Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, SUNKEN TREASURES, by BAYARD TAYLOR

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

SUNKEN TREASURES, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: When the uneasy waves of life subside
Last Line: And bring a single jewel from its breast.
Alternate Author Name(s): Taylor, James Bayard
Subject(s): Fate; Life; Tears; Treasures; Destiny

WHEN the uneasy waves of life sub side,
And the soothed ocean sleeps in glassy rest,
I see, submerged beyond or storm or tide,
The treasures gathered in its greedy breast.

There still they shine, through the translucent Past,
Far down on that forever quiet floor;
No fierce upheaval of the deep shall cast
Them back, -- no wave shall wash them to the shore.

I see them gleaming, beautiful as when
Erewhile they floated, convoys of my fate;
The barks of lovely women, noble men,
Full-sailed with hope, and stored with
Love's own freight.

The sunken ventures of my heart as well,
Look up to me, as perfect as at dawn;
My golden palace heaves beneath the swell
To meet my touch, and is again withdrawn.

There sleep the early triumphs, cheaply won,
That led Ambition to his utmost verge,
And still his visions, like a drowning sun,
Send up receding splendors through the surge.

There wait the recognitions, the quick ties,
Whence the heart knows its kin, wherever cast;
And there the partings, when the wistful eyes
Caress each other as they look their last.

There lie the summer eves, delicious eves,
The soft green valleys drenched with light divine,
The lisping murmurs of the chestnut leaves,
The hand that lay, the eyes that looked in mine.

There lives the hour of fear and rapture yet,
The perilled climax of the passionate years;
There still the rains of wan December wet
A naked mound, -- I cannot see for tears!

There are they all: they do not fade or waste,
Lapped in the arms of the embalming brine;
More fair than when their beings mine embraced, --
Of nobler aspect, beauty more divine.

I see them all, but stretch my hands in vain;
No deep-sea plummet reaches where they rest;
No cunning diver shall descend the main,
And bring a single jewel from its breast.

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