From where I sit, I see the stars,
And down the chilly floor
The moon between the frozen bars
Is glimmering dim and hoar.
Without in many a peaked mound
The glinting snowdrifts lie;
There is no voice or living sound;
The embers slowly die.
Yet some wild thing is in mine ear;
I hold my breath and hark;
Out of the depth I seem to hear
A crying in the dark:
No sound of man or wife or child,
No sound of beasts that groans,
Or of the wind that whistles wild,
Or of the trees that moans:
I know not what it is I hear;
I bend my head and hark:
I cannot drive it from mine ear,
That crying in the dark.
By silent forest and field and mossy stone,
We come from the wooden hill, and we go to the sea.
We labour, and sing sweet songs, but we never moan,
For our mother, the sea, is calling us cheerily.
We have heard her calling us many and many a day
From the cool grey stones and the white sands far away.
The way is long, and winding and slow is the track,
The sharp rocks fret us, the eddies bring us delay,
But we sing sweet songs to our mother, and answer her back;
Gladly we answer our mother, sweetly repay.
Oh, we hear, we hear her singing wherever we roam,
Far, far away in the silence, calling us home.
Poor mortal, your ears are dull, and you
But we, we hear it, the breast of our mother abeat;
Low, far away, sweet and solemn and clear,
Under the hush of the night, under the noon-tide heat:
And we sing sweet songs to our mother, for so we shall please her best,
Songs of beauty and peace, freedom and infinite rest.
We sing, and sing, through the grass and
the stones and the reeds,
And we never grow tired, though we journey ever and aye,
Dreaming, and dreaming, wherever the long way leads,
Of the far cool rocks and the rush of the wind and the spray.
Under the sun and the stars we murmur and dance and are free,
And we dream and dream of our mother, the width of the sheltering sea.
The point is turned; the twilight shadow fills
The wheeling stream, the soft receding shore,
And on our ears from deep among the hills
Breaks now the rapid’s sudden quickening roar.
Ah yet the same, or have they changed their face,
The fair green fields, and can it still be seen,
The white log cottage near the mountain’s base,
So bright and quiet, so home-like and serene?
Ah, well I question, for as five years go,
How many blessings fall, and how much woe.