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The Open Sea

Written by: Dorothea Mackeller | Biography
 | Quotes (1) |
 From my window I can see, 
Where the sandhills dip, 
One far glimpse of open sea. 
Just a slender slip 
Curving like a crescent moon— 
Yet a greater prize 
Than the harbour garden-fair 
Spread beneath my eyes. 

Just below me swings the bay, 
Sings a sunny tune, 
But my heart is far away 
Out beyond the dune; 
Clearer far the sea-gulls’ cry 
And the breakers’ roar, 
Than the little waves beneath 
Lapping on the shore. 

For that strip of sapphire sea 
Set against the sky 
Far horizons means to me— 
And the ships go by 
Framed between the empty sky 
And the yellow sands, 
While my freed thoughts follow them 
Out to other lands. 

All its changes who can tell? 
I have seen it shine 
Like a jewel polished well, 
Hard and clear and fine; 
Then soft lilac—and again 
On another day 
Glimpsed it through a veil of rain, 
Shifting, drifting grey. 

When the livid waters flee, 
Flinching from the storm, 
From my window I can see, 
Standing safe and warm, 
How the white foam tosses high 
On the naked shore, 
And the breakers’ thunder grows 
To a battle-roar… 

Far and far I look—Ten miles? 
No, for yesterday 
Sure I saw the Blessed Isles 
Twenty worlds away. 
My blue moon of open sea, 
Is it little worth? 
At the least it gives to me 
Keys of all the earth