Loneliness.

A poem by Sophie M. Almon-Hensley

Dear, I am lonely, for the bay is still
As any hill-girt lake; the long brown beach
Lies bare and wet. As far as eye can reach
There is no motion. Even on the hill
Where the breeze loves to wander I can see
No stir of leaves, nor any waving tree.

There is a great red cliff that fronts my view
A bare, unsightly thing; it angers me
With its unswerving-grim monotony.
The mackerel weir, with branching boughs askew
Stands like a fire-swept forest, while the sea
Laps it, with soothing sighs, continually.

There are no tempests in this sheltered bay,
The stillness frets me, and I long to be
Where winds sweep strong and blow tempestuously,
To stand upon some hill-top far away
And face a gathering gale, and let the stress
Of Nature's mood subdue my restlessness.

An impulse seizes me, a mad desire
To tear away that red-browed cliff, to sweep
Its crest of trees and huts into the deep;
To force a gap by axe, or storm, or fire,
And let rush in with motion glad and free
The rolling waves of the wild wondrous sea.

Sometimes I wonder if I am the child
Of calm, law-loving parents, or a stray
From some wild gypsy camp. I cannot stay
Quiet among my fellows; when this wild
Longing for freedom takes me I must fly
To my dear woods and know my liberty.

It is this cringing to a social law
That I despise, these changing, senseless forms
Of fashion! And until a thousand storms
Of God's impatience shall reveal the flaw
In man's pet system, he will weave the spell
About his heart and dream that all is well.

Ah! Life is hard, Dear Heart, for I am left
To battle with my old-time fears alone
I must live calmly on, and make no moan
Though of my hoped-for happiness bereft.
Thou wilt not come, and still the red cliff lies
Hiding my ocean from these longing eyes.

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