The River, The Ferry, The Sea

As we travel across America, we are never without the beauty of the rivers, seas, oceans, sunsets and all that accompany them. The Elizabeth River Ferry III is a pedestrian ferry in the Commonwealth of Virginia that connects Portsmouth with Norfolk.

“The ferry dates back to 1636 when a skiff was rowed across the river. After 1720, the ferry transported horse-drawn wagons and other wheeled vehicles across the river, but it still depended on men to row it. By 1794, six ferry boats were propelled by oarsmen between Norfolk and Portsmouth. Paddle-wheel vessels were used for the first time in 1821. The first steam-powered ferry came along in 1832. In 1918, the ferry carried 40 automobiles and 200 passengers and continued being used until the Downtown Tunnel to Norfolk opened to vehicular traffic in the early 1950s. The ferry made its last trip in 1955. Ferry service was restored between the two cities in 1983.”1/

~ ~ ~
Sound the deep waters:
Who shall sound that deep?
Too short the plummet,
And the watchmen sleep.
Some dream of effort
Up a toilsome steep;
Some dream of pasture grounds
For harmless sheep.

White shapes flit to and fro
From mast to mast;
They feel the distant tempest
That nears them fast:
Great rocks are straight ahead,
Great shoals not past;
They shout to one another
Upon the blast.

O, soft the streams drop music
Between the hills,
And musical the birds’ nests
Beside those rills:
The nests are types of home
Love-hidden from ills,
The nests are types of spirits
Love-music fills.

So dream the sleepers,
Each man in his place;
The lightning shows the smile
Upon each face:
The ship is driving, driving,
It drives apace:
And sleepers smile, and spirits
Bewail their case.

The lightning glares and reddens
Across the skies;
It seems but sunset
To those sleeping eyes.
When did the sun go down
On such a wise?
From such a sunset
When shall day arise?

Driving and driving,
The ship drives amain:
While swift from mast to mast
Shapes flit again,
Flit silent as the silence
Where men lie slain;
Their shadow cast upon the sails
Is like a stain./2
~ ~ ~

1/ Visit
2/ Excerpts: “Sleep at Sea” Christina G. Rossetti

Photography: Copyright, JayJacy Photography ©2014 All Rights Reserved
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