'Twas when the wind was blowing from the billow-breaking sea,
The grey and stormy sea, I heard her calling me,
And in the woods and on the ways where leaves were whirling down,
And weeds were rustling brown,
I caught a glimpse of face and feet, a glimmer of her gown.
And there between the forest and a strip of wandering sea,
Of dark and dreaming sea, I heard her laugh at me;
And, oh! her voice was bugle-wild as are the wind and rain,
And drew my heart again
With all the lures of all the past and joy more keen than pain.
Upon a fir-dark hilltop by the sunset-jewelled sea,
The old and wrinkled sea, she shook her hair at me,
And I caught a misty shimmer of her frosty gown and veil,
And her hand waved rosy pale,
And my heart was fain to follow her upon the old-time trail.
Within a ferny hollow by the mermaid-calling sea,
The far and foaming sea, she turned her face to me:
Again I saw her beauty; and again she held me fast,
As she'd held me in the past,
And let her wild heart beat to mine as beats the autumn blast.
Beside a rib of wreckage by the tempest-haunted sea,
The sad and severing sea, she bade good-bye to me:
Oh, paler than the foam her face, and wilder than the night,
When not a star gives light,
And rain and wind and winter sweep like harpies from the height.
Oh, she who joined her gipsy joy to sorrow of the sea,
The gaunt and ghostly sea, will come again to me:
When Autumn leads the wild-fowl home and lights, like wandering gleams,
The camp-fires of her dreams,
Again my heart shall hear her call upon the gale that streams.