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THE CHURCHYARD ON THE SANDS, by                     Poet's Biography
First Line: My love lies in the gates of foam
Last Line: Until I rest by thee.
Alternate Author Name(s): Lancaster, William P.; Preston, George F.; De Tabley, 3d Baron; De Tabley, Lord
Subject(s): Cemeteries; Love - Loss Of; Graveyards

My love lies in the gates of foam,
The last dear wreck of shore;
The naked sea-marsh binds her home,
The sand her chamber door.
The grey gull flaps the written stones,
The ox-birds chase the tide;
And near that narrow field of bones
Great ships at anchor ride.
Black piers with crust of dripping green,
One foreland, like a hand,
O'er intervals of grass between
Dim lonely dunes of sand.
A church of silent weathered looks,
A breezy reddish tower,
A yard whose mounded resting-nooks
Are tinged with sorrel flower.
In peace the swallow's eggs are laid
Along the belfry walls;
The tempest does not reach her shade,
The rain her silent halls.
But sails are sweet in summer sky,
The lark throws down a lay;
The long salt levels steam and dry,
The cloud-heart melts away.
But patches of the sea-pink shine,
The pied crows poise and come;
The mallow hangs, the bindweeds twine,
Where her sweet lips are dumb.
The passion of the wave is mute;
No sound or ocean shock;
No music save the trilling flute
That marks the curlew flock.
But yonder when the wind is keen,
And rainy air is clear,
The merchant city's spires are seen,
The toil of men grows near.
Along the coast-way grind the wheels
Of endless carts of coal;
And on the sides of giant keels
The shipyard hammers roll.
The world creeps here upon the shout,
And stirs my heart in pain;
The mist descends and blots it out,
And I am strong again.
Strong and alone, my dove, with thee;
And, tho' mine eyes be wet,
There's nothing in the world to me
So dear as my regret.
I would not change my sorrow, sweet,
For others' nuptial hours;
I love the daisies at thy feet
More than their orange flowers.
My hand alone shall tend thy tomb
From leaf-bud to leaf-fall,
And wreathe around each season's bloom
Till autumn ruins all.
Let snowdrops, early in the year,
Droop o'er her silent breast;
And bid the later cowslip rear
The amber of its crest.
Come hither, linnets tufted-red,
Drift by, O wailing tern;
Set pure vale lilies at her head,
At her feet lady-fern.
Grow, samphire, at the tidal brink,
Wave, pansies of the shore,
To whisper how alone I think
Of her for evermore.
Bring blue sea-hollies thorny, keen,
Long lavender in flower;
Grey wormwood like a hoary queen,
Stanch mullein like a tower.
O sea-wall mounded long and low,
Let iron bounds be thine;
Nor let the salt wave overflow
That breast I held divine.
Nor float its sea-weed to her hair,
Nor dim her eyes with sands:
No fluted cockle burrow where
Sleep folds her patient hands.
Tho' thy crest feel the wild sea's breath,
Tho' tide-weight tear thy root,
Oh, guard the treasure house, where Death
Has bound my darling mute.
Tho' cold her pale lips to reward
With Love's own mysteries,
Ah, rob no daisy from her sward,
Rough gale of eastern seas!
Ah, render sere no silken bent,
That by her head-stone waves;
Let noon and golden summer blent
Pervade these ocean graves.
And, ah, dear heart, in thy still nest,
Resign this earth of woes,
Forget the ardours of the west,
Neglect the morning glows.
Sleep, and forget all things but one,
Heard in each wave of sea, --
How lonely all the years will run
Until I rest by thee.

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