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  The Tide  

 

Landward the tide setteth buoyantly breezily,--
    Landward the waves ripple sparkling and free,--
Ho, the proud ship, like a thing of life, easily,
    Gracefully sweeps o'er the white-crested sea!
In from the far-away lands she is steering now,
    Straight for her anchorage, fearless and free,--
Lo, as I gaze, how she seems to be nearing now,
    Sun-lighted shores, a still haven, and me!

Landward the tide setteth!--mark my proud argosy
    As the breeze flutters her pennons of snow,
Wafting from far the glad mariner's melody
    O'er the blue waters in rhythmical flow!
Tell me, oh, soul of mine, what is the freightage fair
    'Neath her white wings that she beareth to thee?
Treasures of golden ore, gems from Golconda's shore,
    Lo, she is bringing me over, the sea!

Seaward the tide setteth hoarsely and heavily,--
    Seaward the tide setteth steady and stern;--
Oh, my proud ship!--she has missed the still haven! see,
    Baffled and drifting, far out she is borne!--
Far from the shore, and the weak arms that helplessly,
    Wildly, are stretched toward the lessening sail!--
Far, far from shore, and the white hands that hopelessly
    Flutter in vain in the loud shrieking gale!

Seaward the tide setteth--oh my rich argosy,
    Freighted with treasures ungrasped and unwon!--
Oh, the dark rocks!--the dread crash!--the fierce agony!--
    And seaward more madly the tide rushes on!
Gems and red gold won from Earth's richest treasury
    Straw the dark floor of the pitiless sea,
Buried for aye--and my wealth-freighted argosy
    Fades like the mist from the ocean and me!

       - Mrs. J. C. Yule


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