In the days before the high tide
Swept away the towers of sand
Built with so much care and labour
By the children of the land,
Pale, upon the pallid beaches,
Thirsting, on the thirsty sands,
Ever cried I to the Distance,
Ever seaward spread my hands.
See, they come, they come, the ripples,
Singing, singing fast and low,
Meet the longing of the sea-shores,
Clasp them, kiss them once, and go.
'Stay, sweet Ocean, satisfying
All desires into rest-'
Not a word the Ocean answered,
Rolling sunward down the west.
Then I wept: 'Oh, who will give me
To behold the stable sea,
On whose tideless shores for ever
Sounds of many waters be?'