Classic and Contemporary Poetry
THE ONSET; A CALIFORNIA BEACH, by JESSIE BELL RITTENHOUSE Poet's Biography
First Line: The wet sands were grey-blue that afternoon
Last Line: Love can defy.
Alternate Author Name(s): Scollard, Clinton, Mrs.
Subject(s): Birds; California; Seashore; Beach; Coast; Shore
The wet sands were grey-blue that afternoon
We stood on the wide dune,
And watched the joyous waves come racing far
And farther up the bar
Until, to each new vantage of the race,
We must give place.
The gulls, a multitude upon the sand,
Seeking the friendly succor of the land,
Retreated at each onset of the wave,
Then moved back, imperturbable and grave,
Till, in a swift accord, they took the sky
With strident cry.
We, on that void immensity of beach,
Turned with our human longing each to each,
Knowing how brief the years that one may cheat
The mounting wave of time that seeks his feet;
Yet, like the sea-bird winging tempests high,
Love can defy.
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