Clive Staples Lewis

(29 November 1898 – 22 November 1963 / Belfast)

The Ocean Strand - Poem by Clive Staples Lewis

O leave the labouring roadways of the town,
The shifting faces and the changeful hue
Of markets, and broad echoing streets that drown
The heart’s own silent music. Though they too
Sing in their proper rhythm, and still delight
The friendly ear that loves warm human kind,
Yet it is good to leave them all behind,
Now when from lily dawn to purple night
Summer is queen,
Summer is queen in all the happy land.
Far, far away among the valleys green
Let us go forth and wander hand in hand
Beyond those solemn hills that we have seen
So often welcome home the falling sun
Into their cloudy peaks when day was done—
Beyond them till we find the ocean strand
And hear the great waves run,
With the waste song whose melodies I’d follow
And weary not for many a summer day,
Born of the vaulted breakers arching hollow
Before they flash and scatter into spray,
On, if we should be weary of their play
Then I would lead you further into land
Where, with their ragged walls, the stately rocks
Shunt in smooth courts and paved with quiet sand
To silence dedicate. The sea-god’s flocks
Have rested here, and mortal eyes have seen
By great adventure at the dead of noon
A lonely nereid drowsing half a-swoon
Buried beneath her dark and dripping locks.

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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, March 21, 2012

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