Verse > Anthologies > Thomas R. Lounsbury, ed. > Yale Book of American Verse
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Thomas R. Lounsbury, ed. (1838–1915). Yale Book of American Verse.  1912.
 
Thomas Bailey Aldrich. 1836–1907
 
191. On Lynn Terrace
 
ALL day to watch the blue wave curl and break, 
  All night to hear it plunging on the shore— 
In this sea-dream such draughts of life I take, 
            I cannot ask for more. 
  
Behind me lie the idle life and vain,         5
  The task unfinished, and the weary hours; 
That long wave softly bears me back to Spain 
            And the Alhambra's towers! 
  
Once more I halt in Andalusian Pass, 
  To list the mule-bells jingling on the height;  10
Below, against the dull esparto grass, 
            The almonds glimmer white. 
  
Huge gateways, wrinkled, with rich grays and browns, 
  Invite my fancy, and I wander through 
The gable-shadowed, zigzag streets of towns  15
            The world's first sailors knew. 
  
Or, if I will, from out this thin sea-haze 
  Low-lying cliffs of lovely Calais rise; 
Or yonder, with the pomp of olden days, 
            Venice salutes my eyes.  20
  
Or some gaunt castle lures me up its stair; 
  I see, far off, the red tiled hamlets shine, 
And catch, through slits of windows here and there, 
            Blue glimpses of the Rhine. 
  
Again I pass Norwegian fjord and fell,  25
  And through bleak wastes to where the sunset's fires 
Light up the white-walled Russian citadel, 
            The Kremlin's domes and spires. 
  
And now I linger in green English lanes, 
  By garden-plots of rose and heliotrope;  30
And now I face the sudden pelting rains 
            On some lone Alpine slope. 
  
Now at Tangier, among the packed bazaars, 
  I saunter, and the merchants at the doors 
Smile, and entice me: here are jewels like stars,  35
            And curved knives of the Moors; 
  
Cloths of Damascus, strings of amber dates; 
  What would Howadji—silver, gold, or stone? 
Prone on the sun-scorched plain outside the gates 
            The camels make their moan.  40
  
All this is mine, as I lie dreaming here, 
  High on the windy terrace, day by day; 
And mine the children's laughter, sweet and clear, 
            Ringing across the bay. 
  
For me the clouds; the ships sail by for me;  45
  For me the petulant sea-gull takes its flight; 
And mine the tender moonrise on the sea, 
            And hollow caves of night. 
 
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