In Divers Tones

by Charles G.D. Roberts

Edited by Tracy Ware




Through the still dusk how sighs the ebb-tide out,
   Reluctant for the reed-beds! Down the sands
   It washes. Hark! Beyond the wan gray strand’s
Low limits how the winding channels grieve,
Aware the evasive waters soon will leave
   Them void amid the waste of desolate lands,
   Where shadowless to the sky the marsh expands,
And the noon-heats must scar them, and the drought.

Yet soon for them the solacing tide returns
   To quench their thirst of longing. Ah, not so

      Works the stern law our tides of life obey!
      Ebbing in the night-watches swift away,
   Scarce known ere fled forever is the flow;
And in parched channel still the shrunk stream mourns.