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William Ernest Henley

William Ernest Henley

WILLIAM ERNEST HENLEY: To My Mother

To My Mother

1872
Chiming a dream by the way
   With ocean’s rapture and roar,
I met a maiden to-day
   Walking alone on the shore:
Walking in maiden wise,
   Modest and kind and fair,
The freshness of spring in her eyes
   And the fullness of spring in her hair.  

Cloud-shadow and scudding sun-burst
   Where swift on the floor of the sea,
And a mad wind was romping its worst,
   But what was their magic to me?
Or the charm of the midsummer skies?   
   I only saw she was there,
A dream of the sea in her eyes
   And the kiss of the sea in her hair.

I watch her vanish in space;
   She came where I walked no more;
But something was passed from her grace
   To the spell of the wave and the shore;
And now as the glad stars rise,
   She comes to me, rosy and rare,
The delight of the wind in her eyes
   And the hand of the wind in her hair.



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