Lo, one there is who walks along the sea,
Alone, and deep in silence, on the line
Where wet sand shimmers, glass-like, endlessly.
Clear sand-stretch and pure air scented with brine
Afford him quiet as he bends his ear
To catch in whisp’ring wind a word or sign.
Beyond the sand a city, tier on tier,
Spreads its great teeming panoply before
The one who walks and looks and strains to hear.
For he must enter it, depart the shore,
And live therein for months and years to come
Until he hears the sloshing of the oar
Sweeter than flute or harp, upon the foam,
The ship that will come for him and will bear
Him over all the ocean to his home.
But he can’t enter before finding where,
Where is the street to his right lodging-place.
He seeks one fit for him, to sojourn there.
Knowing not where to go, he sets his face
To look for signs as he walks firmly on,
And doubting not the whisp’ring wind of grace.
At times he looks out to the horizon
Beyond the sea, toward home, in sun-glow bright,
And in soft voice sends out this orison:
“How I yearn for my cherished homeland’s light,
My Dear, my Guide and Guardian, well you know;
But I would not depart ere time is right,
“Ere I complete the work that time will show,
Duties that wait within the city’s wall,
That You’ll give me, until ’tis time to go.
“See how I strain to hear Your whisper’s call,
The wind of grace that shows the surest way
And place and part to walking wanderers all.
“Until I find a place where I may stay,
A restless sadness often grips my feet,
And whispers that I do but vainly stray;
“But Your love, unthinkably strong and sweet,
Is my firm shield against that poisoned word.
Despite my grieving heart, my steps run fleet,
“And I, with boldness like some soaring bird,
Run on after Your voice, which makes me free–
You’ll lead me surely by Your whispers heard.
“So now, content to know that You’re with me,
In quiet trust I’ll walk along the sea.”