Menella Bute Smedley

Waiting For The Tide

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(Suggested by a picture painted by W.W. Fenn, Esq.)


Come down, those shadowed sands invite,
And that soft glory on the deep;
We breathe an atmosphere of light,
Subtle as dew, and calm as sleep.
See, here and there, beyond the foam,
A sail is shining like a gem;
I think the boats are coming home,
We'll linger down and look at them.
Not yet; the tide is shy, and stays
By this grey limit of our pier;
It doubts, it trembles, it delays,
Yet, all the while, is drawing near.
The boats and we must wait its will.
O pleasant patience! They to make
(While we behold them and lie still)
A hundred pictures for our sake.
O happy patience! Not a hue
Can flutter through the changing air,
Or mould the cloud, or touch the blue,
That is not meant for them to wear.
And as they watch the glimmering sand,
That warms the film within the foam,
They know the welcome wave at hand,
The tender wave that lifts them home.
It comes; they pass; each turning sail
Is first a hope, and then a bliss.
Come home and dream a fairy tale
Whose end shall be as sweet as this!

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Menella Bute Smedley