Phantoms Of The Cool Sands

by Patience Worth

Patience Worth

When the sands grow cool, and the lazy tide
Swings heavy 'gainst the shore,
Leaning its waves in languorous ease
To the curve of the white shore line; reaching
Its graceful arms out upon the land,
Twining them about the shoals,
Sending young waves that tire upon the way,
Falling back in a lopping spray;
Then would I sit with mine eyes a-strain
Across the pulsing breast of the sea,
Watching the ships like lilies lain to deck her in
Her rest; and the gulls to sail in voiceless whorls
Unto the crags and shore-caved ways.
Waiting the night, I'd sit and watch for the moon
To climb the way from the waters deep,
Dripping the sky with gold,
Bringing up from the deeps the buried past-
Rich in dreams, though beggared old!
I'd see the galley's painted barge,
Hear the plash of the oars, feel
The cut of the irons and the aches of the backs,
And the tireless agony.
Then I'd see some Norseman's prow,
Aflame and wrapped in smoke,
And lilied o'er with the pyre all draped,
And the flames licking their way across.
Then the hulk of some prowlster seeking lands,
Bladed and booted high, with a pirate's flag
And a tasselled cap, and I'd swear and damn the
Till the moon went white with fear!
I'd see the fishers line their boats
And set their nets a-free-
Singing their bellies up with song!
And winding the nets back in.
Oh, all of this would I see,
When the moon had dipped the depths,
And climbed the sky from the sea's bowl deep,
Streaming the way with gold.

Last updated January 14, 2019