When the salt wave laps on the long, dim shore,
And frets the reef with its windy sallies,
And the dawn’s white light is threading once more
The purple firs in the landward valleys,
While yet the arms of the wide gray sea
Are cradling the sunrise that is to be,
The fisherman’s boat, through the mist afar,
Has sailed in the wake of the morning star.
The wind in his cordage and canvas sings
Its old glad song of strength and endeavor,
And up from the heart of the ocean rings
A call of courage and cheer forever;
Toil and danger and stress may wait
Beyond the arch of the morning’s gate,
But he knows that behind him, upon the shore,
A true heart prays for him evermore.
When a young moon floats in the hollow sky,
Like a fairy shallop, all pale and golden,
And over the rocks that are grim and high,
The lamp of the light-house aloft is holden;
When the bay is like to a lucent cup
With glamor and glory and glow filled up,
In the track of the sunset, across the foam,
The fisherman’s boat comes sailing home.
The wind is singing a low, sweet song
Of a rest well won and a toil well over,
And there on the shore shines clear and strong
The star of the homelight to guide the rover:
And deep unto deep may call and wail
But the fisherman laughs as he furls his sail,
For the bar is passed and the reef is dim
And a true heart is waiting to welcome him!