[from Collected Works, T.E.Brown]
How cold and hungry is the sea to-day,
How clamorous against the thrifty shore,
That yields not of her store
Save sands, and weeds, and pebbles of the
"Give more ! give more!
Methinks I hear him say ;
" And drive the hunger of my heart away!
'~ Give me of sunny flowers, of golden grain,
Of meadows sopped with sippings of the
Small loss it were to you,
To me great solace of my endless pain ;
For few! ah, few
And shadowy and vain
The joys that haunt my solitary reign
"Take me for ever to your constant breast,
O land, O lovely, most unchanging land!
Can you not understand
How all my restlessness desires your rest?
What murderer's brand
Is stamped by God's behest
Upon this brow, that you should loathe my quest ?
O mute, insensate land ! nor voiceless she,
For she can speak, and I have heard her speak,
When zephyrs kissed her cheek,
Love-whispering in the twilight on the lea ;
Then, hushed, and meek,
I've heard her gentle glee,
And schooled my heart to think 'twas not for me.
"Sometimes at evening I have heard you pray,
And listened, looking up the misty glen,
And only said Amen,
Else silent, lest one sound uncaught should stray ;
And then, O then!
'Our Father,' you did say ;
But I have been a wanderer wild alway.
"O, I am hungry, hungry at my heart!
Give me, O, give me, even of thy worst .'
Give, as to one accurst,
Drear moorlands, and all rushy fens, where start
Black streams, that, nurst
In barrenness, must part !
Give me but wastes and snippets of the chart ! "
Thus speaks the sea, his hue all ashen gray
With paleness of inveterate desires ;
Then on the ebb retires-
Full strange it seems that that cold heart should sway
With passionate fires!
But ah ! my soul can say
How vain it is when she requires
The coast, so near, yet on whose absolute spires
Looms the sad frown of an eternal "Nay."