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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807–1882). Complete Poetical Works. 1893.

In the Harbor

The City and the Sea

THE PANTING City cried to the Sea,

“I am faint with heat,—Oh breathe on me!”

And the Sea said, “Lo, I breathe! but my breath

To some will be life, to others death!”

As to Prometheus, bringing ease

In pain, come the Oceanides,

So to the City, hot with the flame

Of the pitiless sun, the east wind came.

It came from the heaving breast of the deep,

Silent as dreams are, and sudden as sleep.

Life-giving, death-giving, which will it be;

O breath of the merciful, merciless Sea?