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Sea Poems

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SEA-HOARDINGS My heart is open again and sea flows in,It shall fill with a summer of mists and winds and clouds and waves breaking,Of gull-wings over the green tide, of the surf's drenching din,Of sudden horizon-sails that come and vanish, phantom-thin,Of arching sapphire skies, deep and unaching. I shall lie on the rocks just over the weeds that drapeThe clear sea-pools, where birth and death in sunny ooze are teeming.Where the crab in quest of booty sidles about, a sullen shape,Where the snail creeps and the mussel sleeps with wary valves agape,Where life is too grotesque to be but seeming. And the swallow shall weave my dreams with threads of flight,A shuttle with silver breast across the warp of the waves gliding;And an isle far out shall be a beam in the loom of my delight,And the pattern of every dream shall be a rapture bathed in light—Its evanescence a beauty most abiding. And the sunsets shall give sadness all its due,They shall stain the sands and trouble the tides with all the ache of sorrow.They shall bleed and die with a beauty of meaning old yet ever new,They shall burn with all the hunger for things that hearts have failed to do,They shall whisper of a gold that none can borrow. And the stars shall come and build a bridge of fireFor the moon to cross the boundless sea, with never a fear of sinking.They shall teach me of the magic things of life never to tire,And how to renew, when it is low, the lamp of my desire—And how to hope, in the darkest deeps of thinking.
THE SHORE'S SONG TO THE SEA Out on the rocks primeval,The grey Maine rocks that slant and break to the sea,With the bay and juniper round them,And the leagues on leagues before them,And the terns and gulls wheeling and crying, wheeling and crying over,I sat heart-still and listened. And first I could only hear the wind in my ears,And the foam trying to fill the high rock-shallows.And then, over the wind, over the whitely blossoming foam,Low, low, like a lover's song beginning,I heard the nuptial pleading of the old shore,A pleading ever occultly growing louder:— O sea, glad bride of me!Born of the bright ether and given to wed me,Given to glance, ever, for me, and gleam and dance in the sun—Come to my arms, come to my reaching arms,That seem so still and unavailing to take you, and hold you,Yet never forget,Never by day or night,The hymeneal delights of your embracings. Come, for the moon, my rival, shall not have you;No, for tho twice daily afar he beckons and you go,You, my bride, a little way back to meet him,As if he once had been your lover, he too, and again enspelled you,Soon, soon, I know it is only feigning!For turning, playfully turning, tidally turning,You rush foamingly, swiftly back to my arms! And so would I have you rush; so rush now!Come from the sands where you have stayed too long,Come from the reefs where you have wandered silent,For ebbings are good, the restful ebbings of love,But, oh, the bridal flowings of it are better...!