As I Sail

Far on the gray sea glooms and glowers,
Far off the salt winds vaguely stray,
And through the long monotonous hours
My thoughts go wandering on their way;

Go back to find that earlier time
When, lingering by a bluer sea,
A poet wooed me with his rhyme,
And all the world was changed for me.

The winds to music strange were set,
The sunsets glowed with sudden flame,
And all the shining sands were wet
With waves that whispered as they came,

And told a tender low-breathed tale
Of love that always should be young;
Dear love that should not change or fail,—
Such love as love-lorn bards have sung.

Pale roses bloomed by that far sea,
And shivered at the sea-wind's breath;
A bird flew low, and sang to me—
“The end of love and life is death.”

I left the pale rose where it grew;
I would not heed the warning bird;
Of all the world I, only, knew
How sweet the music I had heard,—

How dear the love, how true the truth
My poet uttered in his rhyme;
And how it gave me back my youth
In that deep-hearted summer-time.

Then winter came; the pale rose died,
And to the south the wise bird flew;
And I—ah me, the world is wide,
And poets love while love is new.
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