Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, TOWARDS DEMOCRACY: PART 2. THESE WAVES OF YOUR GREAT HEART, by EDWARD CARPENTER



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TOWARDS DEMOCRACY: PART 2. THESE WAVES OF YOUR GREAT HEART, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: You battling with your own heart, speaking the words of peace in vain
Last Line: At your feet now mournfully breaking.
Subject(s): Children; Hearts; Mourning; Childhood; Bereavement


YOU battling with your own heart, speaking the words of peace in
vain,—

The convulsive waves heave and break, do they not?
They go moaning down the dark shore, bitterly, unabating,
Heavily with weary thud falling falling—into the darkness falling.

O heart!
This is the ocean that is broken (on its surface) with measureless
never-ending unrest.
O heart!
This is the wide and immense ocean: over which who shall sail?
O child!
You that shiver there in the night-wind by the dread white-lipped shore!
Do you guess how wide this Ocean is?
Do you know how it rolls its waters away beyond the farthest horizon that
you have imagined?
Afar, afar—spreading blue beneath the sun by coasts of calm and tropic
beauty, by coasts of tumbling laughing beauty, by bays and bars and river-narrow
straits?—
This ocean of the heart?—
Afar, afar—or bearing on its breast the great white-sailed ships of
the earth, or the broad disc of the moon, or the images of men's homes in
unimagined lands?

Thought you, frail phantom roaming by the shore,
Gazing wide into the night—a stranger where you had fancied yourself
most at home—
Thought you that this great Ocean was to be like an ornamental water in
your garden?
Thought you that you knew whence these convulsive waves?—the winds
that stirred them, the deeps where they were born?
Think you they weep your sorrows alone, or shake the ground only under your
feet?
Not so! not so!
But ever flowing from afar,
From the immeasurable past, from the illimitable shores of human life for
ever flowing—on its margin passionately breaking,
With strange uncipherable meanings, whose words are the myriad years,
With speechless terror and amazement to the children beside it,
With amazement of expanded identity, and the inflow of immortal
swift-riding purposes, incontrollable, leading straight to death,
In living procession out of the deep—O child! to you they come,
These waves of your great heart, rolling flowing without end:
Through long long ages, under storm and sunshine, by day and night, in
indomitable splendor rolling,
At your feet now mournfully breaking.





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