Drifting Flowers of the Sea
Across the dunes, in the waning light,
The rising moon pours her amber rays,
Through the slumbrous air of the dim, brown night
The pungent smell of the seaweed strays—
From vast and trackless spaces
Where wind and water meet,
White flowers, that rise from the sleepless deep,
Come drifting to my feet.
They flutter the shore in a drowsy tune,
Unfurl their bloom to the lightlorn sky,
Allow a caress to the rising moon,
Then fall to slumber, and fade, and die.
White flowers, a-bloom on the vagrant deep,
Like dreams of love, rising out of sleep,
You are the songs, I dreamt but never sung,
Pale hopes my thoughts alone have known,
Vain words ne’er uttered, though on the tongue,
That winds to the sibilant seas have blown.
In you, I see the everlasting drift of years
That will endure all sorrows, smiles and tears;
For when the bell of time will ring the doom
To all the follies of the human race,
You still will rise in fugitive bloom
And garland the shores of ruined space.
This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on September 16, 2018, by the Academy of American Poets.
About this Poem
“Drifting Flowers of the Sea” was self-published in Drifting Flowers of the Sea and Other Poems (1904).
Carl Sadakichi Hartmann, born in the late 1860s in Japan, was a dramatist, fiction writer, and art critic. His poetry collections include Naked Ghosts: Four Poems (Fantasia, 1925), Tanka and Haiku: 14 Japanese Rhythms (G. Bruno, 1915), and My Rubaiyat (Mangan, 1913). He died in November 1944.
Date Published: 2018-09-16
Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/drifting-flowers-sea