Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, SUTHERLAND'S GRAVE, by HENRY CLARENCE KENDALL



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SUTHERLAND'S GRAVE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: All night long the sea out yonder - all night long the wailful sea
Last Line: In the leaves above the sailor buried ninety years ago.
Subject(s): Graves; Sailing & Sailors; Sutherland, Forby (D. 1770); Tombs; Tombstones; Seamen; Sails


All night long the sea out yonder -- all night long the wailful sea,
Vext of winds and many thunders, seeketh rest unceasingly!
Seeketh rest in dens of tempest, where, like one distraught with pain,
Shouts the wild-eyed sprite, Confusion -- seeketh rest, and
moans in vain:
Ah! but you should hear it calling, calling when the haggard sky
Takes the darks and damps of Winter with the mournful
marsh-fowl's cry;
Even while the strong, swift torrents from the rainy ridges come
Leaping down and breaking backwards -- million-coloured
shapes of foam!
Then, and then, the sea out yonder chiefly looketh for the boon
Portioned to the pleasant valleys and the grave sweet summer moon:
Boon of Peace, the still, the saintly spirit of the dew-dells deep --
Yellow dells and hollows haunted by the soft, dim dreams of sleep.

All night long the flying water breaks upon the stubborn rocks --
Ooze-filled forelands burnt and blackened, smit and scarred
with lightning shocks;
But above the tender sea-thrift, but beyond the flowering fern,
Runs a little pathway westward -- pathway quaint with turn on turn --
Westward trending, thus it leads to shelving shores and
slopes of mist:
Sleeping shores, and glassy bays of green and gold and amethyst!
There tread gently -- gently, pilgrim; there with
thoughtful eyes look round;
Cross thy breast and bless the silence: lo, the place is holy ground!
Holy ground for ever, stranger! All the quiet silver lights
Dropping from the starry heavens through the soft Australian nights --
Dropping on those lone grave-grasses -- come serene, unbroken, clear,
Like the love of God the Father, falling, falling, year by year!
Yea, and like a Voice supernal, there the daily wind doth blow
In the leaves above the sailor buried ninety years ago.







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