Edward Moran’s series of Victorian seascapes recall a vanished national mood—when the eagle screamed, when painters were sentimental and poets misty about the eyes.
I heard or seemed to hear the chiding Sea Say, Pilgrim, why so late and slow to come? Am I not always here … ? … I with my hammer pounding evermore The rocky coast, smite Andes into dust, Strewing my bed, and, in another age, Rebuild a continent of better men. Then I unbar the doors: my paths lead out The exodus of nations: I disperse Men to all shores that front the hoary main. … — Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Seashore”