Verse > Anthologies > Walter Murdoch, comp. > The Oxford Book of Australasian Verse
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Walter Murdoch (1874–1970).  The Oxford Book of Australasian Verse.  1918.
 
197. The Open Sea
 
By Dorothea Mackellar
 
 
FROM my window I can see,
Where the sandhills dip,
One far glimpse of open sea.
Just a slender slip
Curving like a crescent moon—        5
Yet a greater prize
Than the harbour garden-fair
Spread beneath my eyes.
 
Just below me swings the bay,
Sings a sunny tune,        10
But my heart is far away
Out beyond the dune;
Clearer far the sea-gulls’ cry
And the breakers’ roar,
Than the little waves beneath        15
Lapping on the shore.
 
For that strip of sapphire sea
Set against the sky
Far horizons means to me—
And the ships go by        20
Framed between the empty sky
And the yellow sands,
While my freed thoughts follow them
Out to other lands.
 
All its changes who can tell?        25
I have seen it shine
Like a jewel polished well,
Hard and clear and fine;
Then soft lilac—and again
On another day        30
Glimpsed it through a veil of rain,
Shifting, drifting grey.
 
When the livid waters flee,
Flinching from the storm,
From my window I can see,        35
Standing safe and warm,
How the white foam tosses high
On the naked shore,
And the breakers’ thunder grows
To a battle-roar…        40
 
Far and far I look—Ten miles?
No, for yesterday
Sure I saw the Blessed Isles
Twenty worlds away.
My blue moon of open sea,        45
Is it little worth?
At the least it gives to me
Keys of all the earth!
 

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