WHEN

I dwell in the western inland,
    Afar from the sounding sea,
But I seem to hear it sobbing
    And calling aloud to me,
And my heart cries out for the ocean
    As a child for its mother's breast,
And I long to lie on its waters
    And be lulled in its arms to rest.

I can close my eyes and fancy
    That I hear its mighty roar,
And I see its blue waves splashing
    And plunging against the shore;
And the white foam caps the billow,
    And the sea-gulls wheel and cry,
And the cool wild wind is blowing
    And the ships go sailing by.

Oh, wonderful, mighty ocean!
    When shall I ever stand,
Where my heart has gone already,
    There on thy gleaming strand!
When shall I ever wander
    Away from this inland west,
And stand by thy side, dear ocean,
    And rock on thy heaving breast?

Poems of reflection. By Ella Wheeler Wilcox.
Chicago, M.A. Donohue & company, [c1905].


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