No more I see the small, dim shapes,
So unafraid of wind and wave,
Nestling beneath the tempest’s roar,
Cradled in what I deemed a grave.
But all night long I lay and smiled
At thought of those soft folded wings,
And trusting, with the trustful birds,
In Him who cares for smallest things.
The boat cast loose her moorings;
“Good-by” was all we said.
“Good-by, Old World,” we said with a smile,
And never looked back as we sped,
A shining wake of foam behind,
To the heart of the sunset red.
Heavily drove our plunging keel
The warring waves between;
Heavily strove we night and day,
Against the west-wind keen,
Bent, like a foe, to bar our path,—
A foe with an awful mien.
Never a token met our eyes
From the dear land far away;
No storm-swept bird, no drifting branch,
To tell us where it lay.
Wearily searched we, hour by hour,
Through the mist and the driving spray,
Till, all in a flashing moment,
The fog-veils rent and flew,
And a blithesome south-wind caught the sails
And whistled the cordage through,
And the stars swung low their silver lamps
In a dome of airy blue,
And, breathed from unseen distances,
A new and joyous air
Caressed our senses suddenly
With a rapture fresh and rare.
“It is the breath of home!” we cried;
“We feel that we are there.”
O Land whose tent-roof is the dome
Of Heaven’s, purest sky,
Whose mighty heart inspires the wind
Of glad, strong liberty,
Standing upon thy sunset shore,
Beside the waters high,
Long may thy rosy smile be bright;
Above the ocean din
Thy young, undaunted voice be heard,
Calling the whole world kin;
And ever be thy arms held out
To take the storm-tossed in!
My darling once lived by my side,
She scarcely ever went away;
We shared our studies and our play,
Nor did she care to walk or ride
Unless I did the same that day.
Now she is gone to some far place;
I never see her any more,
The pleasant play-times all are o’er;
I come from school, there is no face
To greet me at the open door.
At first I cried all day, all night;
I could not bear to eat or smile,
I missed her, missed her, all the while
The brightest day did not look bright,
The shortest walk was like a mile.
Then some one came and told me this:
“Your playmate is but gone from view,
Close by your side she stands, and you
Can almost hear her breathe, and kiss
Her soft cheek as you used to do.
“Only a little veil between,—
A slight, thin veil; if you could see
Past its gray folds, there she would be,
Smiling and sweet, and she would lean
And stretch her hands out joyfully.