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

George Arnold (1834–1865)


A SHIP went sailing from the shore,

And vanished in the gleaming west,

Where purple clouds a lining bore

Of gold and amethyst.

Poised in the air, a sea-gull flashed

His white wings in the sun’s last ray;

A moment hung, then downward dashed

To revel in the spray.

The fishers drew their long nets in

With careful eye and steady hand,

Till olive back and silvery fin

Strewed all the tawny sand.

Again I trod the shore: again

The sea-gull circled high in air;

Again the sturdy fishermen

Drew in their nets with care.

The sunset’s gold and amethyst

Shone fairly, as I paced the shore,

But back from out the gleaming west

The ship came—nevermore!


A flood of sunlight through a rift

Between two mounds of yellow sand;

Three sea-gulls on a bit of drift

Slow surging inward toward the land;

An old dumb-beacon all awry,

With drabbled seaweed round its feet;

A star-like sail against the sky,

Where sapphire heaven and ocean meet;—

This, with the waters swirling o’er

A shifting stretch of land and shell,

Will make, for him who loves the shore,

A picture that may please him well.


O cool, green waves that ebb and flow,

Reflecting calm blue skies above,

How gently now ye come and go,

Since ye have drowned my love!


The breakers come and the breakers go

Along the silvery sand,

With a changing line of feathery snow

Between the water and land.

Seaweeds gleam in the sunset light,

On the ledges of wave-worn stone;

Orange and crimson, purple and white,

In regular windrows strown.

The waves grow calm in the dusk of eve,

When the wind goes down with the sun;

So fade the smiles of those who deceive,

When the coveted heart is won.