Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
America: Vols. XXV–XXIX. 1876–79.

New England: Gloucester, Mass.

In the Sea

By Hiram Rich

THE SALT wind blows upon my cheek

As it blew a year ago,

When twenty boats were crushed among

The rocks of Norman’s Woe.

’T was dark then; ’t is light now,

And the sails are leaning low.

In dreams I pull the sea-weed o’er,

And find a face not his,

And hope another tide will be

More pitying than this.

The wind turns; the tide turns:

They take what hope there is.

My life goes on as thine would go

With all its sweetness spilled:

My God! why should one heart of two

Beat on, when one is stilled?

Through heart-wreck or home-wreck

Thy happy sparrows build.

Though boats go down, men build anew,

Whatever winds may blow;

If blight be in the wheat one year,

We trust again, and sow,

Though grief comes, and changes

The sunshine into snow.

Some have their dead, where, sweet and soon,

The summers bloom and go.

The sea withholds my dead: I walk

The bar, when tides are low,

And wonder the grave-grass

Can have the heart to grow.

Flow on, O unconsenting sea!

And keep my dead below:

Though night, O utter night! my soul,

Delude thee long, I know,

Or Life comes, or Death comes,

God leads the eternal flow.