James and Mary Ford, eds. Every Day in the Year. 1902.

August 26

To Celia Thaxter

By Annie Field

(Died August 26, 1894)

BELOVED, on the shore of this gray world

Thy little bird, the sandpiper, and I

Now stand alone;

And when mine eye

Returned from following thy upward flight,

And found him here, and heard his tone,

And saw the tiny wing unfurled,

(As oft for thee)

I knew thy messenger, ’twas he!

His little cry

Is meek and full of joy in things that lie

Close to our feet;

He speeds along the sands, bidding my sight

Grow keen as thine.

He cries: “O love complete,

Thou hast become the leaf and flower

That whisper now companionship;

O follow, follow

Traveller mine!

Thou, too, shalt step

Into the hand’s-breadth hollow

Thy dust shall claim!

And no fair fame

Shall stead thee when the winds of life shall fall;

Only my call

To the unknown, untried, whither these wings

Now vanish; the fading bower

Can hold and soothe thee not!

O follow, follow,

’Tis Love who sings!

Love, love is here and beckons thee away;

My song leads on, thou canst not go astray!