“He wore her colors on the field,
He went where brave hearts were;
Ah, gallantly and nobly
He fought for love of her.
“He loved her with his whole true heart,”
Now like a sudden flame
Up to her cheek so pure and white,
A flood of crimson came.
Her hands unclasped, down to her feet
My flowers unnoticed shook;
I leaned and followed with my gaze
Her glad and eager look.
I saw a boat sweep round the rock,
Rowed with a steady grace;
I saw the fisher’s manly form,
His brown and handsome face.
“For love of her, to victory
He his brave squadron led,
Then broke his true heart, and her scarf
Pillowed his dying head.
“So died this knight of Normandy,
Died with his sword unstained;”
I know not that she heard my words,
So near the boat had gained.
I said, Heaven bless her, in my heart,
She had no thought for me;
I turned away and left them there
Beside the beating sea.
Behind me lay the sweet moonlight,
My shadow went before,
And passed a dark and gloomy shape
Before me through the door.
Oh strange and sad this life of ours,
This life beneath the sun;
O sad and strange and full of pain
God help us, every one.
God help us, that we may endure
Like him of Normandy;
And die with sword unstained, that has
Led us to victory.
On the shore I sit and gaze
Out on the twilight sea,
For my ship may come, though many days
I have waited patiently;
With waiting trusting eyes,
A lonely watch I keep
For its silver sails to rise
Like a blossom out of the deep.
It is built of a costly wood,
Bearing the strange perfume
Of the gorgeous solitude,
Where it grew in tropical gloom;
And the odorous scent, the spicy balm
Of its isle it will bear to me,
As I stand on the shore, in the magic calm.
And my ship come in from sea.
It is laden with all that is sweet
Of the beauty of every clime;
Slowly and proudly ’twill glide to my feet
In the eve of that fair “Sometime,”
Before me its sails will be furled,
A princess I shall be,
Crowned with the wealth of the world,
When my ship comes in from sea.
Sweet faces I then shall see,
Tender, undoubting, true,
Soft hands will be stretched to me
With a welcome I never knew;
In the peace of such tenderness
I shall rest forevermore,
And weep in my perfect bliss,
As I never wept before.
Sometimes I think it is not far
And I bend my head and list,
For I think I see a slender spar
Gleam through the golden mist;
And I fancy I hear the sound
Of wind in a silken sail,
And an odor rare from Eastern ground,
Floats in on the languid gale.