Page:All quiet along the Potomac and other poems.djvu/128

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122 OUT WITH THE TIDE.

And tattered, because I had struggled so

Underneath the wrecked ship s rocking prow.

You ll keep the curls that you cut away From off my wounded and aching head

When kindly hands brought me home to you, Walking as bearers with burdens tread.

"Is the tide in, mother? Ah yes, I know;

Tis the time for its angriest, fullest swell ; Oh, what will it carry away to sea

Beside the sand and the little shell? The boatman waits and the white boat rocks,

The wet beach laughs as bubbles break, And the wave creeps up to the solid cliff,

Till it backward turns like a stealthy snake."

The sailor-boy closed his weary eyes,

And turned his cheek to the loving breast, Speaking no words, tho his pale lips moved

With a sorrowful moan in his troubled rest ; Until, as the morning tenderly broke,

He kissed her softly before he died, And the shining boatman bore him on

Sailing out, sailing out with the tide.

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