Sappho: One Hundred Lyrics

by Bliss Carman


 

LII


 

LO, on the distance a dark blue ravine,
A fold in the mountainous forests of fir,
Cleft from the sky-line sheer down to the shore!

Above are the clouds and the white, pealing gulls,
At its foot is the rough broken foam of the sea,

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With ever anon the long deep muffled roar,—
A sigh from the fitful great heart of the world.

Then inland just where the small meadow begins,
Well bulwarked with boulders that jut in the tide,
Lies safe beyond storm-beat the harbour in sun.

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See where the black fishing-boats, each at its buoy,
Ride up on the swell with their dare-danger prows,
To sight o’er the sea-rim what venture may come!

And look, where the narrow white streets of the town
Leap up from the blue water’s edge to the wood,

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Scant room for man’s range between mountain and sea,
And the market where woodsmen from over the hill
May traffic, and sailors from far foreign ports
With treasure brought in from the ends of the earth.

And see the third house on the left, with that gleam

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Of red burnished copper—the hinge of the door
Whereat I shall enter, expected so oft
—(Let love be your sea-star!)—to voyage no more.