Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, A SEA-SIDE IDYL, by ELIZABETH DREW (BARSTOW) STODDARD

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

A SEA-SIDE IDYL, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: I wandered to the shore, nor knew I then
Last Line: "farewell! Dull sands, and rocks, and sedge, farewell."
Alternate Author Name(s): Stoddard, Richard, Mrs.
Subject(s): Mattapoisett, Massachusetts; Seashore; Beach; Coast; Shore

I WANDERED to the shore, nor knew I then
What my desire, -- whether for wild lament,
Or sweet regret, to fill the idle pause
Of twilight, melancholy in my house,
And watch the flowing tide, the passing sails;
Or to implore the air and sea and sky
For that eternal passion in their power
Which souls like mine who ponder on their fate
May feel, and be as they, -- gods to themselves.
Thither I went, whatever was my mood.
The sands, the rocks, the beds of sedge, and waves.
Impelled to leave soft foam, compelled away, --
I saw alone. Between the east and west,
Along the beach no creature moved besides.
High on the eastern point a lighthouse shone;
Steered by its lamp a ship stood out to sea,
And vanished from its rays towards the deep,
While in the west, above a wooded isle,
An island-cloud hung in the emerald sky,
Hiding pale Venus in its sombre shade.
I wandered up and down the sands, I loitered
Among the rocks, and trampled through the sedge;
But I grew weary of the stocks and stones.
"I will go hence," I thought; "the Elements
Have lost their charm; my soul is dead to-night.
O passive, creeping Sea, and stagnant Air,
Farewell! dull sands, and rocks, and sedge, farewell."

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