Upon the wan-lit ocean beach,
I sat alone with worried thoughts.
The sinking sun beyond eyes' reach
Striped waves with burning rays so hot.
These white and frothy mounts did shake,
Pale slaves at but the tide's command;
And closer-close, foam'd noise did make,
In oddest whispers, whistling sands.
A murmur, laugh, a sigh, a sough,
And then some secret lullaby;
Like hearing now old tales long-lost,
Sweet ancient stories cast aside.
Tales I first heard as a small lad,
From neighbors' children passed along;
When we, on summer evenings glad,
Sat on stone steps, a doorside throng,
All hunkered down to hear the words,
With tiny hearts and curious eyes;
And listen; while the older girls,
Some fragrant flowerpots nearby,