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The Cup of Ocean

by Amos Russel Wells

What does the cup of ocean hold?
Glory of purple and glint of gold;
Tenderest greens and heavenly blue,
Shot with the sunlight through and through;
Wayward ripples that idly roam.
Tumbling breakers with gallant foam;
Sands and pebbles that chase and slide;
Mystic currents that softly glide;
Mighty spell of the ages old,
This does the cup of ocean hold.

What does the cup of ocean hear
To the lips of land folk everywhere?
Danger's ominous, ghostly breath,
Battered forms of an awful death;
Howling tempests and bitter sleet,
Crash of the sea steeds' terrible feet;
Ships a-quiver with fearful shock,
Anguish heaped on a savage rock;
Loss and turmoil and fatal snare,
This does the cup of ocean bear.

Look ye well to the ocean's cup,
Ye who gladly on beauty sup.
Tarry long at the treacherous brink,
Gaze within e'er ye bend and drink.