A Suite of Poems
Ocean, Ocean, when your fuming waves Lift, roaring, making one majestic wave From foaming heads, rearing up to air, Appearing to touch the sky with its sublime crest; We see its peak smoking like a vast Crater, its huge mass mastering the waters!
The furrows that its volume compresses, Come in fury to smash themselves at its base; The wave rises and leaps towards its arrogant Brow; but this one—see!—like the God of the tempest, With foam and vapors crowns its crest, And seems to dominate its furious aspect.
Just as in these places you prevail, Glorious Salazian mountain, just As from nearby mountains your aerial Forehead towers, juts, projects! Immense, motionless, eternal From the high center of my isle, Your summit, calm and noble, Imposes and commands the gaze; Seat of an eternal winter, The wind besieging your Face covered in snow and hoarFrost like old men's heads.
From the cradle of the deep seas, The eye that perceives your virile beauty, There, upon the green daughter of the waves, Loves your splendid decay. And you seem in your silence, To listen to the noise in the skies Of the gentle, swaying breeze
Or of the north wind that rushes; Or like a lone colossus, Fixing a centenarian's gaze Upon the earth and the waves, To dream, grave and soundless!
When day dies and shadows appear, When the moon rises above cloud, The ocean at your feet shines like a mirror; From the skies, night's orb whitens vast domes And you see ships like white phantoms, Sliding along the horizon under evening's vapors And the poor fisherman whose swift boat Bounds lightly upon the liquid pasture And the seabird surprised by night, Perceive your peak from a great distance, Navigating by your sublime summit, Advancing cradled by the air's breath.
And from afar on the immense sea, By the dreaming moon's rays, The voyager's startled eye Contemplates you in silence. The straying cloud that halts, Seems to stir upon your summit, As one sees floating upon their Heads white plumes of heroes; And your ancient and profound mass Flooded by a gentle brightness Seems to be the blue specter Of wave upright on the waves' abyss! Ah! how many centuries have passed Before your wrinkled face? Yet time's footfall is erased From your ravaged peak. How many days of calm and cyclone, And of cloud and sun, And of shipwreck and pain, Have glimmered before your ancient eye? Tempest, shadow, north wind, light, All returned to primeval night, But you with your immense height, You were then as you are today!
Then, as now, morning's first light, And vanishing day's last light, Spread out their fires on your azure countenance; And when dawn or night come to smile over The world, you alone shone in the ethereal empire, Like a lighthouse with soft and soundless glints. Then, as now, from your sterile rocks You poured pure and limpid torrents onto our fields; And, ever defying the destroying tempest, Draping your bare flanks with a cloak of vapors, Like a spirit seated on the throne of ages, You raised the skies to your imperious face.
Pyramids of nature, Peaks, summits, grandeur, Whose gigantic structure Speaks to man of his author; Lofty mountains, undefined entity, Depths and disharmony That a propitious or deadly Spirit sowed in these remote places; Blood-red lightning flashes, Dark cloud, eyrie from where the storm rushes Leaping furious Into the heart of the appalled heavens; Gulfs, torrents, tempest, sea, Carry me away in your horror! For I love to feel the force of your Wrath raging over me! I love to contemplate your abysses, Take measure of your high peaks, Follow your sublime waves, Be glutted with your terrors; To constantly merge my essence With winds, with flame, with waves, For my heart is excited and rages And everything inside me intensifies! . . .