Jersey

Dear Jersey! jewel jubilant and green,
'Midst surge that splits steel ships, but sings to thee!
Thou fav'rest Frenchmen, though from England seen,
Oft tearful to that mistress 'North Countree';
Returned the third time safely here to be,
I bless my bold Gibraltar of the Free.

Yon lighthouse stands forth like a fervent friend,
One who our tempest buffets back with zest,
And with twin-steeple, eke our helmsman's end,
Forms arms that beckon us upon thy breast;
Rose-posied pillow, crystallized with spray,
Where pools pellucid mirror sunny ray.

A frigate fretting yonder smoothest sky,
Like pauseless petrel poising o'er a wreck,
Strikes bright athwart the dearly dazzled eye,
Until it lessens to scarce certain speck,
'Neath Venus, sparkling on the agate-sprinkled beach,
For fisher's sailing-signal, just and true,
Until Aurora frights her from the view.

In summer, steamer-smoke spreads as thy veil,
And mists in winter sudden screen thy sight,
When at thy feet the galley-breakers wail
And toss their tops high o'er the lofty flight
Of horrid storm-worn steps with shark-like bite,
That only ope to swallow up in spite.

L'ENVOY.

But penitent in calm, thou givest a balm,
To many a man who's felt thy rage,
And many a sea-bird--thanks be heard!--
Thou shieldest--sea-bird--exiled bard and sage.

by Victor Marie Hugo

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