Elizabeth Stuart Phelps Ward

Land-Bound

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All the day the light lies dreaming, dreaming,
Quietly on the lea.
All the day the ships go sailing, sailing,
Over an unseen sea.


Sentient, strong, the hill lies couching, crawling,
Pressed close against the sky,
Pierced by lances quivering, sharp, unerring,--
The thin masts drifting by.


All the night the breakers, distant, daring,
Sing straight a solemn song;
Day and night from unguessed ocean greatness
Great winds are borne along.


Night and day my eyes are gazing, straining,
Filled full of land-bound tears.
My land-bound heart is full of little sorrows
And full of little fears.


O happy souls! that soft go sailing, sailing,
Over an unknown sea,
Send some signal of your wafting, wandering,
Across the hills to me!


Across the cruel hills, that stern and steadfast
Sever you and me,
Tell me sometimes of your peaceful, blessed
Life upon the sea!

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