In The Mist
By Susan Coolidge (Sarah Chauncey Woolsey)
Sitting all day in a silver mist,
In silver silence all the day,
Save for the low, soft kiss of spray,
And the lisp of sands by waters kissed,
As the tide draws up the bay.
Little I hear and nothing I see,
Wrapped in that veil by fairies spun;
The solid earth is vanished for me,
And the shining hours speed noiselessly,
A web of shadow and sun.
Suddenly out of the shifting veil
A magical bark, by the sunbeams lit,
Flits like a dream,–or seems to flit,–
With a golden prow and a gossamer sail,
And the waves make room for it.
A fair, swift bark from some radiant realm,
Its diamond cordage cuts the sky
In glittering lines; all silently
A seeming spirit holds the helm
And steers: will he pass me by?
Ah, not for me is the vessel here!
Noiseless and fast as a sea-bird’s, flight,
She swerves and vanishes from my sight;
No flap of sail, no parting cheer,–
She has passed into the light.
Sitting some day in a deeper mist,
Silent, alone, some other day,
An unknown bark from an unknown bay,
By unknown waters lapped and kissed,
Shall near me through the spray.
No flap of sail, no scraping of keel:
Shadow, dim, with a banner dark,
It will hover, will pause, and I shall feel
A hand which beckons, and, shivering, steal
To the cold strand and embark.
Embark for that far mysterious realm,
Whence the fathomless, trackless waters flow.
Shall I see a Presence dim, and know
A Gracious Hand upon the helm,
Nor be afraid to go?
And through black wave and stormy blast,
And out of the fog-wreath dense and dun,
Guided and held, shall the vessel run,
Gain the fair haven, night being past,
And anchor in the sun?