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Poem by Edmund William Gosse

May Morning

BREAK, long wave, below my feet!
Wind and meet,
Sea-streams that the moon hath shaken!
From the shingle white and bare,
All the air
With sonorous cadence waken!

From the distance dim and bright,
Gulphed in light,
To the long spent wave that dashes,
All the sea shines through and through
Fiery blue:
When the wind is up, it flashes.

And the milder heaven above,
Full of love,
Smiles upon the rolling ocean,
Like a woman's heart content
To be spent
And absorbed in sweet devotion.

Surely Venus through the sea
Clear and free,
Rose on such a morn as this is,
Called her doves about her there,
Heard the air
Murmur through their wings like kisses.

Out of cold green depths of foam,
Sea-nymphs' home,
To the live air, red with roses,
Came she, clothed about with light,
Warm and white,
Like a moon the mist encloses.

Like a summer moon whose limbs,
As she swims
Ever up in the pale aether,
Cast their lawny veils aside
Till they hide
Nought from the mad earth beneath her.

Though no more with reverent eyes,
Sadly wise,
Sea and air to us are holy,
Born too late for gods to bless
We profess
To be disenchanted wholly,

Though the nymphs are dead, and we
Cannot see,
Plunging in the gulfs of azure,
Long processions, gods in line,
Half divine,
Blowing horns of mellow leisure,

Yet the old sweet creeds and we
Cannot be
Always so far rent asunder,
Since we feel on such a morn
Life reborn
In the antique world of wonder. 

Edmund William Gosse

Poem Themes: Morning, May

Edmund William Gosse's other poems:
  1. At the Play
  2. The Mænad's Grave
  3. Alere Flammam
  4. Greece and England
  5. Dedication to Austin Dobson

Poems of the other poets with the same name:

  • Robert Binyon May Morning ("Over all the watered vale")
  • Stephen Benet May Morning ("I lie stretched out upon the window-seat")

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