xi.                     xi.
Love me, sweet friends, this sabbath day! And how upon that day—that day— Love me, sweet friends, this sabbath day. Love me, sweet friends, this sabbath day.
     The sea sings round me while ye roll Mine own belov’d would help to roll      The sea sings round me while ye roll      The sea sings round me while ye roll
          Afar the hymn unaltered,      The old sweet hymn unaltered—           Afar the hymn unaltered,           Afar the hymn unaltered,
And kneel, where once I knelt to pray, Then kneel where I have knelt to pray, And kneel, where once I knelt, to pray, And kneel, where once I knelt, to pray
     And bless me deeper in the soul, And bless me deeper in their soul      And bless me deeper in your soul,      And bless me deeper in the soul,
          Because the voice has faltered.

     Because their lips have faltered.

          Because your voice has faltered.

          Because the voice has faltered.

                    xii.                     xii.                     xii.
And though this sabbath comes to me And though my Sabbath silent came, And though this sabbath comes to me And though this sabbath comes to me
     Without the stolèd minister Without the stolèd minister,      Without the stolèd minister,      Without the stolèd minister
          Or chanting congregation,       Or chanting congregation—           And chanting congregation,           And chanting congregation,
God's Spirit brings communion, He The teaching Spirit was the same God’s spirit shall give comfort. He God’s spirit shall give comfort, He
     Who brooded soft on waters drear, Who brooded soft on waters drear,* n
Note: * Genesis, i. 2. [EBB’s note]
     Who brooded soft on waters drear,      Who brooded soft on waters drear,
          Creator on creation.

     Creator, on creation!

          Creator on creation.

          Creator on creation.

                    xiii.                     xiii.                     xiii.
Himself, I think, shall draw me higher, But, oh! high Spirit, lead me higher, He shall assist me to look higher, He shall assist me to look higher,
     Where keep the saints with harp and song To see the blessed keep with song      Where keep the saints, with harp and song,      Where keep the saints, with harp and song,
          An endless sabbath morning,      Their endless Sabbath-morning,—           An endless sabbath morning,           An endless sabbath morning,
And on that sea commixed with fire While on that sea commixed with fire† n
Note: † Revelations, xv. 2. [sic, EBB’s note]
And, on that sea commixed with fire, And on that sea commixed with fire
     Oft drop their eyelids, raised too long They drop their eyelids—raised too long      Oft drop their eyelids raised too long      Oft drop their eyelids raised too long
          To the full Godhead's burning.

      To the near Godhead’s burning!

          To the full Godhead’s burning.

          To the full Godhead’s burning.

Text: Poems (1856), vol. 3, pp. 74-7. Text: The Amaranth: A Miscellany of Original Prose and Verse (for 1839), ed T. K. Hervey (October 1838), pp. 73-5. Text: Poems (1850), vol. 2, pp. 325-8. Text: Poems (1853), vol. 2, pp. 325-8.
XWitness
A SABBATH MORNING AT SEA.

A SABBATH MORNING AT SEA.

A SABBATH MORNING AT SEA.

A SABBATH MORNING AT SEA.

                    i.                     i.                     i.
The ship went on with solemn face; Our ship went on with solemn pace— The ship went on with solemn face: The ship went on with solemn face:
     To meet the darkness on the deep, To meet the darkness on the deep,      To meet the darkness on the deep,      To meet the darkness on the deep,
          The solemn ship went onward.      The solemn ship went onward,           The solemn ship went onward.           The solemn ship went onward.
I bowed down weary in the place, Against her side I bowed my face— I bowed down weary in the place; I bowed down weary in the place,
     For parting tears and present sleep The last day’s tears, the nightly sleep,      For parting tears and present sleep For parting tears and present sleep
          Had weighed mine eyelids downward.

     Did weigh mine eyelids downward.

          Had weighed mine eyelids downward.

          Had weighed mine eyelids downward.

O sweetest friends, asleep on shore,
Whatever dreams of wandering ships
Your parted love is making,
I know the day-smile waits before
My youngest brother’s sleeping lips,
To make you smile awaking!

God keep that boyish smile as glad—
My pleasant sight for yesterday—
      My memory for to-morrow!
God make the loving’s dream unsad—
Since those who love, if dreaming, may
     Love on, without the sorrow!

The light of prayer fell from my face—
As soft as God’s reply, the sleep
     Did quench it, floating downward.
Our ship went on with solemn pace—
To meet the darkness on the deep—
     The solemn ship went onward.

                    ii.                     ii.                     ii.
Thick sleep which shut all dreams from me, That sleep shut out all dream from me— Thick sleep, which shut all dreams from me, Thick sleep which shut all dreams from me,
     And kept my inner self apart It kept my being all apart,      And kept my inner self apart,      And kept my inner self apart
          And quiet from emotion,      And clear from its emotion—           And quiet from emotion,           And quiet from emotion,
Then brake away and left me free, Then brake away and left me free Then brake away and left me free, Then brake away and left me free,
     Made conscious of a human heart And conscious of my human heart      Made conscious of a human heart      Made conscious of a human heart
          Betwixt the heaven and ocean.

