By the dim sea-shore
Lonely I sat, and thought-afflicted.
The sun sank low, and sinking he shed
Rose and vermilion upon the waters,
And the white foaming waves,
Urged on by the tide,
Foamed and murmured yet nearer and nearer--
A curious jumble of whispering and wailing,
A soft rippling laughter and sobbing and sighing,
And in between all a low lullaby singing.
Methought I heard ancient forgotten legends,
The world-old sweet stories,
Which once, as a boy,
I heard from my playmates,
When, of a summer's evening,
We crouched down to tell stories
On the stones of the doorstep,
With small listening hearts,
And bright curious eyes;
While the big grown-up girls
Were sitting opposite
At flowery and fragrant windows,
Their rosy faces
Smiling and moonshine-illumined.