Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. V. Nature
Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume V. Nature.  1904.
VI. Animate Nature
The Sandpiper
Celia Laighton Thaxter (1835–1894)
ACROSS the narrow beach we flit,
  One little sandpiper and I;
And fast I gather, bit by bit,
  The scattered driftwood bleached and dry.
The wild waves reach their hands for it,        5
  The wild wind raves, the tide runs high,
As up and down the beach we flit,—
  One little sandpiper and I.
Above our heads the sullen clouds
  Scud black and swift across the sky:        10
Like silent ghosts in misty shrouds
  Stand out the white light-houses high.
Almost as far as eye can reach
  I see the close-reefed vessels fly,
As fast we flit along the beach,—        15
  One little sandpiper and I.
I watch him as he skims along,
  Uttering his sweet and mournful cry;
He starts not at my fitful song,
  Or flash of fluttering drapery;        20
He has no thought of any wrong,
  He scans me with a fearless eye.
Stanch friends are we, well tried and strong,
  The little sandpiper and I.
Comrade, where wilt thou be to-night        25
  When the loosed storm breaks furiously?
My driftwood-fire will burn so bright!
  To what warm shelter canst thou fly?
I do not fear for thee, though wroth
  The tempest rushes through the sky:        30
For are we not God’s children both,
  Thou, little sandpiper, and I?

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