I

BEAT of the tide, beat of the blood,
O life seems good
This bright, windy weather!
The soul laughs and the sea laughs,
Bravely together;
The whole world spreads out vivid, intense—
Clear-cut and a-shine,
Breath of the brine,
Beat of the tide, beat of the blood,
Life is good — good !

II

The wind is like a lapidary
And cuts the sapphire of the sea
Into traceries and flutings
Most curiously.
Wonder-work, his fine strong fretting,
And without a peer,
The great gem beneath it gleaming
Cerulean clear!
Yonder bar of palest beryl
His high skill hath touched and lo!
By a fleck of foam he turns it
Into cameo.

III

A narrow little lane that goes
Unevenly, between two rows
Of humble cottages — all gray
As mosses long and soft, a-sway
In Southern woods, or webs that stir
From rafters old; a tender blur
Of Old Maid’s Pink, and crass, gay green,
Where marsh-grass pricks a path between
The sandy soil; on without bend,
The little road, then at the end—
The sea a-glitter and the sky,
One burning lapis lazuli,
The sand, a haze of amber light,
And one far sail, clear shadeless white!

IV

Dull gray sky, the sand more pallid gray,
White line of the lapping surf and silken swish of the sea;
Gulls plaining sharp, and shadowy slow, slow sail
Gliding in mist away.
Tang of brine and murmur and mystery;
Dreams of the fair lost ships and those that have reached their port;
Of the alien wonders they bring; and rich, haunting, strange,
Myths and songs of the sea.