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Across the Sea and Other Poems.   By:

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ACROSS THE SEA

And Other Poems.

By

Thomas S. Chard.

Now just as the gates were opened to let in the men, I looked in after them, and behold the City shone like the sun; the streets also were paved with gold, and in them walked many men, with crowns on their heads, palms in their hands, and golden harps to sing praises withal. And after that they shut up the gates; which, when I had seen, I wished myself among them.

Pilgrim's Progress.

Chicago:

Jansen, McClurg & Company.

1875.

Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1874, by

JANSEN, McCLURG & CO.,

In the office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.

PREFACE.

The poem whose name gives title to this little volume, was published in outline in the winter of 1869, and now appears for the first time as completed. The sea, as a picture of life, has been celebrated by the poetic thought of all ages, and the author will therefore hardly hope to offer much that is new in the following verses. His only excuse for so worn a theme is, that the world still loves the picture, and that each generation can, at best, but reset the old jewels of the past.

CONTENTS.

Across the Sea,

The Seven Sleepers,

A Legend of St. John,

The Blessed Vale.

ACROSS THE SEA.

Inscribed to

David Swing.

ACROSS THE SEA.

I. CHILDHOOD.

Ah! who can speak that country whence I fled? None but a lover may its beauty know, None but a poet can its rapture sing; And e'en his muse, upborne on Fancy's wing, Will grieve o'er beauties still unnoticed, O'er raptures language is too poor to show.

Fore'er remains the land where children dwell, Earth's fairest mem'ry and its Palestine; Tho' years have passed since on my forehead there Were graven lines of weariness and care, Still on the silver string of memory oft I tell The golden beads of joy that once were mine.

Dear distant Land of Childhood! God doth know That I have longed to dwell in thee again, As when by care unvexed, by doubt undriven, With eyes as blue, and heart as pure, as Heaven. Sweet are the days of childhood, glad the flow Of unhurt joyous life in every vein.

It may not be, those sunny hours are flown, And loud "The Fortune" knocks at every gate; Still move we on the path where none returns, Where wait afar, or near, our funeral urns, That mystic path, whose ways are all unknown, For only life's surprises make us great.

Yet still I dream, as o'er the swelling deep, I gaze upon the far enchanted shore, Through whose retreats the memory brooding sea Rolls in deep monotone continually. Waves of soft melody, which fall asleep In rosy glens that I may see no more.

O holy music of the flowing sea, Heard never but at eve, when shifts and gleams On waves afar the light of joy still ours, Because remembered still, thy voice o'erpowers My soul with pensiveness, sweet reverie And memory of half forgotten dreams.

Twas early, Sea of Life, I loved thee well, And mused betimes upon thy strand, till rolled Ashore from Daylight's wreck her gilded spars, And Night, in thee, a chandelier of stars Had hung, to light the grots where mermen dwell, The deep sea grots of amethyst and gold.

Beyond thee, when thou wert of gentle mood, And held with all the weary winds a truce, Upon the other shore I could descry Where, faintly outlined in the western sky, A mystic rainbow girdled Headland stood, Whose silver sandals thou dost rise to loose.

Far on the verge, where sky and waters meet, The Headland's hazy outline I could trace; High in the blue of Heaven its summit lay; There sleeps the twilight, till the crystal Day, Waked by the song of birds from slumber sweet, Beams on the Headland fair with lovelit face.

For I have ne'er believed the Headland's brow Is bathed forever in the noon day glare; Dearer to me the quiet hour of eve, And when at last this passion world I leave, May I, sometimes, behold the stars, as now, In the sweet gloaming tho' "no night is there... Continue reading book >>




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