Sidney Lanier

(1842-1881 / Macon / Georgia)

A Sea-Shore Grave. To M. J. L.


By Sidney and Clifford Lanier.

O wish that's vainer than the plash
Of these wave-whimsies on the shore:
"Give us a pearl to fill the gash --
God, let our dead friend live once more!"

O wish that's stronger than the stroke
Of yelling wave and snapping levin;
"God, lift us o'er the Last Day's smoke,
All white, to Thee and her in Heaven!"

O wish that's swifter than the race
Of wave and wind in sea and sky;
Let's take the grave-cloth from her face
And fall in the grave, and kiss, and die!

Look! High above a glittering calm
Of sea and sky and kingly sun,
She shines and smiles, and waves a palm --
And now we wish -- Thy will be done!

Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002

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