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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
England: Vols. I–IV. 1876–79.


The Atlantic Cable

By John Greenleaf Whittier (1807–1892)

O LONELY bay of Trinity,

O dreary shores, give ear!

Lean down unto the white-lipped sea

The voice of God to hear!

From world to world his couriers fly,

Thought-winged and shod with fire;

The angel of his stormy sky

Rides down the sunken wire.

What saith the herald of the Lord?

“The world’s long strife is done;

Close wedded by that mystic cord,

Its continents are one.

“And one in heart, as one in blood,

Shall all her peoples be;

The hands of human brotherhood

Are clasped beneath the sea.

“Through Orient seas, o’er Afric’s plain

And Asian mountains borne,

The vigor of the Northern brain

Shall nerve the world outworn.

“From clime to clime, from shore to shore,

Shall thrill the magic thread;

The new Prometheus steals once more

The fire that wakes the dead.”

Throb on, strong pulse of thunder! beat

From answering beach to beach;

Fuse nations in thy kindly heat,

And melt the chains of each!

Wild terror of the sky above,

Glide tame and dumb below!

Bear gently, Ocean’s carrier-dove,

Thy errands to and fro.

Weave on, swift shuttle of the Lord,

Beneath the deep so far,

The bridal robe of earth’s accord,

The funeral shroud of war!

For lo! the fall of Ocean’s wall

Space mocked and time outrun;

And round the world the thought of all

Is as the thought of one!

The poles unite, the zones agree,

The tongues of striving cease;

As on the Sea of Galilee

The Christ is whispering, Peace!