The Atlantic Monthly/Volume 17/Number 101/In the Sea

Featured in Volume 17, Number 101 of The Atlantic Monthly. (March 1866)


THE salt wind blows upon my cheek,
As it blew a year ago,
When twenty boats were crushed among
The rocks of Norman's Woe.
'T was dark then; 't is light now,
And the sails are leaning low.

In dreams, I pull the sea-weed o'er,
And find a face not his,
And hope another tide will be
More pitying than this:
The wind turns, the tide turns,—
They take what hope there is.

My life goes on as thine would go,
With all its sweetness spilled:
My God, why should one heart of two
Beat on, when one is stilled?
Through heart-wreck, or home-wreck,
Thy happy sparrows build.

Though boats go down, men build anew,
Whatever winds may blow;
If blight be in the wheat one year,
We trust again and sow,
Though grief comes, and changes
The sunshine into snow.

Some have their dead, where, sweet and soon,
The summers bloom and go:
The sea withholds my dead,—I walk
The bar when tides are low,
And wonder the grave-grass
Can have the heart to grow!

Flow on, O unconsenting sea,
And keep my dead below;
Though night—O utter night!—my soul,
Delude thee long, I know,
Or Life comes or Death comes,
God leads the eternal flow.

This work was published before January 1, 1928, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.

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