The Sea-Change

A poem by Ernest Christopher Dowson

Where river and ocean meet in a great tempestuous frown,
Beyond the bar, where on the dunes the white-capped rollers break;
Above, one windmill stands forlorn on the arid, grassy down:
I will set my sail on a stormy day and cross the bar and seek
That I have sought and never found, the exquisite one crown,
Which crowns one day with all its calm the passionate and the weak.

When the mad winds are unreined, wilt thou not storm, my sea?
(I have ever loved thee so, I have ever done thee wrong
In drear terrestrial ways.) When I trust myself to thee
With a last great hope, arise and sing thine ultimate, great song
Sung to so many better men, O sing at last to me,
That which when once a man has heard, he heeds not over long.

I will bend my sail when the great day comes; thy kisses on my face
Shall seal all things that are old, outworn; and anger and regret
Shall fade as the dreams and days shall fade, and in thy salt embrace,
When thy fierce caresses blind mine eyes and my limbs grow stark and set,
All that I know in all my mind shall no more have a place:
The weary ways of men and one woman I shall forget.

Point du Pouldu.

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