Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, TOWARDS DEMOCRACY: PART 2. O SEA, by EDWARD CARPENTER



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TOWARDS DEMOCRACY: PART 2. O SEA, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: O sea, with white lines of foam caught by the winter sun
Last Line: That listen let your strange vocabulary continue.
Subject(s): Old Age; Travel; Journeys; Trips


O SEA, with white lines of foam caught by the winter sun,
O pale blue transparent sky with wind, long stretches of coast
faint-outlined, and waving grasses!
How often to seek you, out of the pent life of custom and brick
perspective, a boy I came,
Filled with vague desires, hardly knowing what or wherefore—like
thine, O restless sea and ceaseless blowing wind—
Came to pour forth my soul to yours, ye beautiful creatures—sad, sad,
longing yearning without end!

Say, great sea—whose music continues to-day the same as then; O
wonderful illimitable sky, the same; O grasses shivering just for all the world
as now—
Say, have you not given me, by strange ways, the thing that I sought?
For now returning,
Satisfied, filled to the full of all desires, grateful as a lake sparkling
in the sunshine,
Filled to the full, desiring yearning no more—faint only with joy and
the fragrance of the love which distils from you—
Upon you I look once more.

Changed are your words; changed are your words O grasses and pale blue
flowing winds, and yours ye streets and faces that pass along them!
Changed are your words to me.
I heard you—but it was as one that hears an unknown tongue; I thought
I saw you, but I see that you deceived me.
And now I do not know why I should ever make another move—what you say
has entirely checkmated me.
But to those that go forward, go ye ever forward before them; and to them
that listen let your strange vocabulary continue.





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