New York Nocturnes and Other Poems

by Charles G.D. Roberts


At Tide Water


The red and yellow of the Autumn salt-grass,
   The gray flats, and the yellow-gray full tide,
The lonely stacks, the grave expanse of marshes,—
   O Land wherein my memories abide,
I have come back that you may make me tranquil,
   Resting a little at your heart of peace,
Remembering much amid your serious leisure,
   Forgetting more amid your large release.
For yours the wisdom of the night and morning,
   The word of the inevitable years,
The open Heaven’s unobscured communion,
   And the dim whisper of the wheeling spheres.

The great things and the terrible I bring you,
   To be illumined in your spacious breath,—
Love, and the ashes of desire, and anguish,

   Strange laughter, and the unhealing wound of death.
These in the world, all these, have come upon me,
   Leaving me mute and shaken with surprise.
Oh, turn them in your measureless contemplation,
   And in their mastery teach me to be wise.