Far away from the murmuring town,
   In the region of sand and sea,
     Love has surprised us on the down–
        Love has surprised you and me–
           In this realm where sea-kissed grasses sway,
            Where winds at nightfall sadly moan,
               Where sea-gulls sing there plaintive lay.
                   And waves croon in minor monotone.

No flower grows in this land of dreams,
   No human habitation far or near
     Illumines the scene with a reddish gleam,
        All around is desolate and drear;
           Nothing but weeds and greyish sand–
            Yet the sea seems to say in an undertone;
               Until dawn whitens this wind-blown strand,
                   The treasures of night are all thy own!

And like waves that softly shoreward creep,
   Love draws us nigh as the hours pass,
     Thy breath is like wind in the weft of the grass;
        I feel thy bosom ebb and tide––
           Its paleness resembles the moonlit sea––
               And as sea and heaven together glide
                   Let thy sweetness be lost in me.

Do not be startled at the seabird’s cry
   Nor at the wind’s relentless blast
     Too soon the kiss on our lips will die,
        Alas, the joys of Venus never last!  
           Like flowers that droop on the sunburnt sward
               Our love must needs wither and fade,
                  Like blossoms that ars carried seawards
                     By the wind from some sleepy glade.

One joys of Venus never last,
   Love is naught but some dreamland lore,
      And as the hours are ebbing fast
         Our dream like seaweed, will be left on the shore;
            Already the cup of the autumn moon
               Floods with her gold the distant West,
                 The bitterness of life will dawn too soon,
                    Forlorn lies the sea-gull’s last year’s nest.

                         Perchance, some other autumn eye,
                         May greet us on this barren wold,
                         Not arm in arm, alone and fain,
                         Desirous of the days of old.

From Drifting Flowers of the Sea and Other Poems (1904) by Sadakichi Hartmann. This poem is in the public domain.