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C.D. Warner, et al., comp. The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

Wind and Wave

By Coventry Patmore (1823–1896)

THE WEDDED light and heat,

Winnowing the witless space,

Without a let,

What are they till they beat

Against the sleepy sod, and there beget

Perchance the violet!

Is the One found,

Amongst a wilderness of as happy grace,

To make heaven’s bound;

So that in Her

All which it hath of sensitively good

Is sought and understood

After the narrow mode the mighty heavens prefer?

She, as a little breeze

Following still Night,

Ripples the spirit’s cold, deep seas

Into delight;

But in a while,

The immeasurable smile

Is broke by fresher airs to flashes blent

With darkling discontent;

And all the subtle zephyr hurries gay,

And all the heaving ocean heaves one way,

T’ward the void sky-line and an unguessed weal;

Until the vanward billows feel

The agitating shallows, and divine the goal,

And to foam roll,

And spread and stray

And traverse wildly, like delighted hands,

The fair and fleckless sands,

And so the whole

Unfathomable and immense

Triumphing tide comes at the last to reach

And burst in wind-kissed splendors on the deafening beach,

Where forms of children in first innocence

Laugh and fling pebbles on the rainbowed crest

Of its untired unrest.