Nonfiction > E.C. Stedman & E.M. Hutchinson, eds. > A Library of American Literature > 1821–1834
Stedman and Hutchinson, comps.  A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes.  1891.
Vol. V: Literature of the Republic, Part II., 1821–1834
A Name in the Sand
By Hannah Flagg Gould (1789–1865)
[Born in Lancaster, Mass., 1789. Died at Newburyport, Mass., 1865.]

ALONE I walked the ocean strand;
A pearly shell was in my hand:
I stooped and wrote upon the sand
  My name—the year—the day.
As onward from the spot I passed,        5
One lingering look behind I cast;
A wave came rolling high and fast,
  And washed my lines away.
And so, methought, ’twill shortly be
With every mark on earth from me:        10
A wave of dark oblivion’s sea
  Will sweep across the place
Where I have trod the sandy shore
Of time, and been, to be no more,
Of me—my day—the name I bore,        15
  To leave nor track nor trace.
And yet, with Him who counts the sands
And holds the waters in his hands,
I know a lasting record stands
  Inscribed against my name,        20
Of all this mortal part has wrought,
Of all this thinking soul has thought,
And from these fleeting moments caught
  For glory or for shame.

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