ON what long tides
Do you drift to my fire,
You waifs of strange waters?
From what far seas,
What murmurous sands,
What desolate beaches--
Flotsam of those glories that were ships!

I gather you,
Bitter with salt,
Sun-bleached, rock-scarred, moon-harried,
Fuel for my fire.

You are Pride's end.
Through all to-morrows you are yesterday.
You are waste,
You are ruin,
For where is that which once you were?

I gather you.
See! I set free the fire within you--
You awake in thin flame!
Tremulous, mistlike, your soul aspires,
Blue, beautiful,
Up and up to the clouds which are its kindred!
What is left is nothing--
Ashes blown along the shore!

More verses by Isabel Ecclestone Mackay