Original Text: 
The Poetical Works of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, with Bibliographical and Critical Notes, Riverside Edition (Boston and New York: Houghton, Mifflin, 1890), I, 258-59. PS 2250 E90 Robarts Library.
1When descends on the Atlantic
2    The gigantic
4Landward in his wrath he scourges
5    The toiling surges,
6Laden with seaweed from the rocks:
8    Of sunken ledges,
11    Silver-flashing
13From the tumbling surf, that buries
16And from wrecks of ships, and drifting
17    Spars, uplifting
18On the desolate, rainy seas; --
19Ever drifting, drifting, drifting
20    On the shifting
21Currents of the restless main;
22Till in sheltered coves, and reaches
23    Of sandy beaches,
24All have found repose again.
25So when storms of wild emotion
26    Strike the ocean
27Of the poet's soul, erelong
28From each cave and rocky fastness,
29    In its vastness,
30Floats some fragment of a song:
31From the far-off isles enchanted,
32    Heaven has planted
33With the golden fruit of Truth;
34From the flashing surf, whose vision
36In the tropic clime of Youth;
37From the strong Will, and the Endeavor
38    That forever
39Wrestle with the tides of Fate;
40From the wreck of Hopes far-scattered,
41    Tempest-shattered,
42Floating waste and desolate; --
43Ever drifting, drifting, drifting
44    On the shifting
45Currents of the restless heart;
46Till at length in books recorded,
47    They, like hoarded
48Household words, no more depart.


3] equinox: loosely, the region of the equator. Back to Line
7] Bermuda: west Atlantic islands eastsoutheast of Cape Hatteras. Back to Line
9] Azore: Azores, north Atlantic islands off the coast of Portugal. Back to Line
10] Bahama: west Atlantic islands southeast of Florida. Back to Line
12] San Salvador: island in the Bahamas, also called Watling Island. Back to Line
14] Orkneyan skerries: reefs, or rocky islands, of the Orkneys, north of Scotland. Back to Line
15] Hebrides: north Atlantic islands west of Scotland. Back to Line
35] Elysian: of the classical fields for the blessed dead. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
Publication Notes: 
Graham's Magazine (Jan. 1845); The Belfry of Bruges (1845)
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
RPO 1998.