Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, SEA RHAPSODY, by RICHARD EUGENE BURTON



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SEA RHAPSODY, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: By day, the tremble of the boat
Last Line: Restless, that yet bring rest.
Subject(s): Boats; Dreams; Earth; Sailing & Sailors; Sea; Sleep; Youth; Nightmares; World; Seamen; Sails; Ocean


I

BY day, the tremble of the boat,
As the engine throbs like a human heart;
The tang of the untainted air, salt, free,
Roaming long leagues of brine;

The tidal lift and the slow swing, now the craft buries her nose in the billows;
The sky of central blue, tapering down to misty opal at the sea line,
And all around, the unsteady sapphire of the ocean.

II

At night, snug in the cabin, cheerful with lamps,
With food and drink and the talk of cronies;
Hard by, the friendly lights of the ships;
Far above, aloof, the homeless flicker of stars
In their high, impenetrable places.

III

Then, sleep, midst the rock of the waves,
To dream of dear ones distant on land,
With a sense of lesion from all the ways of earth,
A return to savage, sane realities:
The tameless revels of strange, marine creatures;
The hoarse voices of winds and waters,
The hidden treasures of the deep,
Wide-scattered, inestimable, not to be named.
The face of tan, the boy's heart,
The lost yet inextinguishable gust of youth, exultant once more.

IV

Old Earth, the mother, sends forth her sons
To adventure with the ancient, hoar, gammer sea;
Ever hereafter, as they come back and walk
The dusty, fevered streets, and bargain in the marts,
And sicken with heat and the sight of men,
Will they carry at heart a cool, quieting thought,
And yearn betimes for the ocean's open roads,
For the rigors and raptures of the sailor life,
The footless trail, the horizon's lovely lure, the sting and lull
Of elemental water wastes,
Restless, that yet bring rest.





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