by William Henry Davies (1871 - 1940)

I know not why I yearn for thee again
Language: English 
I know not why I yearn for thee again,
  To sail once more upon thy fickle flood;
I'll hear thy waves wash under my death-bed,
  Thy salt is lodged forever in my blood.

Yet I have seen thee lash the vessel's sides
  In fury, with thy many tailèd whip;
And I have seen thee, too, like Galilee,
  When Jesus walked in peace to Simon's ship

And I have seen thy gentle breeze as soft
  As summer's, when it makes the cornfields run;
And I have seen thy rude and lusty gale
  Make ships show half their bellies to the sun.

Thou knowest the way to tame the wildest life,
  Thou knowest the way to bend the great and proud:
I think of that Armada whose puffed sails,
  Greedy and large, came swallowing every cloud.

But I have seen the sea-boy, young and drowned,
  Lying on shore and by thy cruel hand,
A seaweed beard was on his tender chin,
  His heaven-blue eyes were filled with common sand.

And yet, for all, I yearn for thee again,
  To sail once more upon thy fickle flood:
I'll hear thy waves wash under my death-bed,
  Thy salt is lodged forever in my blood.

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website: 2009-01-14
Line count: 24
Word count: 200