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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Oceanica: Vol. XXXI. 1876–79.

Miscellaneous: The Ocean

The Southern Cross

By Charles Warren Stoddard (1843–1909)

WHENE’ER those southern seas I sail,

I find my eyes instinctive turning

Where, pure and marvellously pale,

Four sacred stars are brightly burning.

A star is set above the thorns;

Two mark the bleeding palms extended;

And one the wounded feet adorns,—

In four the potent cross is blended.

One only hand had power to place

The symbol there, and that immortal;

Those fair, celestial fires may grace

And beautify the heavenly portal.

Whatever danger I may meet

Upon the wild, disastrous ocean,

Still turn my trusting eyes to greet

That flaming cross with true devotion.

Nor cease, my willing heart, to give

Thy prayers and every just endeavor;

For only by the cross I live,

And by the cross I live forever.