My Longshore Lass
Far in the mellow western sky,
Above the restless harbor bar,
A beacon on the coast of night,
Shines out a calm, white evening star;
But your deep eyes, my 'longshore lass,
Are brighter, clearer far.
The glory of the sunset past
Still gleams upon the water there,
But all its splendor cannot match
The wind-blown brightness of your hair;
Not any sea-maid's floating locks
Of gold are half so fair.
The waves are whispering to the sands
With murmurs as of elfin glee;
But your low laughter, 'longshore lass,
Is like a sea-harp's melody,
And the vibrant tones of your tender voice
Are sweeter far to me.
Morning Along Shore
Hark, oh hark the elfin laughter
All the little waves along,
As if echoes speeding after
Mocked a merry merman's song!
All the gulls are out, delighting
In a wild, uncharted quest
See the first red sunshine smiting
Silver sheen of wing and breast!
Ho, the sunrise rainbow-hearted
Steals athwart the misty brine,
And the sky where clouds have parted
Is a bowl of amber wine!
Sweet, its cradle-lilt partaking,
Dreams that hover o'er the sea,
But the lyric of its waking
Is a sweeter thing to me!
Who would drowze in dull devotion
To his ease when dark is done,
And upon its breast the ocean
Like a jewel wears the sun?
"Up, forsake a lazy pillow!"
Calls the sea from cleft and cave,
Ho, for antic wind and billow
When the morn is on the wave!
A gallant city has been builded far
In the pied heaven,
Bannered with crimson, sentinelled by star
Of crystal even;
Around a harbor of the twilight glowing,
With jubilant waves about its gateways flowing
A city of the Land of Lost Delight,
On seas enchanted,
Presently to be lost in mist moon-white
Given but briefly to our raptured vision,
With all its opal towers and shrines elysian.
Had we some mystic boat with pearly oar
And wizard pilot,
To guide us safely by the siren shore
And cloudy islet,
We might embark and reach that shining portal
Beyond which linger dreams and joys immortal.
But we may only gaze with longing eyes
On those far, sparkling
Palaces in the fairy-peopled skies,
O'er waters darkling,
Until the winds of night come shoreward roaming,
And the dim west has only gray and gloaming.
Song Of The Sea-Wind
When the sun sets over the long blue wave
I spring from my couch of rest,
And I hurtle and boom over leagues of foam
That toss in the weltering west,
I pipe a hymn to the headlands high,
My comrades forevermore,
And I chase the tricksy curls of foam
O'er the glimmering sandy shore.
The moon is my friend on clear, white nights
When I ripple her silver way,
And whistle blithely about the rocks
Like an elfin thing at play;
But anon I ravin with cloud and mist
And wail 'neath a curdled sky,
When the reef snarls yon like a questing beast,
And the frightened ships go by.
I scatter the dawn across the sea
Like wine of amber flung
From a crystal goblet all far and fine
Where the morning star is hung;
I blow from east and I blow from west
Wherever my longing be-
The wind of the land is a hindered thing
But the ocean wind is free!
The Sea To The Shore
Lo, I have loved thee long, long have I yearned and entreated!
Tell me how I may win thee, tell me how I must woo.
Shall I creep to thy white feet, in guise of a humble lover ?
Shall I croon in mild petition, murmuring vows anew ?
Shall I stretch my arms unto thee, biding thy maiden coyness,
Under the silver of morning, under the purple of night ?
Taming my ancient rudeness, checking my heady clamor
Thus, is it thus I must woo thee, oh, my delight?
Nay, 'tis no way of the sea thus to be meekly suitor
I shall storm thee away with laughter wrapped in my beard of snow,
With the wildest of billows for chords I shall harp thee a song for thy bridal,
A mighty lyric of love that feared not nor would forego!
With a red-gold wedding ring, mined from the caves of sunset,
Fast shall I bind thy faith to my faith evermore,
And the stars will wait on our pleasure, the great north wind will trumpet
A thunderous marriage march for the nuptials of sea and shore.
Soft is the sky in the mist-kirtled east,
Light is abroad on the sea,
All of the heaven with silver is fleeced,
Holding the sunrise in fee.
Lo! with a flash and uplifting of wings
Down where the long ripples break,
Cometh a bevy of glad-hearted things,
'Tis morn, for the gulls are awake.
