The Ocean

Nathaniel Hawthorne

About the Poet

Nathaniel Hawthorne was born July 4th, 1804. While Hawthorne's most predominant works are stories such as The Scarlet Letter, The House of Seven Gables, and The Marble Faun, he was also an established poet. A significant factor towards Hawthorne and his works, lay in his past. Hawthorne is the grandson of the Judge, John Hathorne of the Salem witch trials. This is significant because of the need Nathaniel found to change his name by placing a W, to distance himself from his ancestors.
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The Ocean

The cean has its silent caves,

Deep, quiet and alone;

Though there be fury on the waves,

Beneath them there is none.

The awful spirits of the deep

Hold their communion there;

And there are those for whom we weep,

The young, the bright, the fair.


Calmly the wearied seamen rest

Beneath their own blue sea.

The ocean solitudes are blest,

For there is purity.

The earth has guilt, the earth has care,

Unquiet are its graves;

But peaceful sleep is ever there,

Beneath the dark blue waves.

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Deeper Meaning

"The Ocean" is a poem about life, a sailors fate, and hardship. The poem speaks about the trials and hardships as the "furry on the waves". Hawthorne also speaks of a "Wearied seamen's rest". This rest is implied as death. Throughout the poem Hawthorne speaks of life above the water and beneath. Under the sea the theme is calming, peaceful, and relaxed. Meanwhile, above the sea is hellish waves, disaster, and treachery in travel. The overall mood in the poem is calm, mellow, and ever flowing much like the ocean.
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