     Betwixt the heaven and ocean!

          Betwixt the heaven and ocean.

          Betwixt the heaven and ocean.

                    iii.                     iii.                     iii.
The new sight, the new wondrous sight! The new sight—the contrasted sight— The new sight, the new wondrous sight! The new sight, the new wondrous sight!
     The waters round me, turbulent,— The waters round me turbulent—       waters round me, turbulent,      The waters round me, turbulent,
          The skies impassive o'er me,      The skies calm-fixèd o’er me—           The skies, impassive o’er me,           The skies impassive o’er me,
Calm, in a moonless, sunless light, Calm in a moonless, sunless light, Calm in a moonless, sunless light, Calm in a moonless, sunless light,
     Half glorified by that intent As glorified by e’en the intent      As glorified by even the intent      As glorified by even the intent
          Of holding the day-glory!

     Of holding the day-glory!

          Of holding the day-glory!

          Of holding the day-glory!

                    iv.                     iv.                     iv.
Two pale thin clouds did stand upon Three pale thin clouds did stand upon Two pale thin clouds did stand upon Two pale thin clouds did stand upon
     The meeting line of sea and sky, The meeting line of sea and sky,      The meeting line of sea and sky,      The meeting line of sea and sky,
          With aspect still and mystic. With aspect high and mystic—           With aspect still and mystic.           With aspect still and mystic:
I think they did foresee the sun, I think they did foresee the sun, I think they did foresee the sun, I think they did foresee the sun,
     And rested on their prophecy And rested on their prophecy      And rested on their prophecy      And rested on their prophecy
          In quietude majestic,

     In quietude majestic—

          In quietude majestic;

          In quietude majestic;

                    v.                     v.                     v.
Then flushed to radiance where they stood, Then flushed with radiance where they stood,— Then flushed to radiance where they stood, Then flushed to radiance where they stood,
     Like statues by the open tomb As statues will upon the tomb,      Like statues by the open tomb      Like statues by the open tomb
          Of shining saints half risen.—      When saints have almost risen!—           Of shining saints half risen.—           Of shining saints half risen.—
The sun!—he came up to be viewed, The sun came upward to be viewed, The sun!—he came up to be viewed; The sun!—he came up to be viewed,
     And sky and sea made mighty room And sky and sea made mighty room      And sky and sea made mighty room      And sky and sea made mighty room
          To inaugurate the vision.

     For splendours of the vision.

          To inaugurate the vision!

          To inaugurate the vision!

                    vi.                     vi.                     vi.
I oft had seen the dawnlight run, The new sight!—the new wondrous sight!— I oft had seen the dawnlight run, I oft had seen the dawnlight run,
     As red wine, through the hills, and break I oft had seen the daytime break,      As red wine, through the hills, and break      As red wine, through the hills, and break
          Through many a mist's inurning;      From wave to hill returning—           Through many a mist’s inurning;           Through many a mist’s inurning;
But, here, no earth profaned the sun! But here, no earth profaned the light— But, here, no earth profaned the sun! But, here, no earth profaned the sun!
     Heaven, ocean, did alone partake Heaven, ocean, did alone partake      Heaven, ocean, did alone partake      Heaven, ocean, did alone partake
          The sacrament of morning.

The sacrament of morning.

          The sacrament of morning.

          The sacrament of morning.

                    vii.                     vii.                     vii.
Away with thoughts fantastical! Those thoughts were high-fantastical! Away with joys fantastical! Away with joys fantastical!
     I would be humble to my worth, I thought again—In such quaint mirth,      I would be humble to my worth,      I would be humble to my worth,
          Self-guarded as self-doubted.      Why am I not self-doubted?           Self-guarded if self-doubted.           Self-guarded if self-doubted.
Though here no earthly shadows fall, Though here no earthly shadow fall, Though here no earthly shadows fall, Though here no earthly shadows fall,
     I, joying, grieving without earth, I, grieving, joying, without earth,      I, joying, grieving without earth,      I, joying, grieving without earth,
          May desecrate without it.

     May desecrate without it!

          May desecrate without it.

          May desecrate without it.

                    viii.                     viii.                     viii.
God's sabbath morning sweeps the waves; Am I (God’s Sabbath sweeps the waves!) God’s sabbath morning sweeps the waves: God’s sabbath morning sweeps the waves;
     I would not praise the pageant high, A praiser of the pageantry,      I would not praise the pageant high,      I would not praise the pageant high
          Yet miss the dedicature.      And not a dedicator?—            And miss the dedicature:           And miss the dedicature!
I, carried toward the sunless graves I, drawn toward the sunless graves I, drawn down toward the sunless graves I, drawn down toward the sunless graves
     By force of natural things,—should I By force of natural things, can I      By force of natural things,—should I      By force of natural things,—should I
          Exult in only nature?

