When the Wind is Low

Cale Young Rice

When the wind is low, and the sea is soft,
And the far heat-lightning plays
On the rim of the west where dark clouds nest
On a darker bank of haze;
When I lean o’er the rail with you that I love
And gaze to my heart’s content;
I know that the heavens are there above—
But you are my firmament.

When the phosphor-stars are thrown from the bow
And the watch climbs up the shroud;
When the dim mast-dips as the vessel slips
Through the foam that seethes aloud;
I know that the years of our life are few,
And fain as a bird to flee,
That time is as brief as a drop of dew—
But you are Eternity.

Cale Young Rice, 1872-1943


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