Outre Mer

Henry Clarence Kendall

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I see, as one in dreaming,
A broad, bright, quiet sea;
Beyond it lies a haven --
The only home for me.
Some men grow strong with trouble,
But all my strength is past,
And tired and full of sorrow,
I long to sleep at last.
By force of chance and changes
Man's life is hard at best;
And, seeing rest is voiceless,
The dearest thing is rest.


Beyond the sea -- behold it,
The home I wish to seek,
The refuge of the weary,
The solace of the weak!
Sweet angel fingers beckon,
Sweet angel voices ask
My soul to cross the waters;
And yet I dread the task.
God help the man whose trials
Are tares that he must reap!
He cannot face the future --
His only hope is sleep.


Across the main a vision
Of sunset coasts, and skies,
And widths of waters gleaming,
Enchant my human eyes.
I, who have sinned and suffered,
Have sought -- with tears have sought --
To rule my life with goodness,
And shape it to my thought.
And yet there is no refuge
To shield me from distress,
Except the realm of slumber
And great forgetfulness.

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