There may be chaos still around the world, This little world that in my thinking lies; For mine own bosom is the paradise Where all my life’s fair visions are unfurled. Within my nature’s shell I slumber curled, Unmindful of the changing outer skies, Where now, perchance, some new-born Eros flies, Or some old Cronos from his throne is hurled. I heed them not; or if the subtle night Haunt me with deities I never saw, I soon mine eyelid’s drowsy curtain draw To hide their myriad faces from my sight. They threat in vain; the whirlwind cannot awe A happy snow-flake dancing in the flaw.
The low sandy beach and the thin scrub pine,
The wide reach of bay and the long sky line,—
O, I am far from home!
The salt, salt smell of the thick sea air,
And the smooth round stones that the ebbtides wear,—
When will the good ship come?
The wretched stumps all charred and burned,
And the deep soft rut where the cartwheel turned,—
Why is the world so old?
The lapping wave, and the broad gray sky
Where the cawing crows and the slow gulls fly,—
Where are the dead untold?
The thin, slant willows by the flooded bog,
The huge stranded hulk and the floating log,—
Sorrow with life began!
And among the dark pines, and along the flat shore,
O the wind, and the wind, for evermore!
What will become of man?