Fires of Driftwood eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 58 pages of information about Fires of Driftwood.

Fires of Driftwood

On what long tides
Do you drift to my fire,
You waifs of strange waters? 
From what far seas,
What murmurous sands,
What desolate beaches—­
Flotsam of those glories that were ships!

I gather you,
Bitter with salt,
Sun-bleached, rock-scarred, moon-harried,
Fuel for my fire.

You are Pride’s end. 
Through all to-morrows you are yesterday. 
You are waste,
You are ruin,
For where is that which once you were?

I gather you. 
See!  I set free the fire within you—­
You awake in thin flame! 
Tremulous, mistlike, your soul aspires,
Blue, beautiful,
Up and up to the clouds which are its kindred! 
What is left is nothing—­
Ashes blown along the shore!

When as a Lad

  When, as a lad, at break of day
  I watched the fishers sail away,
My thoughts, like flocking birds, would follow
Across the curving sky’s blue hollow,
  And on and on—­
  Into the very heart of dawn!

  For long I searched the world—­ah, me! 
  I searched the sky, I searched the sea,
With much of useless grief and rueing
Those winged thoughts of mine pursuing—­
  So dear were they,
  So lovely and so far away!

  I seek them still and always must
  Until my laggard heart is dust
And I am free to follow, follow,
Across the curving sky’s blue hollow,
  Those thoughts too fleet
  For any save the soul’s swift feet!


Death met a little child who cried
For a bright star which earth denied,
And Death, so sympathetic, kissed it,
Saying:  “With me
All bright things be!”—­
And only the child’s mother missed it.

Death met a maiden on the brae,
Her eyes held dreams life would betray,
And gallant Death was greatly taken—­
“Leave,” whispered he,
“Your dream with me
And I will see you never waken.”

Death met an old man in a lane;
So gnarled was he and full of pain
That kindly Death was struck with pity—­
“Come you with me,
Old man,” said he,
“I’ll set you down in a fair city.”

So, kingly Death along the way
Scatters rare gifts and asks no pay—­
Yet who to Death will write a sonnet? 
If any dare,
Let him take care
No foolish tear be spilled upon it!

Out of Babylon

Their looks for me are bitter,
  And bitter is their word—­
I may not glance behind unseen,
  I may not sigh unheard.

So fare we forth from Babylon,
  Along the road of stone;
And no one looks to Babylon
  Save I—­save I alone!

My mother’s eyes are glory-filled
  (Save when they fall on me)
The shining of my father’s face
  I tremble when I see,

Project Gutenberg
Fires of Driftwood from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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