The earth has lost its mystery, but not so the sea. The ocean is still the home of mystery. Hast thou entered into the springs of the sea? The earth has been explored and her wildernesses conquered, but no man has entered into the springs of the sea. The earth changes; the sea sweeps on the same.
Unchangeable save to thy wild waves' play—
Time writes no wrinkle on thine azure brow—
Such as creation's dawn beheld, thou rollest now.—George Gordon Byron
There is the mystery of its distance. Not on the mountain nor on the plain do we get such a conception of infinite space as on the sea. There is the mystery of its depths. Think of the monsters that come out of its slime; think of the golden treasures that strew its floors; think of the ships that sailed but never came to port; think of the fleets of war and merchandise that rot and crumble in its depth; think of the uncounted thousands of mariners and adventurers who sleep in its dark caverns and have "suffered a sea change into something new and strange." What makes its waters salt? What makes its tides roll up and down the shelf of the continent? The sea is still the home of mystery.
The sea one day, in restless mood,
And ceaseless ebb and flow,
Was heard to voice its discontent
While rolling to and fro.
'Oh! how I wish that I could rise
To yonder blessed light,
Instead of always tossing here
And pitching day and night!
'O wind! kind wind! grant me your aid,
I want to reach the sky,
And if you'll only blow enough,
I can if I but try.'
'All right! All right!' the wind replied,
'I'll do my best for you:'
And so it started blowing hard
And furiously too.
The sea went mounting up and up,
And higher in the air,
But soon came tumbling down again,
And that in great despair.
'I feel I never shall mount up,
Though all the winds would aid,
So I must just be water still,
For water I was made.'
But hark ! the sun is speaking now;
'Oh, foolish, foolish sea!
Lie still and I will draw thee up,
And I will set thee free.
Keep thou within my influence
And I will change thee so
That, even if thou wished it much,
Thou couldst not dwell below.
'I'll change thee into that which gives
Refreshment from on high;
I'll let thee bear my gift of love
O'er scenes both parched and dry.
Trust not to thy poor efforts vain—
The changing power is mine.
Yours is the lot to rest content,
To dwell just where I shine.'—F. Howard Oakley
(John 7. 37; Philem. 6, 7)