Pine, Rose and Fleur de Lis

by Susie Frances Harrison




Out—out—out—and away, away,
       Far away from the sheltering bay,
       With the houses hanging out of the town,
       And the shoeless children at their play
       Happy and hearty and blithe and brown;
       Far away from the daisied down
       That crowns the cliff with a vagrant fine,
       The dashing vagabond columbine;
       Far away, ( and I feel no twinge)
       From its scarlet bright familiar fringe;
       Till the houses and cliff are faded quite.
       Only a cottage, small and white,
       Left, as I turn my head to the right,
       Mark it there in the evening light;
       So I drift away from the bay,
                                   Away, away.

       What do you do out so far?
       Look! already the evening star
       Rises over your beautiful bay;
       Already the children upon the sand,

       Grow tired of glee and tired of play,
       Are clustered in a sleepy band.
       Look! at the window a mother’s hand,
       And voices calling “Come in!” Come back!
       What will you do when the shadows black
       O’ertake you on your seaward tack?
       Look! There will be no moon to-night,
       And it is not far, not far from the sea;
       Drenched you will be,
       Do you not hear
       Faint but clear,
       The mothers’ voices calling?

Out—out—out—and away, away,
       Further away from the sheltered bay!
       I have no fear of the amber floor,

       My boat is of amber—I have no oar,
       No rudder have I, but I have a sail—
       See! when I left it was linen pale,
       Now it is fixed to a golden mast,
       And silken and yellow it flies full fast!
       Smooth are the waters and calm the air,
       A great gold light glows everywhere,
       So have I seen a sunset rare,
       Gild like the mythic god of old
       My little town so white and cold,
       The little town that is far behind
       The silken sail that flies on the wind.
       So I drift away from the bay,
                                   Away, away!

       Hist! For I’d help you yet.

       Out of the waves and the wet,
       Out of the gathering black,
       Here is my voice to say,
       While it is light come back!
       Drowned you will be;
       Do you not see
       There to the right
       The open sea?
       Here is my hand to save
       From wave upon wave,
       From grave upon grave,
       And blackness surely descending.
       If it were not so dark!
       If by some light I might mark
       If your journey be ending!
       No. There it is about you,
       All the hurry and flash,
       And the whirl and the crash
       Of the storm about you!
       God! I would help you yet!
       Out of the waves and the wet,
       Out of the wind and the waves,
       Out of the gathering black,
       And the gathering graves—