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I am standing on the seashore...



I am standing upon the seashore.

A ship at my side spreads her white

sails to the morning breeze and starts

for the blue ocean.


She is an object of beauty and strength.

I stand and watch her until at length

she hangs like a speck of white cloud

just where the sea and sky come

to mingle with each other.


Then, someone at my side says;

“There, she is gone!”


“Gone where?”

Gone from my sight. That is all.

She is just as large in mast and hull

and spar as she was when she left my side

and she is just as able to bear her

load of living freight to her destined port.

Her diminished size is in me, not in her.


And just at the moment when someone

at my side says, “There, she is gone!”

There are other eyes watching her coming,

and other voices ready to take up the glad shout;

“Here she comes!”

And that is dying.


Henry Van DykeAmerican short-story Writer, Poet and Essayist, 1852-1933

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