James Whitcomb Riley

(7 October 1849 - 22 July 1916 / Greenfield, Indiana)

Where Shall We Land


'_Where shall we land you, sweet_?'--Swinburne.

All listlessly we float
Out seaward in the boat
That beareth Love.
Our sails of purest snow
Bend to the blue below
And to the blue above.
Where shall we land?

We drift upon a tide
Shoreless on every side,
Save where the eye
Of Fancy sweeps far lands
Shelved slopingly with sands
Of gold and porphyry.
Where shall we land?

The fairy isles we see,
Loom up so mistily--
So vaguely fair,
We do not care to break
Fresh bubbles in our wake
To bend our course for there.
Where shall we land?

The warm winds of the deep
Have lulled our sails to sleep,
And so we glide
Careless of wave or wind,
Or change of any kind,
Or turn of any tide.
Where shall we land?

We droop our dreamy eyes
Where our reflection lies
Steeped in the sea,
And, in an endless fit
Of languor, smile on it
And its sweet mimicry.
Where shall we land?

'Where shall we land?' God's grace!
I know not any place
So fair as this--
Swung here between the blue
Of sea and sky, with you
To ask me, with a kiss,
'Where shall we land?'

Submitted: Friday, April 09, 2010

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