Page:Pieces People Ask For.djvu/151

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33
THE READING-CLUB.

'Tis maddening!—this awful still,
Round me in my hollow stone!
Though yonder the glad notes thrill,
I hear not, I hear not one!
But out of my terrible silence,
I can see these voices yonder,
While over my tugging heart-strings
Creep echoes, dearer, fonder.

I ache for liberty,
Over the far blue sea,
O'er the blue sea so wide!
And I hear the angels singing,
"Keeping time,
In silver rhyme"
With that boat so slowly swinging,
On the restless, heaving tide.
Ripple, dipple,
Plashing, dashing,
The wavelets sleepily lap the shore;
Lazily, hazily,
Drearily, wearily,
I cling here, listening o'er and o'er—

To the sobbing oozing gurgle
Slushing underneath the keel,
And the restless, dipping murmur
Which I cannot know by the outward ear,
The tide is too far for me to hear,
But deep in my soul I feel.

And I see yon boat so slowly swinging:
I hear the far-off home-bells ringing,
Ringing through my heart!
Sweet bells of home, I must be free:
Yon skiff shall bear me o'er the sea,
If but these stanchions part!

Then will I dare the tempest's wrath,
While seeking out the homeward path,
For liberty's dear sake;
And my frail bark shall boldly drift,
Where mightier ships have passed, and left
Lines of snow-foam in their wake.