Isabel Ecclestone Mackay
The Sea's Withholding - Poem by Isabel Ecclestone Mackay
THE ladye's bower faced the sea,
Its casements framed a sea-born day.
She saw the fishers sail away,
And, far and high,
The gulls sweep by
Within the hollow of the sky!
She saw the laggard twilight come
And, chased by rippling wakes of foam,
She saw the fisher fleet come home--
Brown sails a-sheen
Against the green
With shadows creeping in between!
She saw, when it was evening, all
Day's banners stream in crimson rout
Till night's soft finger blurred them out,
And, high and far,
A perfect star
Shone where the keys of heaven are!
'O far and constant star,' she said,
'O passing sail, O passing bird,
O passing day--bring you no word
Of winds that steer
His ship a-near?
Where sails my love that sails not here?
'The days in splendid pageant pass,
In lovely peace the nights go by,
And day and night are sweet; but I--
I cannot say
Lo, the bright day!
Can it be dawn and love away?'
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