Verse > Anthologies > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. > Poems of Places > America
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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed.  Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
America: Vols. XXV–XXIX.  1876–79.
 
Western States: Pescadero, Cal.
The Pescadero Pebbles
Minot Judson Savage (1841–1918)
 
WHERE slopes the beach to the setting sun,
  On the Pescadero shore,
For ever and ever the restless surf
  Rolls up with its sullen roar.
 
And grasping the pebbles in white hands,        5
  And chafing them together,
And grinding them against the cliffs
  In stormy and sunny weather,
 
It gives them never any rest;
  All day, all night, the pain        10
Of their long agony sobs on,
  Sinks, and then swells again.
 
And tourists come from every clime
  To search with eager care,
For those whose rest has been the least;        15
  For such have grown most fair.
 
But yonder, round a point of rock,
  In a quiet, sheltered cove,
Where storm ne’er breaks, and sea ne’er comes,
  The tourists never rove.        20
 
The pebbles lie ’neath the sunny sky
  Quiet forevermore;
In dreams of everlasting peace
  They sleep upon the shore.
 
But ugly, and rough, and jagged still,        25
  Are they left by the passing years;
For they miss the beat of angry storms,
  And the surf that drips in tears.
 
The hard turmoil of the pitiless sea
  Turns the pebble to beauteous gem.        30
They who escape the agony
  Miss also the diadem.
 
 
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