Robert Louis Stevenson > A Child’s Garden of Verses and Underwoods > X. To N. V. De G. S.
Stevenson, Robert Louis (1850–1894).  A Child’s Garden of Verses and Underwoods.  1913.
X. To N. V. De G. S.

THE UNFATHOMABLE sea, and time, and tears, 
The deeds of heroes and the crimes of kings 
Dispart us; and the river of events 
Has, for an age of years, to east and west 
More widely borne our cradles. Thou to me         5
Art foreign, as when seamen at the dawn 
Descry a land far off and know not which. 
So I approach uncertain; so I cruise 
Round thy mysterious islet, and behold 
Surf and great mountains and loud river-bars,  10
And from the shore hear inland voices call. 
Strange is the seaman’s heart; he hopes, he fears; 
Draws closer and sweeps wider from that coast; 
Last, his rent sail refits, and to the deep 
His shattered prow uncomforted puts back.  15
Yet as he goes he ponders at the helm 
Of that bright island; where he feared to touch, 
His spirit readventures; and for years, 
Where by his wife he slumbers safe at home, 
Thoughts of that land revisit him; he sees  20
The eternal mountains beckon, and awakes 
Yearning for that far home that might have been. 



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