Slumberous calm on the ocean and shore
Comes with the turn of the tide;
Never a strong-sweeping pinion may soar,
Where the tame fishing-boats ride!
Far and beyond in blue deserts of sea
Where the wild winds are at play,
There may the spirits of sea-birds be free
'Tis noon, for the gulls are away.
Over the rim of the sunset is blown
Sea-dusk of purple and gold,
Speed now the wanderers back to their own,
Wings the most tireless must fold.
Homeward together at twilight they flock,
Sated with joys of the deep
Drowsily huddled on headland and rock
'Tis night, for the gulls are asleep.
The Sea Spirit
I smile o'er the wrinkled blue
Lo! the sea is fair,
Smooth as the flow of a maiden's hair;
And the welkin's light shines through
Into mid-sea caverns of beryl hue,
And the little waves laugh and the mermaids sing,
And the sea is a beautiful, sinuous thing!
I scowl in sullen guise
The sea grows dark and dun,
The swift clouds hide the sun
But not the bale-light in my eyes,
And the frightened wind as it flies
Ruffles the billows with stormy wing,
And the sea is a terrible, treacherous thing!
When moonlight glimmers dim
I pass in the path of the mist,
Like a pale spirit by spirits kissed.
At dawn I chant my own weird hymn,
And I dabble my hair in the sunset's rim,
And I call to the dwellers along the shore
With a voice of gramarye evermore.
And if one for love of me
Gives to my call an ear,
I will woo him and hold him dear,
And teach him the way of the sea,
And my glamor shall ever over him be;
Though he wander afar in the cities of men
He will come at last to my arms again.
A Summer Day
The dawn laughs out on orient hills
And dances with the diamond rills;
The ambrosial wind but faintly stirs
The silken, beaded gossamers;
In the wide valleys, lone and fair,
Lyrics are piped from limpid air,
And, far above, the pine trees free
Voice ancient lore of sky and sea.
Come, let us fill our hearts straightway
With hope and courage of the day.
Noon, hiving sweets of sun and flower,
Has fallen on dreams in wayside bower,
Where bees hold honeyed fellowship
With the ripe blossom of her lip;
All silent are her poppied vales
And all her long Arcadian dales,
Where idleness is gathered up
A magic draught in summer's cup.
Come, let us give ourselves to dreams
By lisping margins of her streams.
Adown the golden sunset way
The evening comes in wimple gray;
By burnished shore and silver lake
Cool winds of ministration wake;
O'er occidental meadows far
There shines the light of moon and star,
And sweet, low-tinkling music rings
About the lips of haunted springs.
In quietude of earth and air
'Tis meet we yield our souls to prayer.
Sunrise Along Shore
Athwart the harbor lingers yet
The ashen gleam of breaking day,
And where the guardian cliffs are set
The noiseless shadows steal away;
But all the winnowed eastern sky
Is flushed with many a tender hue,
And spears of light are smiting through
The ranks where huddled sea-mists fly.
Across the ocean, wan and gray,
Gay fleets of golden ripples come,
For at the birth-hour of the day
The roistering, wayward winds are dumb.
The rocks that stretch to meet the tide
Are smitten with a ruddy glow,
And faint reflections come and go
Where fishing boats at anchor ride.
All life leaps out to greet the light --
The shining sea-gulls dive and soar,
The swallows whirl in dizzy flight,
And sandpeeps flit along the shore.
From every purple landward hill
The banners of the morning fly,
But on the headlands, dim and high,
The fishing hamlets slumber still.
One boat alone beyond the bar
Is sailing outward blithe and free,
To carry sturdy hearts afar
Across those wastes of sparkling sea;
Staunchly to seek what may be won
From out the treasures of the deep,
To toil for those at home who sleep
And be the first to greet the sun.
When The Fishing Boats Go Out
When the lucent skies of morning flush with dawning rose once more,
And waves of golden glory break adown the sunrise shore,
And o'er the arch of heaven pied films of vapor float.
There's joyance and there's freedom when the fishing boats go out.
The wind is blowing freshly up from far, uncharted caves,
And sending sparkling kisses o'er the brows of virgin waves,
While routed dawn-mists shiveroh, far and fast they flee,
Pierced by the shafts of sunrise athwart the merry sea!
