Annie Cordelia Adams
Hoist Sails, Lass - Poem by Annie Cordelia Adams
Is there an Ocean that does say freely:
Dear One, come toward me,
But stand from afar, you grieved!
And I will say to you, Look, here is eternity
In my waters, there is undying space
Do you not desire to come and see?
I am an enduring hickory tree
A resilient warrior and stalwart beast
I will not change, but dwell here,
Where else can I reside, but in your heart
You witty, unwavering lass
Come toward me, dear One
I have the strength of ten thousand brave hearts
Who would strive to bring peace
But in epic lengths and heroic fights
Child, alas, am I that portrait you dreamt of?
Where have I succeeded in tearing you down?
You say I taunt you with my frowning brow,
And you do wonder what thoughts of mine do know
Under shadow, you are, but do not fret
I offer to you infinity, of length and space
Here is the world, and sail in its spirit
Here is the never ending sea, thwarted with misery
When you do not belong to it; hoist sails, lass
Under me are years of great repugnance from man
The sea is full of wishes that never wrote down
Or upon parchment, their lips, and could not sing
It is silent as the windless atmosphere, like bothersome tranquility
But I will not be silent, if you do not will it
I am filled with your desire to make sail on my winds
Hand me your heart, and my waves will urge you
Through distant waters, sail as far and as wide as beloved
Am I your beloved, to grovel for your ship to make sail?
Under reflected colored skies, or twilights last spangled eye
In depth or power, do I not satisfy thee, or interest thee
Is there clout in my words that do pierce your tenderness?
Does the wind blow everywhere but on you,
To save your semblance and natural form of grace
If you choose to sail these open winds, may you have mercy
And may you choose to have all freed and released
That I may encompass your honor on these waters
Would set my heart on flight to creature form
And if my wings set wind in lieu of your love
May it be a solemn song to envelope that notion
In your heart, do you want to sail nonetheless?
For I will carry you home again, in dispel,
If you wish to watch from afar, and gaze at my splendor
And love me in adoration from the parallel horizon
And you, which love the sea, watch from afar
In distant misery, have no thought to leave your place
Thy grace hath found thee where thou art, a spectator
How can you never touch my heart, or meet my face
If you dare to only believe in passion, speculate with infatuation
Relish your place afar and do not turn to watch for me!
I am too strong, like solid rock, but too scorched with molten steel
Like your turning away has done to me, tortured and grieved
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