Outre Mer

A poem by Henry Kendall

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.

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