“And I have loved thee, Ocean! and my joy Of youthful sports was on thy breast to be Borne, like thy bubbles, onward; from a boy I wantoned with thy breakers—they to me Were a delight... For I was, as it were, a child of thee.” Byron. Not a breath of wind from any direction. Not a cloud in the sky, not a ripple on the ocean’s blue. Only when a bird alighted on the water, quisling rings of silver formed all around it, and widened and widened, but soon were lost to view. Or when a fish leaped up, or the dorsal fin of some monster shark appeared above the surface, the sea about it trembled for a time, trembled and sparkled as if a shower of diamonds had suddenly fallen there. And a broad low swell came rolling in from the Indian Ocean, as if the bosom of the sea were moving in its sleep. But landwards, had you looked, you might have seen it break in a long fringe of snowy foam on a beach of yellow sand; and, had you listened, the distant hum and boom of those breakers would have fallen on your ears in a kind of drowsy long-drawn monotone. The brave ship Niobe (this word is pronounced as if spelt “Ni-o-bee”) slowly rose and slowly fell, and gently rocked and rolled on this heaving tide, and sometimes her great sails flapped with the vessel’s motion, but, alas! not with the rising wind
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