When

I dwell in the western inland,
Afar from the sounding sea,
But I seem to hear it sobbing
And calling aloud to me,
And my heart cries out for the ocean
As a child for its mother's breast,
And I long to lie on its waters
And be lulled in its arms to rest.

I can close my eyes and fancy
That I hear its mighty roar,
And I see its blue waves splashing
And plunging against the shore;
And the white foam caps the billow,
And the sea-gulls wheel and cry,
And the cool wild wind is blowing,
And the ships go sailing by.

Oh, wonderful, mighty ocean!
When shall I ever stand,
Where my heart has gone already,
There on thy gleaming strand!
When shall I ever wander
Away from the inland west,
And strand by thy side, dear ocean,
And rock on thy heaving breast?

by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

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