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WHEN descends on the Atlantic

The gigantic Storm-wind of the equinox, Landward in his wrath he scourges

The toiling surges, Laden with seaweed from the rocks :

From Bermuda's reefs; from edges

Of sunken ledges,
In some far-off bright Azore;
From Bahama, and the dashing,

Surges of San Salvador ;

From the tumbling surf, that buries

The Orkneyan skerries,
Answering the hoarse Hebrides ;
And from wrecks of ships, and drifting

spars, uplifting
On the desolate, rainy seas ;


Ever drifting, drifting, drifting

On the shifting
Currents of the restless main;
Till in sheltered coves, and reaches

Of sandy beaches,
All have found repose again.


So when storms of wild emotion

Strike the ocean
Of the poet's soul, ere long
From each cave and rocky fastness,

In its vastness,
Floats some fragment of a song:

From the far-off isles enchanted,

Heaven has planted
With the golden fruit of Truth;
From the flashing surf, whose vision

Gleams Elysian
In the tropic clime of youth ;

From the strong will, and the endeavour

That forever Wrestles with the tides of Fate; From the wreck of Hopes far-scattered,

Tempest-shattered, Floating waste and desolate;

Ever drifting, drifting, drifting

On the shifting
Currents of the restless heart;
Till at length in books recorded,

They, like hoarded
Household words, no more depart.


The day is done, and the darkness

Fall from the wings of night, As a feather is wafted downward

From an eagle in his flight.

I see the lights of the village

Gleam through the rain and the mist, And a feeling of sadness comes o'er me,

That my soul cannot resist :

A feeling of sadness and longing,

That is not akin to pain, And resembles sorrow only

As the mist resembles rain.

Come, read to me some poem,

Some simple and heartfelt lay, That shall soothe this restless feeling

And banish the thoughts of day.

Not from the grand old masters

Not from the bards sublime, Whose distant footsteps echo

Through the corridors of time.

For, like strains of martial music,

Their mighty thoughts suggest Life's endless toil and endeavour ;

And to-night I long for rest.

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