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(30 January 1837 - 5 September 1894 / Dorset, England)

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A Coarse Morning

OH the yellow boisterous sea,
The surging, chafing, murderous sea!
And the wind-gusts hurtle the torn clouds by,
On to the south through a shuddering sky,
And the bare black ships scud aloof from the land.
'Tis as like the day as can be,
When the ship came in sight that came never to strand,
The ship that was blown on the sunken sand—
And he coming back to me!

Oh the great white snake of foam,
The coiling, writhing, snake of white foam,
Hissing and huddering out in the bay,
Over the banks where the wrecked ship lay,
Over the sands where the dead may lie deep!
There are some in the churchyard loam,
Some two or three the sea flung to our keep:
Their mothers can sit by a grave to weep,
But my son never came home.

Never, never, living or dead—
Oh, never, Willie, living or dead,
Could you keep your word and come back to me!
Oh, my darling! As like this day as can be,
When the ship came in sight that came never to strand,
When the ship came rounding the head,
Close to the haven and close to the sand.—
And their graves are long green that were tossed to land.
Ah, 'Sure to come back,' he said!

Submitted: Friday, April 02, 2010


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