Verse > Anthologies > Harriet Monroe, ed. > Poetry: A Magazine of Verse, 1912–22
Harriet Monroe, ed. (1860–1936).  Poetry: A Magazine of Verse.  1912–22.
Sitting Blind by the Sea
By Ruth McEnery Stuart
OH, sing me a song of the sea, my son—
    Oh, sing me a song of the sea!
For my eyes they are blind and I peer in the dark,
But my man’s heart leaps when the sea-dogs bark;
Can thy young eyes follow the yelping pack?        5
Wild, bounding streaks of yellow and black,
Do they track over meadows of seething foam?
And will they be fetching the white gulls home?
    Perhaps they’ll retrieve one to me—
    To me, sitting blind by the sea.        10
To me in my door by the sea, sitting blind,
    To me, sitting blind in my door,
Days be when a battle is raging afar,
And the tramp of the cavalry crossing the bar
Comes nearer and clearer with many a gun,        15
So plain to my ears while I sit in the sun
That I’m sure there’ll be many a rainbow at play
In and out of the manes and the tails of the spray,
    As the chargers plunge down in the roar
    To me, sitting blind in my door.        20
To me, sitting blind in the night by the sea,
    Sitting blind by the sea in the night,
Times be when she purrs, a gray cat, at my knee—
Oh, the glow on the hearth and the mother and thee!
’Twas a hitch in her rocker that memory kept,        25
And I’d know when it eased that our wee laddie slept.
The sea has it all, to the creak in her chair,
And I, peering blind, see the glint in her hair;
    And it floods my lone soul with delight,
    Sitting dark in my door in the night.        30
To me, sitting dark by the sea in my door,
    To me, by the sea sitting blind,
Rare times comes a silence as still as a cave,
And I know ’tis His night when He walks on the wave;
And, “strong in the faith,” with my feet on the land,        35
My soul speeds beside Him. I’d strive for His hand
To lay on my eyes, but ah! ever before
I reach Him, He’s gone—and I back in my door,
    All alone, by a whiff of the wind,
    In my door by the sea, sitting blind.        40
Still it’s sing me a song of the sea, my son—
    Oh, sing me a song of the sea!
And sorrow’s slow leaven I’ll nurse nevermore,
For the soul of the sea signals mine on the shore,
Deep calling to deep, high answering high,        45
Till my bosom seems gemmed with the stars of the sky;
And when the moon nestles, a pearl on my vest,
I feel her white soul come again to my breast;
    And with this, lad—the mother—and thee,
    Are we lonely or blind by the sea?        50

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