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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.





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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Poetry Friday - "Time and Love" Victorian Poem to See Us into the New Year

Holiday Greetings, Dear Poetry Friends!

We'll be busy with family next week, so I wanted to find a poem to carry us into the New Year. We've made it through the solstice; let's look for cracks of lengthening light.

I turned to my copies of GOLDEN DAYS For Boys and Girls (Philadelphia: James Elverson, Publisher) and found a gem in Volume XVIII - No. 7 - January 2, 1897. It was written by A.M., and I wish I could tell you who that was!

It is, not surprisingly for publications of the time, written from a Christian perspective; while that happens to be mine as well, I think a few lines might appeal to an even broader audience.


How many a Christmas has the old clock seen,
      And always with the same unchanging face!
Come, let us wreathe him round with evergreen,
      And do him honor for a little space.
Yet what is Time to Love? And Love is here,
To give us a happy Christmas -- glad New Year.

How many tunes, by many people played,
      Must through this room have echoed long ago,
When ladies swept the floor with long brocade,
      Through stately dances minuetting slow!
But what is Time to Love? And Love, my dear,
Will make a Christmas in the saddest year.

How many children, in how many a romp,
      Have wished the clock hands would not move so fast?
Come, let us wreath him now with merry pomp,
      And bid him chime to heart's content at last.
For what is Time to Love? We need not fear,
Love will be with us through the coming year.

And very soon the carol sweet and gay,
      With Christmas melody will greet the morn;
"Christians awake! Salute the happy day
      Whereon the Saviour of mankind was born!"
Oh, what is Time to Love? And Love is here,
The Lord of Christmas and the changing year.

I'll keep these words of a bygone era close: For what is Time to Love? We need not fear,/Love will be with us through the coming year, and I wish their blessing upon you and yours.

The oh-so-smart-and-talented-and-generally-wonderful Buffy has the Roundup today at her place. Thank you, Buffy!
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