The Hidden Tide


Roderic Quinn

Within the world a second world

That circles ceaselessly:

Stars in the sky and sister stars—

Turn in your eyes and see!

Tides of the sea that rise and fall,

Aheave from Pole to Pole—

And kindred swayings, veiled but felt,

That noise along the soul.

Yon moon, noon-rich, high-throned, remote,

And pale with pride extreme,

Draws up the sea, but what white moon

Exalts the tide of Dream?

The Fisher-Folk who cast their nets

In Visionís golden tide

Oft bring to light misshapen shells,

And nothing worth beside.

And so their worn hands droop adown,

Their singing throats are dumb;

The Inner-Deep withholds its pearls

Till turn of tide be come.

But patience! wait—the good tide turns,

The waters inward set;

And lo, behold! aleap, alive

With glowing fish the net!

O Toilers of the Hidden Seas!

Ye have strange gain and loss,

Dragging the Deeps of Soul for pearls,

And ofttimes netting dross.

Flushed to the lips with golden light,

And dark with sable gloom;

Thrilled by a thousand melodies,

And silent like a tomb.

Fierce are the winds across your realm,

As though some Demon veiled

Had loosed the gales of Spirit-land

To ravage ways unsailed.

But still sweet hours befall at times,

Rich-lit and full of ease;

The afterglow is like the light

Of sunset on tired seas.

And worse, perhaps, may be the lot

Of those whose fate is sleep;

The sodden souls without a tide,

Dense as a rotten deep.

Pain paves the way for keener joy,

And wondrous thoughts uproll

When the large moon of Peace looks down

On high tide in the soul.

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