James Jeffrey Roche

(1847-1908 / Ireland)

At Sea - Poem by James Jeffrey Roche

Shall we, the storm-tossed sailors, weep
For those who may not sail again;
Or wisely envy them, and keep
Our pity for the living men?

Beyond the weary waste of sea,
Beyond the wider waste of death,
I strain my gaze and cry to thee
Whose still heart never answereth.

O brother, is thy coral bed
So sweet thou wilt not hear my speech?
This hand, methinks, if I were dead,
To thy dear hand would strive to reach.

I would not, if God gave us choice
For each to bear the other’s part,
That mine should be the silent voice,
And thine the silent, aching heart.

Ah, well for any voyage done,
Whate’er its end, or port, or reef;
Better the voyage ne’er begun,
For all ships sail the sea of Grief.

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Poem Submitted: Friday, September 17, 2010



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