Life swelleth in a whitening wave,
And dasheth thee and me apart.
I sweep out seaward: - be thou brave.
And reach the shore, Sweetheart.
Beat back the backward-thrusting sea.
Thy weak white arm his blows may thwart,
Christ buffet the wild surge for thee
Till thou'rt ashore, Sweetheart.
Ah, now thy face grows dim apace,
And seems of yon white foam a part.
Canst hear me through the water-bass,
Cry: "To the Shore, Sweetheart?"
Now Christ thee soothe upon the Shore,
My lissome-armed sea-Britomart.
I sweep out seaward, never more
To find the Shore, Sweetheart.
Prattville, Alabama, December, 1867.