Verse > Anthologies > William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. > Anthology of Massachusetts Poets
William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. (1878–1962).  Anthology of Massachusetts Poets.  1922.
The Song of the Wave
George Cabot Lodge

THIS is the song of the wave! The mighty one!
Child of the soul of silence, beating the air to sound:
White as a live terror, as a drawn sword,
      This is the wave.

This is the song of the wave, the white-maned steed of the Tempest
Whose veins are swollen with life,
In whose flanks abide the four winds.
      This is the wave.

This is the song of the wave! The dawn leaped out of the sea
And the waters lay smooth as a silver shield,        10
And the sun-rays smote on the waters like a golden sword.
Then a wind blew out of the morning
      And the waters rustled
        And the wave was born!

This is the song of the wave! The wind blew out of the noon,
And the white sea-birds like driven foam
Winged in from the ocean that lay beyond the sky
And the face of the waters was barred with white,
      For the wave had many brothers,
        And the wave was strong!        20

This is the song of the wave! The wind blew out of the sunset
And the west was lurid as Hell.
The black clouds closed like a tomb, for the sun was dead.
Then the wind smote full as the breath of God,
      And the wave called to its brothers,        25
        “This is the crest of life!”

This is the song of the wave, that rises to fall,
Rises a sheer green wall like a barrier of glass
That has caught the soul of the moonlight.
Caught and prisoned the moon-beams;        30
      Its edge is frittered to foam.
        This is the wave!

This is the song of the wave, of the wave that falls—
Wild as a burst of day-gold blown through the colours of morning
It shivers to infinite atoms up the rumbling steep of sand.        35
      This is the wave.

This is the song of the wave that died in the fullness of life.
The prodigal this, that lavished its largess of strength
      In the lust of attainment.
Aiming at things for Heaven too high,        40
Sure in the pride of life, in the richness of strength.
So tried it the impossible height, till the end was found:
Where ends the soul that yearns for the fillet of morning stars,
The soul in the toils of the journeying worlds,
Whose eye is filled with the Image of God,        45
      And the end is Death!


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