I hear the noise about thy keel;
      I hear the bell struck in the night:
      I see the cabin-window bright;
I see the sailor at the wheel.

Thou bring'st the sailor to his wife,
      And travell'd men from foreign lands;
      And letters unto trembling hands;
And, thy dark freight, a vanish'd life.

So bring him; we have idle dreams:
      This look of quiet flatters thus
      Our home-bred fancies. O to us,
The fools of habit, sweeter seems

To rest beneath the clover sod,
      That takes the sunshine and the rains,
      Or where the kneeling hamlet drains
The chalice of the grapes of God;

Than if with thee the roaring wells
      Should gulf him fathom-deep in brine;
      And hands so often clasp'd in mine,
Should toss with tangle and with shells.


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Last modified 12 February 2010