Slack Tide.

A poem by Sophie M. Almon-Hensley

My boat is still in the reedy cove
Where the rushes hinder its onward course,
For I care not now if we rest or move
O'er the slumberous tide to the river's source.

My boat is fast in the tall dank weeds
And I lay my oars in silence by,
And lean, and draw the slippery reeds
Through my listless fingers carelessly.

The babbling froth of the surface foam
Clings close to the side of my moveless boat,
Like endless meshes of honeycomb, -
And I break it off, and send it afloat.

A faint wind stirs, and I drift along
Far down the stream to its utmost bound,
And the thick white foam-flakes gathering strong
Still cling, and follow, and fold around.

Oh! the weary green of the weedy waste,
The thickening scum of the frothy foam,
And the torpid heart by the reeds embraced
And shrouded and held in its cheerless home.

The fearful stillness of wearied calm,
The tired quiet of ended strife,
The echoed note of a heart's sad psalm,
The sighing end of a wasted life. -

The reeds cling close, and my cradle sways,
And the white gull dips in the waters' barm,
And the heart asleep in the twilight haze
Feels not its earth-bonds, knows not alarm.

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