By the Seadetails

[Picture: By the Sea]
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Image title:

By the Sea

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A Victorian sea-side outing, with children palying on the beach, a nanny or mother standing by them holding a boook, and, in the backgorund, a man, perhaps their father, with a top hat and cane. The children are making a sand-castle. They are all fully dressed, including shoes; the girl wears striped stockings.

A Web search suggested E. W. Coleman as the author of the poem, By the Sea. The picture is signed A.D.B. and C.W.S.

O for a sight of the sea,

For a breath from the breezy down;

From the whirl of life for a season free,

From the rush of the crowded town.

Away! to the sparkling sand,

Where the rippling waters run,

With a laugh and a leap to meet the strand,

Rejoicing in the sun.

There through the morning hours

Shall the happy children play;

Piling and shaping their sand-built towers,

For the waves to carry away.

O play-ground for ever new,

Where castles rise in a day.

Some on the earth, and some in the clouds,

But all to vanish away!

Dreams that glimmer and glow

With fairer than sunset gleams,

Till the tide comes up, and the mist falls low,

And alas! they are only dreams.

Ah, if the visions we weave

ere only the deeds we do,

ow would this desert wherein we live

Light up with a glory new!

But not till life’s dreams are done

Will that brighter morning break,

And the soul, as night’s last watch is run,

Be “satisfied” and “awake.”

O wide and wondrous main

hou severest many a tie

Which never more may be linked again,

Beneath an earthly sky.

Thy wavelets wash the shore

Where our far-off dear ones dwell,

Yearning in vain to behold once more

A land they have loved too well.

Not now—not here—we may meet,

But we look for a home more fair,

And a time when our longing hearts shall greet,

In a glad re-union there

And the heart exults to own,

As it watches thy mighty sway,

The love and the mightier power of One,

Whom both winds and waves obey.

Thy billows their bounds must keep—

Their mission alone fulfil—

Nor can thy furious tempest sweep,

Save at our Father’s will!

And soon thy waves, O sea,

Shall divide our homes no more,

Nor the bitter cry of the mourners be

Commingled with thy roar,

Soon shall life’s dream be done,—

Time’s weariest night-watch past,—

And a shout go up to the rising sun,

Of “safe in the port at last,”

The haven so long desired,

We shall stand on the glassy sea:

And sing by the rapture of love inspired,

Heaven’s psalm of victory!


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