Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > An American Anthology, 1787–1900
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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  An American Anthology, 1787–1900.  1900.
 
1660. A Song of the Wave
 
By George Cabot Lodge
 
 
THIS is the song of the wave! The mighty one!
Child of the soul of silence, beating the air to sound.
White as a live terror, as a drawn sword,
            This is the wave!
 
This is the song of the wave, the white-maned steed of the Tempest,        5
Whose veins are swollen with life,
In whose flanks abide the four winds,
            This is the wave!
 
This is the song of the wave! The dawn leaped out of the sea
And the waters lay smooth as a silver shield,        10
And the sun-rays smote on the waters like a golden sword.
Then a wind blew out of the morning
        And the waters rustled,
            And the wave was born!
 
This is the song of the wave! The wind blew out of the noon,        15
And the white sea-birds like driven foam
Winged in from the ocean that lay beyond the sky;
And the face of the waters was barred with white,
        For the wave had many brothers,
And the wave leaped up in its strength        20
To the chant of the choral air:
            This is the wave!
 
This is the song of the wave! The wind blew out of the sunset
And the west was lurid as Hell;
The black clouds closed like a tomb, for the sun was dead.        25
Then the wind smote full as the breath of God,
        And the wave called to its brothers,
            “This is the crest of life!”
 
This is the song of the wave, that rises to fall,
Rises a sheer green wall like a barrier of glass        30
That has caught the soul of the moonlight,
Caught and prisoned the moonbeams.
And its edge is frittered with blossoms of foam—
            This is the wave!
 
This is the song of the wave, of the wave that falls,        35
Wild as a burst of day-gold blown through the colors of morning;
It shivers in infinite jewels, in eddies of wind-driven foam
Up the rumbling steep of sand.
            This is the wave!
 
This is the song of the wave, that died in the fulness of life.        40
The prodigal this, that lavished its largess of strength
        In the lust of attainment.
 
Aiming at things for Heaven too high,
Sure in the pride of life, in the richness of strength.
So tried it the impossible height, till the end was found:        45
When ends the soul that yearns for the fillet of morning stars—
The soul in the toils of the journeying worlds,
Whose eye is filled with the Image of God—
            And the end is death!
 

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