By The Sea-Shore At Night. Oh lapping waves!--oh gnawing waves!--
That rest not day nor night,--
I hear ye when the light
Is dim and awful in your hollow caves.--

All day the winds were out, and rode
Their steeds, your tossing crest,--
To-night the fierce winds rest,
And the moon walks above them her bright road.

Yet none the less ye lift your hands,
And your despairing cry
Up to the midnight sky,
And clutch, and trample on the shuddering sands,

That shrink and tremble even in sleep,
Out of your passionate reach,
Afraid of your dread speech,
And the more dreadful silence that ye keep

Oh sapping waves!--oh mining waves!--
Under the oak's gnarled feet,
And tower, and village street,
Scooping by stealth in darkness myriad graves;--

What secret strive ye thus to hide,
A thousand fathoms deep,
Which the sea will not keep,
And pours, and babbles forth upon her refluent tide?--

I see your torn and wind-blown hair,
Shewn far along the shore,--
And lifted evermore
You white hands tossing in a fierce despair;

And half I deem ye hold below,
In vast and wandering cell,
The primal spirits who fell,
Reserved in chains and immemorial woe.

Keep ye, oh waves!--your mystery:--
The time draws on apace,
When from before His face,
The heavens and the earth shall flee,
And evermore there shall be no more sea!

By The Sea-Shore At Night. by Kate Seymour Maclean