Sea Memories

Sea Memories – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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Often I think of the beautiful town

That is seated by the sea;

Often in thought go up and down

The pleasant streets of that dear old town,

And my youth comes back to me.

And a verse of a Lapland song

Is haunting my memory still:

“A boy’s will is the wind’s will,

And the thoughts of youth are long, long thoughts.”

 

I can see the shadowy lines of its trees,

And catch, in sudden gleams,

The sheen of the far-surrounding seas,

And islands that were the Hesperides

Of all my boyish dreams.

And the burden of that old song,

It murmurs and whispers still:

“A boy’s will is the wind’s will,

And the thoughts of youth are long, long thoughts.”

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I remember the black wharves and the ships,

And the sea tides tossing free;

And the Spanish sailors with bearded lips,

And the beauty and mystery of the ships,

And the magic of the sea.

And the voice of that wayward song

Is singing and saying still:

“A boy’s will is the wind’s will,

And the thoughts of youth are long, long thoughts.”

 

Longfellow has been for some time one of my favourite poets, but I just found these verses a day or two ago in my copy of Favorite Poems Old and New.  The book was a Christmas gift seven years ago from my grandparents, and quickly landed on my short list of books that will go with me everywhere.  (My father took both the images of the bay of Kinsale in Ireland during our visit of Christmas 2014.)

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