William Ernest Henley

(1849 - 1902 / Gloucester / England)

To My Mother


Chiming a dream by the way
With ocean’s rapture and roar,
I met a maiden to-day
Walking alone on the shore:
Walking in maiden wise,
Modest and kind and fair,
The freshness of spring in her eyes
And the fullness of spring in her hair.

Cloud-shadow and scudding sun-burst
Where swift on the floor of the sea,
And a mad wind was romping its worst,
But what was their magic to me?
Or the charm of the midsummer skies?
I only saw she was there,
A dream of the sea in her eyes
And the kiss of the sea in her hair.

I watch her vanish in space;
She came where I walked no more;
But something was passed from her grace
To the spell of the wave and the shore;
And now as the glad stars rise,
She comes to me, rosy and rare,
The delight of the wind in her eyes
And the hand of the wind in her hair.

Submitted: Monday, April 12, 2010

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