Here is a world of changing glow,
Where moods roll swiftly far and wide;
Waves sadder than a funeral's pride,
Or bluer than the harebell's blow!
The sunlight makes the black hulls cast
A firefly radiance down the deep;
The inlet gleams, the long clouds sweep,
The sails flit up, the sails drop past.
The far sea-line is hushed and still;
The nearer sea has life and voice;
Each soul may take his fondest choice, -
The silence, or the restless thrill.
O little children of the deep, -
The single sails, the bright, full sails,
Gold in the sun, dark when it fails,
Now you are smiling, then you weep!
O blue of heaven, and bluer sea,
And green of wave, and gold of sky,
And white of sand that stretches by,
Toward east and west, away from me!
O shell-strewn shore, that silent hears
The legend of the mighty main,
And tells to none the lore again, -
We catch one utterance only: "Years!"