Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895
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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895.  1895.
 
The Sea-Limits
 
Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828–82)
 
 
CONSIDER the sea’s listless chime:
  Time’s self it is, made audible,—
  The murmur of the earth’s own shell.
Secret continuance sublime
  Is the sea’s end: our sight may pass        5
  No furlong further. Since time was,
This sound hath told the lapse of time.
 
No quiet, which is death’s,—it hath
  The mournfulness of ancient life,
  Enduring always at dull strife.        10
As the world’s heart of rest and wrath,
  Its painful pulse is in the sands.
  Last utterly, the whole sky stands,
Gray and not known, along its path.
 
Listen alone beside the sea,        15
  Listen alone among the woods;
  Those voices of twin solitudes
Shall have one sound alike to thee:
  Hark where the murmurs of throng’d men
  Surge and sink back and surge again,—        20
Still the one voice of wave and tree.
 
Gather a shell from the strown beach
  And listen at its lips: they sigh
  The same desire and mystery,
The echo of the whole sea’s speech.        25
  And all mankind is thus at heart
  Not anything but what thou art:
And Earth, Sea, Man, are all in each.
 

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