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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
Afloat and Ashore
By Sydney Dobell (1824–1874)
 
“TUMBLE and rumble, and grumble and snort,
    Like a whale to starboard, a whale to port;
    Tumble and rumble, and grumble and snort,
And the steamer steams thro’ the sea, love!”
 
      “I see the ship on the sea, love;        5
              I stand alone
                On this rock;
          The sea does not shock
            The stone;
    The waters around it are swirled,        10
          But under my feet
          I feel it go down
      To where the hemispheres meet
    At the adamant heart of the world.
      Oh that the rock would move!        15
      Oh that the rock would roll
    To meet thee over the sea, love!
          Surely my mighty love
      Should fill it like a soul,
    And it should bear me to thee, love;        20
      Like a ship on the sea, love,
    Bear me, bear me, to thee, love!”
 
“Guns are thundering, seas are sundering, crowds are wondering,
            Low on our lee, love.
Over and over the cannon-clouds cover brother and lover, but over and over        25
          The whirl-wheels trundle the sea, love;
      And on through the loud pealing pomp of her cloud
          The great ship is going to thee, love,
      Blind to her mark, like a world through the dark,
      Thundering, sundering, to the crowds wondering,        30
          Thundering over to thee, love.”
 
      “I have come down to thee coming to me, love;
                I stand, I stand
                On the solid sand;
          I see thee coming to me, love;        35
          The sea runs up to me on the sand:
    I start—’tis as if thou hadst stretched thine hand
          And touched me through the sea, love.
        I feel as if I must die,
        For there’s something longs to fly,        40
          Fly and fly, to thee, love.
 
        As the blood of the flower ere she blows
            Is beating up to the sun,
        And her roots do hold her down,
        And it blushes and breaks undone        45
                  In a rose,
        So my blood is beating in me, love!
            I see thee nigh and nigher;
        And my soul leaps up like sudden fire,
              My life’s in the air        50
              To meet thee there,
        To meet thee coming to me, love!
                Over the sea,
                Coming to me,
        Coming, and coming to me, love!”        55
 
      “The boats are lowered: I leap in first,
      Pull, boys, pull! or my heart will burst!
          More! more!—lend me an oar!—
      I’m thro’ the breakers! I’m on the shore!
          I see thee waiting for me, love!”        60
 
              “A sudden storm
                Of sighs and tears,
              A clenching arm,
                A look of years.
          In my bosom a thousand cries,        65
          A flash like light before my eyes,
          And I am lost in thee, love!”
 
 
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