Elegiacs

A poem by Charles Kingsley

Wearily stretches the sand to the surge, and the surge to the cloudland;
Wearily onward I ride, watching the water alone.
Not as of old, like Homeric Achilles, ??de? ya???,
Joyous knight-errant of God, thirsting for labour and strife;
No more on magical steed borne free through the regions of ether,
But, like the hack which I ride, selling my sinew for gold.
Fruit-bearing autumn is gone; let the sad quiet winter hang o'er me -
What were the spring to a soul laden with sorrow and shame?
Blossoms would fret me with beauty; my heart has no time to bepraise them;
Gray rock, bough, surge, cloud, waken no yearning within.
Sing not, thou sky-lark above! even angels pass hushed by the weeper.
Scream on, ye sea-fowl! my heart echoes your desolate cry.
Sweep the dry sand on, thou wild wind, to drift o'er the shell and the sea- weed;
Sea-weed and shell, like my dreams, swept down the pitiless tide.
Just is the wave which uptore us; 'tis Nature's own law which condemns us;
Woe to the weak who, in pride, build on the faith of the sand!
Joy to the oak of the mountain: he trusts to the might of the rock-clefts;
Deeply he mines, and in peace feeds on the wealth of the stone.

Morte Sands, Devonshire,
February 1849.

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