The Old Swimmer

By Christopher Morley

I often wander on the beach Where once, so brown of limb, The biting air, the roaring surf Summoned me to swim. I see my old abundant youth Where combers lean and spill, And though I taste the foam no more Other swimmers will. Oh, good exultant strength to meet The arching wall of green, To break the crystal, swirl, emerge Dripping, taut, and clean. To climb the moving hilly blue, To dive in ecstasy And feel the salty chill embrace Arm and rib and knee. What brave and vanished laughter then And tingling thighs to run, What warm and comfortable sands Dreaming in the sun. The crumbling water spreads in snow, The surf is hissing still, And though I kiss the salt no more Other swimmers will.