Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, SEADRIFT, by THOMAS BAILEY ALDRICH

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SEADRIFT, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: See where she stands, on the wet sea-sands
Last Line: What if it were her lover?
Subject(s): Sea; Ocean

SEE where she stands, on the wet sea-sands,
Looking across the water:
Wild is the night, but wilder still
The face of the fisher's daughter.

What does she there, in the lightning's glare,
What does she there, I wonder?
What dread demon drags her forth
In the night and wind and thunder?

Is it the ghost that haunts this coast?--
The cruel waves mount higher,
And the beacon pierces the stormy dark
With its javelin of fire.

Beyond the light of the beacon bright
A merchantman is tacking;
The hoarse wind whistling through the shrouds,
And the brittle topmasts cracking.

The sea it moans over dead men's bones,
The sea it foams in anger;
The curlews swoop through the resonant air
With a warning cry of danger.

The star-fish clings to the sea-weed's rings
In a vague, dumb sense of peril;
And the spray, with its phantom-fingers, grasps
At the mullein dry and sterile.

O, who is she that stands by the sea,
In the lightning's glare, undaunted?--
Seems this now like the coast of hell
By one white spirit haunted!

The night drags by; and the breakers die
Along the ragged ledges;
The robin stirs in his drenched nest,
The hawthorn blooms on the hedges.

In shimmering lines, through the dripping pines,
The stealthy morn advances;
And the heavy sea-fog straggles back
Before those bristling lances.

Still she stands on the wet sea-sands;
The morning breaks above her,
And the corpse of a sailor gleams on the rocks--
What if it were her lover?

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