Outre Mer

I see, as one in dreaming,
   A broad, bright, quiet sea;
Beyond it lies a haven --
   The only home for me.
Some men grow strong with trouble,
   But all my strength is past,
And tired and full of sorrow,
   I long to sleep at last.
By force of chance and changes
   Man's life is hard at best;
And, seeing rest is voiceless,
   The dearest thing is rest.

Beyond the sea -- behold it,
   The home I wish to seek,
The refuge of the weary,
   The solace of the weak!
Sweet angel fingers beckon,
   Sweet angel voices ask
My soul to cross the waters;
   And yet I dread the task.
God help the man whose trials
   Are tares that he must reap!
He cannot face the future --
   His only hope is sleep.

Across the main a vision
   Of sunset coasts, and skies,
And widths of waters gleaming,
   Enchant my human eyes.
I, who have sinned and suffered,
   Have sought -- with tears have sought --
To rule my life with goodness,
   And shape it to my thought.
And yet there is no refuge
   To shield me from distress,
Except the realm of slumber
   And great forgetfulness.

by Henry Kendall

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