Heaven and the sea attend the dying day,
And in their sadness overflow and blend–
Faint gold, and windy blue, and green and gray:
Far out amid them my pale soul I send.
For, as they mingle, so mix life and death;
An hour draws near when my day too will die;
Already I forecast unheaving breath,
Eviction on the moorland of yon sky.
Coldly and sadly lone, unhoused, alone,
Twixt wind-broke wave and heaven’s uncaring space!
At board and hearth from this time forth unknown!
Refuge no more in wife or daughter’s face!
Cold, cold and sad, lone as that desert sea!
Sad, lonely, as that hopeless, patient sky!
Forward I cannot go, nor backward flee!
I am not dead; I live, and cannot die!
Where are ye, loved ones, hither come before?
Did you fare thus when first ye came this way?
Somewhere there must be yet another door!–
A door in somewhere from this dreary gray!
Come walking over watery hill and glen,
Or stoop your faces through yon cloud perplext;
Come, any one of dearest, sacred ten,
And bring me patient hoping for the next.
Maker of heaven and earth, father of me,
My words are but a weak, fantastic moan!
Were I a land-leaf drifting on the sea,
Thou still wert with me; I were not alone!
I am in thee, O father, lord of sky,
And lord of waves, and lord of human souls!
In thee all precious ones to me more nigh
Than if they rushing came in radiant shoals!
I shall not be alone although I die,
And loved ones should delay their coming long;
Though I saw round me nought but sea and sky,
Bare sea and sky would wake a holy song.
They are thy garments; thou art near within,
Father of fathers, friend-creating friend!
Thou art for ever, therefore I begin;
Thou lov’st, therefore my love shall never end!
Let loose thy giving, father, on thy child;
I pray thee, father, give me everything;
Give me the joy that makes the children wild;
Give throat and heart an old new song to sing.
Ye are my joy, great father, perfect Christ,
And humble men of heart, oh, everywhere!
With all the true I keep a hoping tryst;
Eternal love is my eternal prayer.