Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, CLIFFS, by WINIFRED WELLES



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CLIFFS, by            
First Line: I took my longing up a cliff
Last Line: While there are cliffs to leap.
Alternate Author Name(s): Shearer, Harold H., Mrs.


I took my longing up a cliff,
All alone, I looked on the sea --
The surf, spread out like fans of lace
Rustled a soft sound up to me,
A gentle sound like sliding beads,
And wind hummed over the weeds.

Long and long ago a cliff
Lovers out of luck would leap,
And fall to cool their hearts like stones,
Or break like waves and fall asleep.
The sea now is the same, I knew,
And any cliff, I thought, would do.

I laid down my frock and frills,
I took gold pins from my hair,
And tip-toed to the tasselled edge,
Whispering a prayer,
That nothing else of me but foam
Should remain to carry home.

I was a curve of flame in the air!
I was a coal that scorched the sea!
The spray went up in a steamy cloud,
High and hissing over me,
And my body slid out of the blue,
Polished and clean and new.

I shook the bitterness from my eyes,
I laughed that I was alive!
So now I know I can dare to love
As long as I love to dive
And I am not the one to weep,
While there are cliffs to leap.





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