by Celia Thaxter
I stood within the little cove,
Full of the morning's life and hope,
While heavily the eager waves
Charged thundering up the rocky slope.
The splendid breakers! How they rushed,
All emerald green and flashing white,
Tumultuous in the morning sun,
With cheer and sparkle and delight!
And freshly blew the fragrant wind,
The wild sea wind, across their tops,
And caught the spray and flung it far
In sweeping showers of glittering drops.
Within the cove all flashed and foamed
With many a fleeting rainbow hue;
Without, gleamed bright against the sky,
A tender wavering line of blue,
Where tossed the distant waves, and far
Shone silver-white a quiet sail;
And overhead the soaring gulls
With graceful pinions stemmed the gale.
And all my pulses thrilled with joy,
Watching the winds' and waters' strife,
With sudden rapture, — and I cried,
"O sweet is Life! Thank God for life!"
Sailed any cloud across the sky,
Marring this glory of the sun's?
Over the sea, from distant forts,
There came the boom of minute-guns!
War-tidings! Many a brave soul fled,
And many a heart the message stuns!
I saw no more the joyous waves,
I only heard the minute-guns.