Verse > Anthologies > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. > Poems of Places > America
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed.  Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
America: Vols. XXV–XXIX.  1876–79.
New England: Marblehead, Mass.
By the Sea-shore
John White Chadwick (1840–1904)
      THE CURVÉD strand
      Of cool, gray sand
Lies like a sickle by the sea;
      The tide is low,
      But soft and slow        5
Is creeping higher up the lea.
      The beach-birds fleet,
      With twinkling feet,
Hurry and scurry to and fro,
      And sip, and chat        10
      Of this and that
Which you and I may never know.
      The runlets gay,
      That haste away
To meet each snowy-bosomed crest,        15
      Enrich the shore
      With fleeting store
Of art-defying arabesque.
      Each higher wave
      Doth touch and lave        20
A million pebbles smooth and bright;
      Straightway they grow
      A beauteous show,
With hues unknown before bedight.
      High up the beach,        25
      Far out of reach
Of common tides that ebb and flow,
      The drift-wood’s heap
      Doth record keep
Of storms that perished long ago.        30
      Nor storms alone:
      I hear the moan
Of voices choked by dashing brine,
      When sunken rock
      Or tempest shock        35
Crushed the good vessel’s oaken spine.
      Where ends the beach,
      The cliffs upreach
Their lichen-wrinkled foreheads old;
      And here I rest,        40
      While all the west
Grows brighter with the sunset’s gold.
      Far out at sea,
      The ships that flee
Along the dim horizon’s line        45
      Their sails unfold
      Like cloth of gold,
Transfigured by that light divine.
      A calm more deep,
      As ’t were asleep,        50
Upon the weary ocean falls;
      So low it sighs,
      Its murmur dies,
While shrill the boding cricket calls.
      O peace and rest!        55
      Upon the breast
Of God himself I seem to lean,
      No break, no bar
      Of sun or star:
Just God and I, with naught between.        60
      Oh, when some day
      In vain I pray
For days like this to come again,
      I shall rejoice
      With heart and voice        65
That one such day has ever been.

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