Verse > Anthologies > Hunt and Lee, eds. > The Book of the Sonnet
Hunt and Lee, comps.  The Book of the Sonnet.  1867.
IV. “The years, swift waves upon the sea of Time”
By John R. Tait (1834–1909)
THE YEARS, swift waves upon the sea of Time,
  Melt into foam behind me; a lone bark,
  My soul leaps fearless in the future dark,
Love the sweet impulse, Fame the goal sublime.
The summer seas of Youth are passed, and now        5
  The future of uncertain joy or wreck
  Can fright not Hope, the emperor of the deck,
Who holds the helm, with Prudence at the prow.
And yet to-night with Memory I stand,
  Like an unwilling passenger, and gaze        10
With heart-sick longings at my native land,
  And count the billows of long-vanished days,
  The fading path with spectral fires ablaze,—
The Past’s dread history traced in God’s own hand.

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