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Alfred H. Miles, ed. The Sacred Poets of the Nineteenth Century. 1907.

By Poems. III. Christ on the Shore

William Alexander (1824–1911)

IN the silence of the morning,

Of the morning grey and clouded,

Mist enshrouded,

On the shore of Galilee,

Like a shape upon a column,

Sad and solemn

Christ is standing by the sea,

In the silence of the morning.

On the waters cold and misty,

Like a rock, its dark back lifting

Through the drifting

Vapours, heaves the fisher’s boat.

Still through grey-fog hood and mantle

That most gentle

Watcher looketh where they float

On the waters cold and misty.

Hearts are waiting, eyes are weeping,

Comes a voice, a susurration;


Melteth, melteth like the mist;

Yet, like music rich and olden

Hiding golden

Words, that sweet voice hideth Christ

From the hearts that wait, and weep Him.

In another morning silence,

When a greyer fog falls dreary

And we weary

With the sea’s beat evermore,

Cometh One, and pale and wounded,


Looketh from another shore

In another morning silence.

Other waters cold and misty

On the wet sands grandly singing,

Bear a swinging

Little bark call’d Life by men;

While the bark is swinging slowly,

That most Holy

Watcher looks: light silvers then

On the waters cold and misty.

Hearts are waiting, eyes are weeping,

Falls a voice, O sweet but broken!

Falls a token

Light bedimm’d with blinding mist.

Take us where there are no ocean’s

Wild commotions;

Where we shall not know, O Christ!

Weary hearts, or tear-wet eyelids.