Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE COCOA-TREE, by CHARLES WARREN STODDARD



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THE COCOA-TREE, by            
First Line: Cast on the water by a careless hand
Last Line: Beckoning the tardy ships, the ships that never come!


CAST on the water by a careless hand,
Day after day the winds persuaded me:
Onward I drifted till a coral tree
Stayed me among its branches, where the sand
Gathered about me, and I slowly grew,
Fed by the constant sun and the inconstant dew.

The sea-birds build their nests against my root,
And eye my slender body's horny case.
Widowed within this solitary place
Into the thankless sea I cast my fruit;
Joyless I thrive, for no man may partake
Of all the store I bear and harvest for his sake.

No more I heed the kisses of the morn;
The harsh winds rob me of the life they gave;
I watch my tattered shadow in the wave,
And hourly droop and nod my crest forlorn,
While all my fibres stiffen and grow numb
Beckoning the tardy ships, the ships that never come!





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