Roderic Quinn

The Hidden Tide

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WITHIN the world a second world
That circles ceaselessly:
Stars in the sky and sister stars—
Turn in your eyes and see!

Tides of the sea that rise and fall,
Aheave from Pole to Pole—
And kindred swayings, veiled but felt,
That noise along the soul.

Yon moon, noon-rich, high-throned, remote,
And pale with pride extreme,
Draws up the sea, but what white moon
Exalts the tide of Dream?

The Fisher-Folk who cast their nets
In Vision’s golden tide
Oft bring to light misshapen shells,
And nothing worth beside.

And so their worn hands droop adown,
Their singing throats are dumb;
The Inner-Deep withholds its pearls
Till turn of tide be come.

But patience! wait—the good tide turns,
The waters inward set;
And lo, behold! aleap, alive
With glowing fish the net!

O Toilers of the Hidden Seas!
Ye have strange gain and loss,
Dragging the Deeps of Soul for pearls,
And ofttimes netting dross.

Flushed to the lips with golden light,
And dark with sable gloom;
Thrilled by a thousand melodies,
And silent like a tomb.

Fierce are the winds across your realm,
As though some Demon veiled
Had loosed the gales of Spirit-land
To ravage ways unsailed.

But still sweet hours befall at times,
Rich-lit and full of ease;
The afterglow is like the light
Of sunset on tired seas.

And worse, perhaps, may be the lot
Of those whose fate is sleep;
The sodden souls without a tide,
Dense as a rotten deep.

Pain paves the way for keener joy,
And wondrous thoughts uproll
When the large moon of Peace looks down
On high tide in the soul.

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Roderic Quinn