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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807–1882). Complete Poetical Works. 1893.


“O Faithful, Indefatigable Tides”

August 18, 1847.

O FAITHFUL, indefatigable tides,

That evermore upon God’s errands go,—

Now seaward bearing tidings of the land,—

Now landward bearing tidings of the sea,—

And filling every frith and estuary,

Each arm of the great sea, each little creek,

Each thread and filament of water-courses,

Full with your ministration of delight!

Under the rafters of this wooden bridge

I see you come and go; sometimes in haste

To reach your journey’s end, which being done

With feet unrested ye return again

And recommence the never-ending task;

Patient, whatever burdens ye may bear,

And fretted only by the impeding rocks.