Behind us, fair, light-smitten hills in dappled splendor lie,
Before us the wide ocean runs to meet the limpid sky
Our hearts are full of poignant life, and care has fled afar
As sweeps the white-winged fishing fleet across the harbor bar.
The sea is calling to us in a blithesome voice and free,
There's keenest rapture on its breast and boundless liberty!
Each man is master of his craft, its gleaming sails out-blown,
And far behind him on the shore a home he calls his own.
Salt is the breath of ocean slopes and fresher blows the breeze,
And swifter still each bounding keel cuts through the combing seas,
Athwart our masts the shadows of the dipping sea-gulls float,
And all the water-world's alive when the fishing boats go out.
Midnight In Camp
Night in the unslumbering forest! From the free,
Vast pinelands by the foot of man untrod,
Blows the wild wind, roaming rejoicingly
This wilderness of God;
And the tall firs that all day long have flung
Balsamic odors where the sunshine burned,
Chant to its harping primal epics learned
When this old world was young.
Beyond the lake, white, girdling peaks uplift
Untroubled brows to virgin skies afar,
And o'er the uncertain water glimmers drift
Of fitful cloud and star.
Sure never day such mystic beauty held
As sylvan midnight here in this surcease
Of toil, when the kind darkness gives us peace
Garnered from years of eld.
Lo! Hearken to the mountain waterfall
Laughing adown its pathway to the glen
And nearer, in the cedars, the low call
Of brook to brook again;
Voices that garish daytime may not know
Wander at will along the bosky steeps,
And silent, silver-footed moonlight creeps
Through the dim glades below.
Oh, it is well to waken with the woods
And feel, as those who wait with God alone,
The forest's heart in these rare solitudes
Beating against our own.
Close-shut behind us are the gates of care,
Divinity enfolds us, prone to bless,
And our souls kneel. Night in the wilderness
Is one great prayer.
A Day In The Open
Ho, a day
Whereon we may up and away,
With a fetterless wind that is out on the downs,
And there piping a call to the fallow and shore,
Where the sea evermore
Surgeth over the gray reef, and drowns
The fierce rocks with white foam;
It is ours with untired feet to roam
Where the pines in green gloom of wide vales make their murmuring home,
Or the pools that the sunlight hath kissed
Mirror back a blue sky that is winnowed of cloud and of mist!
Ho, a day
Whereon we may up and away
Through the orient distances hazy and pied,
Hand in hand with the gypsying breezes that blow
Here and there, to and fro,
O'er the meadows all rosy and wide,
Where a lyric of flowers
Is sweet-sung to the frolicking hours,
And the merry buds letter the foot-steps of tip-toeing showers;
We may climb where the steep is beset
With a turbulent waterfall, loving to clamor and fret!
Ho, a day
Whereon we may up and away
To the year that is holding her cup of wild wine;
If we drink we shall be as the gods of the wold
In the blithe days of old
Elate with a laughter divine;
Yea, and then we shall know
The rare magic of solitude so
We shall nevermore wish its delight and its dreams to forego,
And our blood will upstir and upleap
With a fellowship splendid, a gladness impassioned and deep!
On The Bay
When the salt wave laps on the long, dim shore,
And frets the reef with its windy sallies,
And the dawn's white light is threading once more
The purple firs in the landward valleys,
While yet the arms of the wide gray sea
Are cradling the sunrise that is to be,
The fisherman's boat, through the mist afar,
Has sailed in the wake of the morning star.
The wind in his cordage and canvas sings
Its old glad song of strength and endeavor,
And up from the heart of the ocean rings
A call of courage and cheer forever;
Toil and danger and stress may wait
Beyond the arch of the morning's gate,
But he knows that behind him, upon the shore,
A true heart prays for him evermore.
When a young moon floats in the hollow sky,
Like a fairy shallop, all pale and golden,
And over the rocks that are grim and high,
The lamp of the light-house aloft is holden;
When the bay is like to a lucent cup
With glamor and glory and glow filled up,
In the track of the sunset, across the foam,
The fisherman's boat comes sailing home.
The wind is singing a low, sweet song
Of a rest well won and a toil well over,
And there on the shore shines clear and strong
The star of the homelight to guide the rover:
And deep unto deep may call and wail
But the fisherman laughs as he furls his sail,
For the bar is passed and the reef is dim
And a true heart is waiting to welcome him!