A First Series of Hymns and Songs/Descriptive Songs/The Sea-side
28. The Sea-side.
When in my sweet childhood that's gone
I stood by the side of the main,
At ev'ry new wave that roll'd on,
I wonder'd and wonder'd again;
As I gather'd the shells on its shore,
As I gaz'd on the vessels at sea,
The mystery grew more and more,
And could not interpreted be.
The thoughts which my childhood beguil'd
Were an emblem, I well perceive how;
As I thought of the sea when a child,
So I think of eternity now.
I stand by the side of its sea,
I gather the shells on its shore;
But its depths are mysterious to me
As the depths of the ocean of yore.
Thus every new year that we live
Brings mysteries strange to descry,
And the best of all homage to give
Is to wonder on still till we die.
Then the sea from Its depth shall go fleeing,
All bare shall eternity be:
And those who now wonder not seeing,
Shall wonder the more when they see.