THE wind blows salt from off the sea
And sweet from where the land lies green;
I travel down the great highway
That runs so straight and white between--
I watch the sea-wind strain the sheet,
The land-wind toss the yellow wheat!

Song is my mistress, fickle she,
Yet dear beyond all dearth of speech;
Child of the winds of land and sea
She charms me with the charm of each--
Full soft and sweet she sings and then
She sings wild songs for sailor-men!

No staff I carry in my hand,
No pack I carry on my back,
No foot of earth I call my own,
For castle or for cot I lack--
I travel fast, I travel slow,
And where my mistress bids I go!

My gems, the pearl upon the leaf
At mystic hour of the morn;
My gold, the gold that rims the sea
A moment ere the day is born;
And on my breezy couch o' nights
The stars shine down--my taper lights!

Happy am I that sing of love,
Yet from the thrall of love am free;
Happy am I that sing of pain
And quick forget what pain may be!
I sing of death--and lo! To me
Life is supremest ecstacy!

More verses by Isabel Ecclestone Mackay