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Eastward as far as the eye can see,
Still eastward, eastward, endlessly,
The sparkle and tremour of purple sea
That rises before you, a flickering hill,
On and on to the shut of the sky,
And beyond, you fancy it sloping until
The same multitudinous throb and thrill
That vibrate under your dizzy eye
In ripples of orange and pink are sent
Where the poppied sails doze on the yard,
And the clumsy junk and proa lie
Sunk deep with precious woods and nard,
'Mid the palmy isles of the Orient.
Those leaning towers of clouded white
On the farthest brink of doubtful ocean,
That shorten and shorten out of sight,
Yet seem on the selfsame spot to stay,
Receding with a motionless motion,
Fading to dubious films of gray,
Lost, dimly found, then vanished wholly,
Will rise again, the great world under,
First films, then towers, then high-heaped clouds,
Whose nearing outlines sharpen slowly
Into tall ships with cobweb shrouds,
That fill long Mongol eyes with wonder,
Crushing the violet wave to spray
Past some low headland of Cathay
What was that sigh which seemed so near,

hilling your fancy to the core ?
'Tis only the sad old sea you hcar,
That seems to seek for evermore
Something it cannot find, and so,
Sighing, seeks on, and tells its woe
To the pitiless breakers of Appledore.


How looks Appledore in a storm ?

I have seen it when its crags seemed frantic,
Butting against the mad Atlantic,
When surge on surge would heap enorme,

Cliffs of emerald topped with snow,

That lifted and listed, and then let go A great white avalanche of thunder,

A grinding, blinding, deafening ire Monadnock might have trembled under ;

And the island, whose rock-roots pierce below

To where they are warmed with the central fire, You could feel its granite fibres racked,

As it seemed to plunge with a shudder and thrill

Right at the breast of the swooping hill,
And to rise again snorting a cataract
Of rage-froth from every cranny and ledge,

While the sea drew its breath in hoarse and deep, And the next vast breaker curled its edge,

Gathering itself for a mightier leap. North, east, and south there are reefs and breakers

You would never dream of in smooth weather, That toss and gore the sea for acres,

Bellowing and gnashing and snarling together; Look northward, where Duck Island lies, And over its crown you will see arise, Against a background of slaty skies,

A row of pillars still and white,

That glimmer, and then are out of sight,
As if the moon should suddenly kiss,

While you crossed the gusty desert by night,
The long colonnades of Persepolis ;
Look southward for White Island light,

The lantern stands ninety feet o'er the tide ;
There is first a half-mile of tumult and fight,
Of dash and roar and tumble and fright,

And surging bewilderment wild and wide,
Where the breakers struggle left and right,

Then a mile or more of rushing sea,
And then the light-house slim and lone ;
And whenever the weight of ocean is thrown
Full and fair on White Island head,

A great mist-jotun you will see

Lifting himself up silently
High and huge o'er the light-house top,
With hands of wavering spray outspread,
Groping after the little tower,

That seems to shrink and shorten and cower,
Till the monster's arms of a sudden drop,

And silently and fruitlessly

He sinks again into the sea.
You, meanwhile, where drenched you stand,

Awaken once more to the rush and roar,
And on the rock-point tighten your hand,
As you turn and see a valley deep,

That was not there a moment before, Suck rattling down between you and a heap

Of toppling billow, whose instant fall

Must sink the whole island once for all,
Or watch the silenter, stealthier seas

Feeling their way to you more and more ;
If they once should clutch you high as the knees,
They would whirl you down like a sprig of kelp,
Beyond all reach of hope or help ;-

And such in a storm is Appledore.


