At night, the stream came to the sea.
“Long leagues,” it cried, “this drop I bring,
O beauteous, boundless sea!
What is the meagre, paltry thing
In thine abundance unto thee?
No ripple, in thy smallest wave, of me
Will know! No thirst its suffering
Shall better slake for my surrendering
My life! O sea, in vain
My leagues of toil and pain!”
At night, wayfarers reached the sea.
“Long weary leagues we came,” they cried,
“O beauteous, boundless sea!
The swelling waves of thy swift tide
Break on the shores where souls are free:
Through lonely wildernesses, unto thee
One tiny stream has been our guide,
And in the desert we had died,
If its oases sweet
Had not refreshed our feet.”
O tiny stream, lost in the sea,
Close symbol of a lifetime’s speech!
O beauteous, boundless sea,
Close fitting symbol of the reach,
Of measureless Eternity!
Be glad, O stream, O sea, blest equally!
And thou whose words have helped to teach
Me this,–my unknown friend,–for each
Kind thought, warm thanks.
Only the stream can know
How at such words the long leagues lighter grow.