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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

THE SEASIDE WELL, by                    
First Line: One day I wandered where the salt sea-tide
Last Line: And life rise sparkling in the sight of god / an endless day
Subject(s): Faith;worship; Belief;creed


ONE day I wandered where the salt sea-tide
Backward had drawn its wave,
And found a spring as sweet as e'er hillside
To wild-flowers gave.
Freshly it sparkled in the sun's bright look,
And mid its pebbles strayed,
As if it thought to join a happy brook
In some green glade.

But soon the heavy sea's resistless swell
Came rolling in once more,
Spreading its bitter o'er the clear sweet well
And pebbled shore.
Like a fair star thick buried in a cloud,
Or life in the grave's gloom,
The well, enwrapped in a deep watery shroud,
Sunk to its tomb.

As one who by the beach roams far and wide
Remnant of wreck to save,
Again I wandered when the salt sea-tide
Withdrew its wave;
And there, unchanged, no taint in all its sweet,
No anger in its tone,
Still as it thought some happy brook to meet
The spring flowed on.

While waves of bitterness rolled o'er its head,
Its heart had folded deep
Within itself, and quiet fancies led,
As in a sleep;
Till, when the ocean loosed his heavy chains
And gave it back to day,
Calmy it turned to its own life again
And gentle way.

Happy, I thought, that which can draw its life
Deep from the nether springs,
Safe 'neath the pressure, tranquil mid the strife,
Of surface things.
Safe -- for the sources of the nether springs
Up in the far hills lie;
Calm -- for the life its power and fleshness brings
Down from the sky.

So, should temptations threaten, and should sin
Roll in its whelmy flood,
Make strong the fountain of thy grace within
My soul, O God!
If bitter scorn, and looks, once kind, grown strange,
With crushing chillness fall
From secret wells let sweetness rise, nor change
My heart to gall!

When sore thy hand doth press, and waves of thine
Afflict me like a sea, --
Deep calling deep, -- infuse from source divine
Thy peace in me!
And when death's tide, as with a brimful cup,
Over my soul doth pour,
Let hope survive, -- a well that springeth up
Forevermore!

Above my head the waves may come and go,
Long brood the deluge dire,
But life lies hidden in the depths below
Till waves retire, --
Till death, that reigns with overflowing flood,
At length withdraw its sway,
And life rise sparkling in the sight of God
An endless day.




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