AT the hour when the stars from the eastern spaces are peering,
I stood on the cliffs that look on the sea, and strode
Alone and laughing with pride in the squall's careering
To feel my blood leap up at the tempest's goad.
At the base of the cliffs there was thunder of waves defeated;
I measured the spaces of western sky whereon
A sunbeam flamed farewell as the sun retreated
And over the waters its waning glory shone.
I leant by a rocky wall smooth-hewn and salted
By the immemorial sprays of the endless tide,
Like a cross on the brink of a lonely pit, exalted
I clasped all space as I held my arms out wide.
And my full heart beat with the heart of the world's wide bosom,
The sea's salt out of the sea my strong veins drew;
I felt my body within me grow quick and blossom
With seed of stars that the winnowing night let through.
I wanted to moan more loud than the ocean thunders,
To breathe out my being in air like the tempest wrack;
And, death o'er-leapt, feel the sacred ardour that sunders
The soul from self that again unto God goes back.