of the East came gaunt razees of commerce
Troubling the dappled azure of the seas;
While sleeping marsh awoke, and vanished under
The thrusting open fingers of the quays.
Ever, and more, came ships, while others followed.
Feeling their way among unsounded bars,
Heaping their freights upon the groaning wharf-heads,
Filling their holds with turpentines and tars,
Until the little twisting streets all vanished
Into a blur of interwoven spars.
One with the rest, I saw the commerce dwindle,
High-bosomed, sturdy vessels take the main
And leave us, with the morning in their faces,
Never to come to any port again.
Slowly an ominous and pregnant silence
Grew deep upon the wharves where ships had lain.
Laughter rang hollow in those days of waiting,
And nameless fears came drifting down the night.
The tides swung in from sea, hung, and retreated,
Bearing their secrets back beyond our sight;
Till, like the sudden rending of