     Exult in only Nature?

          Exult in only nature?

          Exult in only nature?

                    ix.                     ix.                     ix.
And could I bear to sit alone And could I bear to stand alone I could not bear to sit alone I could not bear to sit alone
     'Mid nature's fixed benignities, Among her fixed benignities,      In nature’s fixed benignities,      In nature’s fixed benignities
          While my warm pulse was moving?      With pulses ever-moving?—           While my warm pulse was moving.           While my warm pulse was moving.
Too dark thou art, O glittering sun, Too dusky art thou, radiant sun, Too dark thou art, O glittering sun, Too dark thou art, O glittering sun,
     Too strait ye are, capacious seas, Too straight ye are, capacious seas,      Too strait ye are, capacious seas,      Too strait ye are, capacious seas,
          To satisfy the loving!

     To satisfy the loving!

          To satisfy the loving.

          To satisfy the loving.

                    x.                     x.                     x.
It seems a better lot than so, The thought of Love did make me low:— It seems a better lot than so, It seems a better lot than so,
     To sit with friends beneath the beech, And then I thought how ’neath the beech,      To sit with friends beneath the beech,      To sit with friends beneath the beech,
          And feel them dear and dearer;      The wayside pond doth mirror,           And call them dear and dearer;           And call them dear and dearer;
Or follow children as they go Small children, on that day, would go, Or follow children as they go Or follow children as they go
     In pretty pairs, with softened speech, In pretty pairs—with whispered speech,      In pretty pairs, with softened speech      In pretty pairs, with softened speech
          As the church-bells ring nearer.

      As the church-bells rang nearer!

As the church-bells ring nearer.

As the church-bells ring nearer.

                    xi.                     xi.                     xi.
Love me, sweet friends, this sabbath day! And how upon that day—that day— Love me, sweet friends, this sabbath day. Love me, sweet friends, this sabbath day.
     The sea sings round me while ye roll Mine own belov’d would help to roll      The sea sings round me while ye roll      The sea sings round me while ye roll
          Afar the hymn unaltered,      The old sweet hymn unaltered—           Afar the hymn unaltered,           Afar the hymn unaltered,
And kneel, where once I knelt to pray, Then kneel where I have knelt to pray, And kneel, where once I knelt, to pray, And kneel, where once I knelt, to pray
     And bless me deeper in the soul, And bless me deeper in their soul      And bless me deeper in your soul,      And bless me deeper in the soul,
          Because the voice has faltered.

     Because their lips have faltered.

          Because your voice has faltered.

          Because the voice has faltered.

                    xii.                     xii.                     xii.
And though this sabbath comes to me And though my Sabbath silent came, And though this sabbath comes to me And though this sabbath comes to me
     Without the stolèd minister Without the stolèd minister,      Without the stolèd minister,      Without the stolèd minister
          Or chanting congregation,       Or chanting congregation—           And chanting congregation,           And chanting congregation,
God's Spirit brings communion, He The teaching Spirit was the same God’s spirit shall give comfort. He God’s spirit shall give comfort, He
     Who brooded soft on waters drear, Who brooded soft on waters drear,* n
Note: * Genesis, i. 2. [EBB’s note]
     Who brooded soft on waters drear,      Who brooded soft on waters drear,
          Creator on creation.

     Creator, on creation!

          Creator on creation.

          Creator on creation.

                    xiii.                     xiii.                     xiii.
Himself, I think, shall draw me higher, But, oh! high Spirit, lead me higher, He shall assist me to look higher, He shall assist me to look higher,
     Where keep the saints with harp and song To see the blessed keep with song      Where keep the saints, with harp and song,      Where keep the saints, with harp and song,
          An endless sabbath morning,      Their endless Sabbath-morning,—           An endless sabbath morning,           An endless sabbath morning,
And on that sea commixed with fire While on that sea commixed with fire† n
Note: † Revelations, xv. 2. [sic, EBB’s note]
And, on that sea commixed with fire, And on that sea commixed with fire
     Oft drop their eyelids, raised too long They drop their eyelids—raised too long      Oft drop their eyelids raised too long      Oft drop their eyelids raised too long
          To the full Godhead's burning.

      To the near Godhead’s burning!

          To the full Godhead’s burning.

          To the full Godhead’s burning.

Text: Poems (1856), vol. 3, pp. 74-7. Text: The Amaranth: A Miscellany of Original Prose and Verse (for 1839), ed T. K. Hervey (October 1838), pp. 73-5. Text: Poems (1850), vol. 2, pp. 325-8. Text: Poems (1853), vol. 2, pp. 325-8.

Image ViewerX