Last night he lay within my arm,
So small, so warm—a mystery
To which God only held the key—
But mine to keep from fear and harm!
Ah! He was all my own, last night,
With soft, persuasive, baby eyes,
So wondering and yet so wise,
And hands that held my finger tight.
Why was it that he could not stay—
Too rare a gift? Yet who could hold
A treasure with securer hold
Than I, to whom love taught the way?
As with a flood of golden light
The first sun tipped earth’s golden rim
So all my world grew bright with him
And with his going fell the night—
O God, is there an angel arm
More strong, more tender than the rest?
Lay Thou my baby on his breast
To keep him safe from fear and harm!
Wind of the North, O far, wild wind
Born of a far, lone sea—
When suns are soft and breezes kind
Why are you kin to me?
Uncounted years above the sea,
Rock-fortressed from its rage,
The fishermen, your fathers, kept
A barren heritage—
Grim as the sea they forced to pay
The sea-toll of their wage.
And lo! The fate which made you hers
And gave you of her best
And set you in a sunny place,
Down-sloping to the West,
Forgot to change your fisher’s heart
Serf to the sea’s unrest!
Wind of the North! O bitter wind,
I hear the wild seas fret—
In the dim spaces of the mind
They claim me vassal yet!
The wind blows salt from off the sea
And sweet from where the land lies green;
I travel down the great highway
That runs so straight and white between—
I watch the sea-wind strain the sheet,
The land-wind toss the yellow wheat!
Song is my mistress, fickle she,
Yet dear beyond all dearth of speech;
Child of the winds of land and sea
She charms me with the charm of each—
Full soft and sweet she sings and then
She sings wild songs for sailor-men!
No staff I carry in my hand,
No pack I carry on my back,
No foot of earth I call my own,
For castle or for cot I lack—
I travel fast, I travel slow,
And where my mistress bids I go!
My gems, the pearl upon the leaf
At mystic hour of the morn;
My gold, the gold that rims the sea
A moment ere the day is born;
And on my breezy couch o’ nights
The stars shine down—my taper lights!
Happy am I that sing of love,
Yet from the thrall of love am free;
Happy am I that sing of pain
And quick forget what pain may be!
I sing of death—and lo! To me
Life is supremest ecstacy!