Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, BY THE SEA-SHORE, by JOHN WHITE CHADWICK

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BY THE SEA-SHORE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: The curved strand / of cool, gray sand
Last Line: That one such day has ever been.
Subject(s): Marblehead, Massachusetts; Seashore; Beach; Coast; Shore

THE curved strand
Of cool, gray sand
Lies like a sickle by the sea;
The tide is low,
But soft and slow
Is creeping higher up the lea.

The beach-birds fleet,
With twinkling feet,
Hurry and scurry to and fro,
And sip, and chat
Of this and that
Which you and I may never know.

The runlets gay,
That haste away
To meet each snowy-bosomed crest,
Enrich the shore
With fleeting store
Of art-defying arabesque.

Each higher wave
Doth touch and lave
A million pebbles smooth and bright;
Straightway they grow
A beauteous show,
With hues unknown before bedight.

High up the beach,
Far out of reach
Of common tides that ebb and flow,
The drift-wood's heap
Doth record keep
Of storms that perished long ago.

Nor storms alone:
I hear the moan
Of voices choked by dashing brine,
When sunken rock
Or tempest shock
Crushed the good vessel's oaken spine.

Where ends the beach,
The cliffs upreach
Their lichen-wrinkled foreheads old;
And here I rest,
While all the west
Grows brighter with the sunset's gold.

Far out at sea,
The ships that flee
Along the dim horizon's line
Their sails unfold
Like cloth of gold,
Transfigured by that light divine.

A calm more deep,
As 't were asleep,
Upon the weary ocean falls;
So low it sighs,
Its murmur dies,
While shrill the boding cricket calls.

O peace and rest!
Upon the breast
Of God himself I seem to lean,
No break, no bar
Of sun or star:
Just God and I, with naught between.

Oh, when some day
In vain I pray
For days like this to come again,
I shall rejoice
With heart and voice
That one such day has ever been.

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