'Tis the sight of a lifetime to behold
The great shorn sun as you see it now,
Across eight miles of undulant gold
That widens landward, weltered and rolled,
With freaks of shadow and crimson stains ;
To see the solid mountain brow
As it notches the disk, and gains and gains
Until there comes, you scarce know when,
A tremble of fire o'er the parted lips
Of cloud and mountain, which vanishes-then
From the body of day the sun-soul slips
And the face of earth darkens ; but now the strips
Of western vapour, straight and thin,
From which the horizon's swervings win
A grace of contrast, take fire and burn
Like splinters of touchwood, whose edges a mould
Of ashes o'erfeathers ; northward turn
For an instant, and let your eye grow cold
On Agamenticus, and when once more
You look, 'tis as if the land-breeze, growing,
From the smouldering brands the film were blowing,
And brightening them down to the very core ;
Yet they momently cool and dampen and deaden,
The crimson turns golden, the gold turns leaden,
Hardening into one black bar
O'er which, from the hollow heaven afar,
Shoots a splinter of light like diamond,
Half seen, half fancied ; by and by
Beyond whatever is most beyond
In the uttermost waste of desert sky,
Grows a star ;
And over it, visible spirit of dew,
Ah, stir not, speak not, hold your breath,
Or surely the miracle vanisheth,-
The new moon, tranced in unspeakable blue !

No frail illusion; this were true,
Rather, to call it the canoe
Hollowed out of a single pearl,
That floats us from the Present's whirl
Back to those beings which were ours,
When wishes were winged things like powers !
Call it not light, that mystery tender,
Which broods upon the brooding ocean,
That flush of ecstasied surrender
To undefinable emotion,
That glory, mellower than a mist
Of pearl dissolved with amethyst,
Which rims Square Rock, like what they paint
Of mitigated heavenly splendour
Round the stern forehead of a Saint !

No more a vision, reddened, largened,
The moon dips toward her mountain nest,
And, fringing it with palest argent,
Slow sheathes herself behind the margent
Of that long cloud-bar in the West,
Whose nether edge, erelong, you see
The silvery chrism in turn anoint,
And then the tiniest rosy point
Touched doubtfully and timidly
Into the dark blue's chilly strip,
As some mute, wondering thing below,
Awakened by the thrilling glow,
Might, looking up, see Dian dip
One lucent foot's delaying tip
In Latmian fountains long ago.

Knew you what silence was before ?
Here is no startle of dreaming bird
That sings in his sleep, or strives to sing ;
Here is no sough of branches stirred,
Nor noise of any living thing,
Such as one hears by night on shore ;
Only, now and then, a sigh,
With fickle intervals between,
Sometimes far, and sometimes nigh,
Such as Andromeda might have heard,
And fancied the huge sea-beast unseen
Turning in sleep; it is the sea
That welters and wavers uneasily
Round the lonely reefs of Appledore,

I TREASURE in secret some long, fine hair

Of tenderest brown, but so inwardly golden
I half used to fancy the sunshine there,
So shy, so shifting, so waywardly rare,

Was only caught for the moment and holden
While I could say Dearest ! and kiss it, and then
In pity let go to the summer again.
I twisted this magic in gossamer strings

Over a wind-harp's Delphian hollow;
Then called to the idle breeze that swings
All day in the pine-tops, and clings, and sings

'Mid the musical leaves, and said, “O, follow
The will of those tears that deepen my words,
And fly to my window to waken these cords.”
So they trembled to life, and, doubtfully
Feeling their way to my sense, sang,

Say whether
They sit all day by the greenwood tree,
The lover and loved, as it wont to be,

When we” —but grief conquered, and all together They swelled such weird murmur as haunts a shore Of some planet dispeopled, -"Nevermore !” Then from deep in the past, as seemed to me,

The strings gathered sorrow and sang forsaken. "One lover still waits 'neath the greenwood tree, But 'tis dark," and they shuddered,

" where lieth she Dark and cold ! For ever must one be taken ?” But I groaned, “O harp of all ruth bereft, This Scripture is sadder,—the other left '!” There murm

rmured, as if one strove to speak, And tears came instead ; then the sad tones wandered And faltered among the uncertain chords In a troubled doubt between sorrow and words ;

At last with themselves they questioned and pondered, “ Hereafter ?—who knoweth?" and so they sighed Down the long steps that lead to silence and died.


The little gate was reached at last,
Half hid in lilacs down the lane;

* Till we meet again.

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