How do the waves along the level shore
Follow and fly in hurrying sheets of foam,
For ever doing what they did before,
For ever climbing what is never clomb!
Is there an end to their perpetual haste,
Their iterated round of low and high,
Or is it one monotony of waste
Under the vision of the vacant sky?
And thou, who on the ocean of thy days
Dost like a swimmer patiently contend,
And though thou steerest with a shoreward gaze
Misdoubtest of a harbour or an end,
What would the threat, or what the promise be,
Could I but read the riddle of the sea!
G. Lowes Dickinson