David MacDonald Ross poems

David MacDonald Ross(1865 / Australia)
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The Sea to the Shell

- by David MacDonald Ross 55

The sea, my mother, is singing to me,
She is singing the old refrain,
Of passion, of love, and of mystery,
And her world-old song of pain;
Of the mirk midnight and the dazzling day,
That trail their robes o'er the wet sea-way.

The sea, my mother, is singing to me
With the white foam caught in her hair,
With the seaweed swinging its long arms free,
To grapple the blown sea air:
The sea, my mother, with billowy swell,
Is telling her tale to the wave-washed shell.

The sea, my mother, is singing to me,
With the starry gleam in her wave,
A dirge of the dead, of the sad, sad sea,
A requiem song of the brave;
Tenderly, sadly, the surges tell
Their tale of death to the wave-washed shell.

The sea, my mother, confides to me,
As she turns to the soft, round moon,
The secrets that lie where the spirits be,
That hide from the garish noon:
The sea, my mother, who loves me well,
Is telling their woe to the wave-washed shell.

O mother o' mine, with the foam-flecked hair,
O mother, I love and know
The heart that is sad and the soul that is bare
To your daughter of ebb and flow;
And I hold your whispers of Heaven and Hell
In the loving heart of a wave-washed shell.

The Watch on Deck

- by David MacDonald Ross 53

Becalmed upon the equatorial seas,
A ship of gold lay on a sea of fire;
Each sail and rope and spar, as in desire,
Mutely besought the kisses of a breeze;
Low laughter told the mariners at ease;
Sweet sea-songs hymned the red sun's fun'ral pyre:
Yet One, with eyes that never seemed to tire,
Watched for the storm, nursed on the thunder's knees.

Thou watcher of the spirit's inner keep,
Scanning Death's lone, illimitable deep,
Spread outward to the far immortal shore!
While the vault sleeps, from the upheaving deck,
Thou see'st the adamantine reefs that wreck,
And Life's low shoals, where lusting billows roar.

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