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Is good, or was held so, for ladies; but nought

In a song can be good if the turn of the verse is

Far-fetched and dear bought.

As the turn of a wave should it sound, and the thought

Ring smooth, and as light as the spray that disperses

Be the gleam of the words for the garb thereof wrought.

Let the soul in it shine through the sound as it pierces

Men's hearts with possession of music unsought;

For the bounties of song are no jealous god's mercies,

Far-fetched and dear bought. 1883.


A Roundel is wrought as a ring or a starbright sphere,

With craft of delight and with cunning of sound unsought,

That the heart of the hearer may smile if to pleasure his ear A roundel is wrought.

Its jewel of music is carven of all or of aught

Love, laughter, or mourning—remembrance of rapture or fearThat fancy may fashion to hang in the ear of thought.

As a bird's quick song runs round, and the hearts in us hear

Pause answers to pause, and again the same strain caught,

So moves the device whence, round as a pearl or tear,

A roundel is wrought.



SEA beyond sea, sand after sweep of sand,

Here ivory smooth, here cloven and ridged with flow

Of channelled waters soft as rain or snow,

Stretch their lone length at ease beneath the bland

Gray gleam of skies whose smile on wave and strand

Shines weary like a man's who smiles to


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THE sea is at ebb, and the sound of her utmost word

Is soft as the least wave's lapse in a stil small reach.

From bay unto bay, on quest of a goal deferred,

From headland ever to headland and breach to breach

Where earth gives ear to the message that all days preach

With changes of gladness and sadness that cheer and chide,

The lone way lures me along by a chance untried

That haply, if hope dissolve not and faith be whole,

Not all for nought shall I seek, with a dream for guide,

The goal that is not, and ever again the goal.

The trackless ways are untravelled of sail or bird;

The hoar wave hardly recedes from the soundless beach.

The silence of instant noon goes nigh to be heard,

The viewless void to be visible: all and each,

A closure of calm no clamor of storm can breach

Concludes and confines and absorbs them on either side,

All forces of light and of life and the live world's pride.

Sands hardly ruffled of ripples that hardly roll

Seem ever to show as in reach of a swift brief stride [goal. The goal that is not, and ever again the

The waves are a joy to the seamew, the meads to the herd,

And a joy to the heart is a goal that it may not reach.

No sense that for ever the limits of sense engird,

No hearing or sight that is vassal to form or speech,

Learns ever the secret that shadow and silence teach,

Hears ever the notes that or ever they swell subside,

Sees ever the light that lights not the loud world's tide,

Clasps ever the cause of the lifelong scheme's control

Wherethrough we pursue, till the waters of life be dried, [goal.

The goal that is not, and ever again the

Friend, what have we sought or seek we, whate'er betide,

Though the seaboard shift its mark from afar descried,

But aims whence ever anew shall arise the soul?

Love, thought, song, life, but show for a glimpse and hide

The goal that is not, and ever again the goal. 1884.


SEAWARD goes the sun, and homeward by the down

We, before the night upon his grave be


Low behind us lies the bright steep murmuring town,

High before us heaves the steep rough silent field.

Breach by ghastlier breach, the cliffs collapsing yield:

Half the path is broken, half the banks divide;

Flawed and crumbled, riven and rent, they cleave and slide

Toward the ridged and wrinkled waste of girdling sand

Deep beneath, whose furrows tell how far and wide

Wind is lord and change is sovereign of the strand.

Star by star on the unsunned waters twiring down,

Golden spear-points glance against a silver shield.

Over banks and bents, across the headland's crown,

As by pulse of gradual plumes through twilight wheeled,

Soft as sleep, the waking wind awakes the weald.

Moor and copse and fallow, near or far descried,

Feel the mild wings move, and gladden where they glide:

Silence uttering love that all things un


Bids the quiet fields forget that hard beside

Wind is lord and change is sovereign of

the strand.

Yet may sight, ere all the hoar soft shade grow brown, Hardly reckon half the rifts and rents unhealed

Where the scarred

cliffs downward sundering drive and drown, Hewn as if with stroke of swords in tempest steeled,

Wielded as the night's will and the wind's may wield.

Crowned and zoned in vain with flowers of autumn-tide,

Life and love seek harborage on the landward side;

Wind is lord and change is sovereign of the strand.

Friend, though man be less than these, for all his pride,

Yet, for all his weakness, shall not hope abide?

Wind and change can wreck but life and waste but land:

Truth and trust are sure, though here till all subside

Wind is lord and change is sovereign of the strand. 1884.


THE sea is awake, and the sound of the song of the joy of her waking is rolled From afar to the star that recedes, from anear to the wastes of the wild wide shore.

Her call is a trumpet compelling us homeward: if dawn in her east be acold,

From the sea shall we crave not her grace to rekindle the life that it kindled before,

Her breath to requicken, her bosom to rock us, her kisses to bless as of yore? For the wind, with his wings half open, at pause in the sky, neither fettered nor free,

Leans waveward and flutters the ripple to laughter and fain would the twain of us be


Where lightly the wave yearns forward from under the curve of the deep dawn's dome,

And, full of the morning and fired with the pride of the glory thereof and the glee,

Strike out from the shore as the heart in us bids and beseeches, athirst for the foam.

Life holds not an hour that is better to live in the past is a tale that is told, The future a sun-flecked shadow, alive and asleep, with a blessing in store. As we give us again to the waters, the rapture of limbs that the waters enfold

Is less than the rapture of spirit whereby, though the burden it quits were sore, Our souls and the bodies they wield at their will are absorbed in the life they adore

In the life that endures no burden, and bows not the forehead, and bends not the knee

In the life everlasting of earth and of heaven, in the laws that atone and agree,

In the measureless music of things, in the fervor of forces that rest or that roam, That cross and return and reissue, as I after you and as you after me Strike out from the shore as the heart in us bids and beseeches, athirst for the foam.

For, albeit he were less than the least of them, haply the heart of a man may be bold

To rejoice in the word of the sea, as a mother's that saith to the son she bore, "Child, was not the life in thee mine, and my spirit the breath in thy lips from of old?

Have I let not thy weakness exult in my strength, and thy foolishness learn of my lore?

Have I helped not or healed not thine anguish, or made not the might of thy gladness more?"

And surely his heart should answer, "The light of the love of my life is in thee." She is fairer than earth, and the sun is not

fairer, the wind is not blither than she : From my youth hath she shown me the joy of her bays that I crossed, of her cliffs that I clomb,

Till now that the twain of us here, in desire of the dawn and in trust of the sea,

Strike out from the shore as the heart in us bids and beseeches, athirst for the foam.

Friend, earth is a harbor of refuge for winter, a covert whereunder to flee When day is the vassal of night, and the strength of the hosts of her mightier than he;

But here is the presence adored of me, here my desire is at rest and at home. There are cliffs to be climbed upon land,

there are ways to be trodden aud ridden but we

Strike out from the shore as the heart in us bids and beseeches, athirst for the foam. 1884.

THE SUNBOWS SPRAY of song that springs in April, light of love that laughs through May, Live and die and live for ever: nought of all things far less fair

Keeps a surer life than these that seem to pass like fire away.

In the souls they live which are but all the brighter that they were; In the hearts that kindle, thinking what delight of old was there.

Wind that shapes and lifts and shifts them bids perpetual memory play Over dreams and in and out of deeds and thoughts which seem to wear Light that leaps and runs and revels through the springing flames of spray.

Dawn is wild upon the waters where we drink of dawn to-day:

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