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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908). A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895. 1895.

Robert Seymour Bridges 1844–1930

Upon the Shore


WHO has not walk’d upon the shore,

And who does not the morning know,

The day the angry gale is o’er,

The hour the wind has ceas’d to blow?

The horses of the strong southwest

Are pastur’d round his tropic tent,

Careless how long the ocean’s breast

Sob on and sigh for passion spent.

The frighten’d birds, that fled inland

To house in rock and tower and tree,

Are gathering on the peaceful strand,

To tempt again the sunny sea;

Whereon the timid ships steal out

And laugh to find their foe asleep,

That lately scatter’d them about,

And drave them to the fold like sheep.

The snow-white clouds he northward chas’d

Break into phalanx, line, and band:

All one way to the south they haste,

The south, their pleasant fatherland.

From distant hills their shadows creep,

Arrive in turn and mount the lea,

And flit across the downs, and leap

Sheer off the cliff upon the sea;

And sail and sail far out of sight.

And still I watch their fleecy trains,

That, piling all the south with light,

Dapple in France the fertile plains.