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

Western States: Pescadero, Cal.

The Pescadero Pebbles

By Minot Judson Savage (1841–1918)

WHERE slopes the beach to the setting sun,

On the Pescadero shore,

For ever and ever the restless surf

Rolls up with its sullen roar.

And grasping the pebbles in white hands,

And chafing them together,

And grinding them against the cliffs

In stormy and sunny weather,

It gives them never any rest;

All day, all night, the pain

Of their long agony sobs on,

Sinks, and then swells again.

And tourists come from every clime

To search with eager care,

For those whose rest has been the least;

For such have grown most fair.

But yonder, round a point of rock,

In a quiet, sheltered cove,

Where storm ne’er breaks, and sea ne’er comes,

The tourists never rove.

The pebbles lie ’neath the sunny sky

Quiet forevermore;

In dreams of everlasting peace

They sleep upon the shore.

But ugly, and rough, and jagged still,

Are they left by the passing years;

For they miss the beat of angry storms,

And the surf that drips in tears.

The hard turmoil of the pitiless sea

Turns the pebble to beauteous gem.

They who escape the agony

Miss also the diadem.