Edmond G. A. Holmes

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From Shannon to Sea

The Shannon bore me to thy bosom wide:
I wandered with it on its winding way
By fields of yellow corn and new mown hay,
And far blue hills that rose on either side,
And low dark woods that fringed the ebbing tide;
And ever as its waters neared the west,
Out of the slumber of its broadening breast
Faint momentary ripples rose and died
And rose again before the breeze and grew
To wavelets dancing in the noonday light,
And these were changed to waves of ocean blue,
And creek and headland faded from the sight,
And oh! at last--at last I floated free
On the long rollers of the open sea.

Eternal Vigil

Oh! once again upon thy heaving breast
I floated, like a seabird when it braves
The shoreward onset of thy flowing waves
And leaps triumphant on each rushing crest:
Round me in dark magnificent unrest,
The billows of the wild Atlantic rolled
Far, far away, into the gates of gold,
The sunlit portals of the stormy west:
O never wearied! In the hush of noon
Thy billows break the paths of golden sleep:
They break the dreamlike lustre of the moon
Earth knows the hours of darkness: thou dost keep
Eternal vigil: still thy surges white
Flash through the deepest gloom of starless night.