I’d never heard of Christopher Pearse Cranch until recently; Pearse is quite an unusual name – although we do have a friend with it, but Cranch is a name I have never heard before. Christopher Pearse Cranch was an American writer, poet and artist who was born in 1813; although for a while he was church minister he went on to become an editor, writer and landscape painter, living mot of his life in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He was also associated with the Transcendental Club whose members included Frederic Henry Hedge, Ralph Waldo Emerson, George Ripley, and George Putnam.
Pines and the Sea
Beyond the low marsh-meadows and the beach,
Seen through the hoary trunks of windy pines,
The long blue level of the ocean shines.
The distant surf, with hoarse, complaining speech,
Out from its sandy barrier seems to reach;
And while the sun behind the woods declines,
The moaning sea with sighing boughs combines,
And waves and pines make answer, each to each.
O melancholy soul, whom far and near,
In life, faith, hope, the same sad undertone
Pursues from thought to thought! thou needs must hear
An old refrain, too much, too long thine own:
‘This thy mortality infects thine ear;
The mournful strain was in thyself alone.
Christopher Pearse Cranch (1813-1892)