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Life on the Deckle Edge

Poetry Friday: Farewell, Summer! Victorian "Sea Song"

Ocean photo by Ginnie Hinkle.

 

Greetings, Poetry Lovers!  

 

September is cantering on, and I can hardly believe Summer is already a look over one's shoulder.  Folks like my son's girlfriend's family are making the most of a last trip to the beach.  With all the heaviness this year, I thought a lighter poem might be in order as we wave farewell to Summer.

 

Here's a Victorian poem from DAISIES & DARLINGS (Boston:  De Wolfe, Fiske and Company), an illustrated volume gifted to me by our friend and former neighbor, Linda.  (Thanks, Linda!) The year penciled inside is 1898.

 

A SEA-SONG

 

by

Ellen Soule Carhart

 

           Mattie and Margery, Frankie and Fred,

                 Shaping with shovel and tiny hand

           Wonderful castles and loaves of bread

                Out of the shining sand, --

 

                              Finding a beauty-stone, spying a shell,

                                    Running to lay it on mother's knee, --

                              Full of a joy that no song can tell,

                                     Play by the sounding sea.

 

            Tremulous flood-tide of sunset light

                  Bathes the glad earth and the ocean too;

             Purple and rosy and amber light

                  Melt into heights of blue.

 

                           Ships, flaunting plumes of radiant mist --

                                   Ships, with their sails drenched in golden glow, --

                           Pleasure-boats white that the sun has kissed,

                                   Phantom-like, come and go.

                                  

                           Music of laughter; rustle of wing;

                                   Sweep of a sea-gull ove the waves;

                           Echoes of carols the mermaids sing

                                   Rise from their ocean caves.

 

                           Come, little children, the song is sung;

                                   Fair is the picture it leaves with me, --

                           Lives so tender and hearts so young,

                                   Glad with the old, old sea!

 

 

(If my online sleuthing yielded correct results, the poet was once Dean of Women at Northwestern University, wrote many short stories and poems, and died in 1924 at the age of 82.)

 

Thanks for making waves over here today!  Now, hum your way over to Whispers from the Ridge, where Kiesha is graciously hosting today and sharing two wonderful poems by Paul Laurence Dunbar (1872-1906). 

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