Paul Laurence Dunbar

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Lyrics of the Hearthside (1899)

Lyrics of the Hearthside

First published by Dodd, Mead and Company

Copyright 1899

The Mystic Sea

The smell of the sea in my nostrils,
The sound of the sea in my ears;
The touch of the spray on my burning face,
Like the mist of reluctant tears.

The blue of the sky above me,
The green of the waves beneath;
The sun flashing down on a gray-white sail
Like a scimitar from its sheath.

And ever the breaking billows,
And ever the rocks' disdain;
And ever a thrill in mine inmost heart
That my reason cannot explain.

So I say to my heart, "Be silent,
The mystery of time is here;
Death's way will be plain when we fathom the main,
And the secret of life be clear."

This poem appears in the following book(s):

Lyrics of the Hearthside

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