Elizabeth Stuart Phelps Ward

(1844-1911 / Andover, Massachusetts)

Sung To A Friend - Poem by Elizabeth Stuart Phelps Ward

The tide is rising, rising
Out of the infinite sea;
From ripple, to wave, to billow,
Past beryl and gold and crimson,
A prism of perfect splendor;
What shall the white surf be?

The sacred tide is rising,
Rising for you and me.
Defiant across the breaker,
Wave unto wave must answer,
The sea to the shore will follow;
When shall the great flood be?

The tide must turn falling, falling
Back to the awful sea.
Thus far shalt thou go, no farther.
The color sinks to the shadow,
The pæan sobs into silence,
Where shall the ebb-line be?

By the weeds left blazing, beating
Like heart-throbs of the sea,
By the law of the land and the ocean,
By the Hand that holdeth the torrent,
I summon the tide eternal
To flow for you and me!

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, September 7, 2010

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