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C.D. Warner, et al., comp. The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

The Treasures of the Deep

By Felicia Dorothea Hemans (1793–1835)

WHAT hid’st thou in thy treasure-caves and cells,

Thou hollow-sounding and mysterious main?

Pale glistening pearls and rainbow-colored shells,

Bright things which gleam unrecked-of and in vain!

Keep, keep thy riches, melancholy Sea!

We ask not such from thee.

Yet more—the depths have more! What wealth untold,

Far down and shining through their stillness, lies!

Thou hast the starry gems, the burning gold,

Won from ten thousand royal argosies!

Sweep o’er thy spoils, thou wild and wrathful main!

Earth claims not these again.

Yet more—the depths have more! Thy waves have rolled

Above the cities of a world gone by;

Sand hath filled up the palaces of old,

Seaweed o’ergrown the halls of revelry.

Dash o’er them, Ocean, in thy scornful play!

Man yields them to decay.

Yet more—the billows and the depths have more!

High hearts and brave are gathered to thy breast!

They hear not now the booming waters’ roar,

The battle thunders will not break their rest.

Keep thy red gold and gems, thou stormy grave!

Give back the true and brave!

Give back the lost and lovely! those for whom

The place was kept at board and hearth so long!

The prayer went up through midnight’s breathless gloom,

And the vain yearning woke ’midst festal song.

Hold fast thy buried isles, thy towers o’erthrown—

But all is not thine own.

To thee the love of woman hath gone down;

Dark flow thy tides o’er manhood’s noble head,

O’er youth’s bright locks, and beauty’s flowery crown;

Yet must thou hear a voice: Restore the dead!

Earth shall reclaim her precious things from thee—

Restore the dead, thou Sea!