Mary Clemmer Ames

Fair is thy face, Nantasket,
And fair thy curving shores;
The peering piers of villages;
The boatman's dipping oars;
The lonely ledge of Minot,
Where the watchman tends his light,
And sets its perilous beacon —
A star in the stormiest night.

Along thy vast sea highways
The great ships slide from sight,
And flocks of winged phantoms
Flit by like birds in flight.
Over the toppling sea-wall
The homebound dories float;
I see the patient fisherman
Bend in his anchored boat

I am alone with Nature,
With the soft September day;
The lifting hills above me,
With golden-rod are gay.
Across the fields of ether
Flit butterflies at play;
And cones of garnet sumach
Glow down the country way.

The Autumn dandelion
Beside the roadside burns;
Above the lichened bowlders
Quiver the plumed ferns.
The cream-white silk of the milkweed
Floats from its sea-green pod;
From out the mossy rock-seams
Flashes the golden-rod.

The woodbines' scarlet banners
Flaunt from their towers of stone;
The wan, wild morning-glory
Dies by the road alone.
By the hill-path to the seaside
Wave myriad azure bells;
Over the grassy ramparts
bend milky immortelles.

Within the sea-washed meadow
The wild grape climbs the wall;
From off the o'er-ripe chestnuts
The brown burrs softly fall;
I hear in the woods of Hingham
the mellow caw of the crow,
Till I seem in the woods of Wachuset
In August's sumptuous glow.

I see late daisies leaning
Along the wayside bars;
The tangled green of the thicket
Glows with the aster's stars;
Beside the brook the gentian
Closes its fringed eyes,
And waits the enticing glory
Of October's yellow skies.

The tiny boom of the beetle
Smites the shining rocks below
The gauzy oar of the dragon-fly
Is beating to and fro;
The lovely ghost of the thistle
Goes sailing softly by;
Glad in its second Summer
Hums the awakened fly.

I see the tall reeds shiver
Beside the salt sea marge;
I see the seabird glimmer
Far out on airy barge.
The cumulate cry of the cricket
Pierces the amber noon;
Over and through it Ocean
Chants his pervasive rune.

Fair is the earth behind me,
Vast is the sea before;
Afar in the misty mirage
Glistens another shore.
Is it a realm enchanted?
It cannot be more fair
Than this nook of Nature's kingdom,
With its spell of space and air.

Lo, over the sapphire ocean
Trembles a bridge of flame, —
To the burning core of the sunset,
To the city too fair to name;
Till a ray of its inner glory
Streams to this lower sea,
And we see with human vision
What Heaven itself may be.