Christopher Morley

(5 May 1890 – 28 March 1957 / Haverford, Pennslyvania)

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The Old Swimmer


I OFTEN wander on the beach
Where once, so brown of limb,
The biting air, the roaring surf
Summoned me to swim.

I see my old abundant youth
Whee combers lean and spill,
And though I taste the foam no more
Other swimmers will.

Oh, good exultant strength to meet
The arching wall of green,
To break the crystal, swirl, emerge
Dripping, taut, and clean.

To climb the moving hilly blue,
To dive in ecstasy
And feel the salty chill embrace
Arm and rib and knee.

What brave and vanished laughter then
And tingling thighs to run,
What warm and comfortable sands
Dreaming in the sun.

The crumbling water spreads in snow,
The surf is hissing still,
And though I kiss the salt no more,
Other swimmers will.

Submitted: Tuesday, April 20, 2010

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  • Liliana ~el (4/28/2014 6:25:00 PM)

    Great reminiscent of good old summer days of refreshing swims and adventure! Much enjoyed. Like the repetition of Other swimmers will Wonderful, moving figurative imagery of the surf! Overall a reflection at peace and content. Very nice. What warm and comfortable sands Dreaming in the sun. How lovely. (Report) Reply

  • Michelle Claus (4/28/2014 11:12:00 AM)

    It is small comfort to become old and limited. Admirably, the poet does not express jealousy of the new, able-bodied swimmers. He conveys melancholy and serenity about the tides of life. (Report) Reply

  • Michelle Claus (4/28/2014 11:12:00 AM)

    It is small comfort to become old and limited. Admirably, the poet does not express jealousy of the new, able-bodied swimmers. He conveys melancholy and serenity about the tides of life. (Report) Reply

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