Recollection

Awawe-worn boulder, with green sea-moss wrapping
A silken mantle o'er its jagged sides;
And silvery, seething waters softly lapping
Through gulfs and channels hollow'd by the tides:

A lime-cliff overhead, o'erhanging grimly,
A dash of sunlight on its breast of snow;
The white line of the breakers, stretching dimly
Along the narrow sea-beach down below:

The grey waste of the waters, with one slender,
Glimmering, golden ripple far away;
The haze of summer twilight, sweet and tender,
Veiling the fair face of the dying day:

The measured plash of surf upon the shingle,
The ceaseless gurgle through the rocks and stones;
No sound of struggling human life, to mingle
With those mysterious and eternal tones!

No sound—no sound,—a hungry sea-mew only
Breaking the stillness with her little cry;
And the low whisper, when 'tis all so lonely,
Of soft south breezes as they wander by:—

I see it all; sweet dreams of it are thronging
In full floods back upon my weary brain;
To-night, in my dark chamber, the old longing
Almost fulfils its very self again.

The dying sunbeams, on the far waves glinting,
Come like warm kisses to my lips and brow,
Soothing my spirit—all its grey thoughts tinting
With tender shades of golden colour now.

Alone and still, I sit, and think, and listen,
Looking out westward o'er the darkening sea;
My seat the boulder, where the spray-drops glisten;
The tall, white cliffs my regal canopy.
And, as I sit, the fretting cares and sorrows,
Weighing so heavy when the work is done,
The gloomy yesterdays and dim to-morrows,
They slip away and vanish one by one,—

Slip backward to the world that lies behind me,
Ever by sinful footsteps overtrod;
And in this unstain'd world leave nought to bind me,
This sweet world, fillèd with the peace of God!

by Ada Cambridge

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