Down by the Shore in December

THEY come and go ; their shadows pass
Beyond the bound where blue and brine
Kiss, and the orient clouds amass
White piles above the horizon’s line.
Some of yon vessels will return,
And some shall never touch their port !
Full many hearts that in them burn
Will find life’s voyage all too short.
Inconstant Ocean ! who const look
So calm, with murder in thy frown,
For whom those meadows I forsook,
And all the allurements of the town,
I did not feel till here I dwelt
How terrible the mighty main,
Nor think how bright Orion’s belt
Gleams nightly on thy drowned and slain.
O give me back my Wayland meads,
Where Sudbury’s loitering eddies glide,
And one long line of lilies leads
My skiff to Concord’s harmless tide !
There let me with protecting woods
Shield my reposing age, afar
From the wild fury of the Hoods
To watch in peace that evening star.
Thomas William Parsons.