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Posted by Prosodies

Upon the silent sea-swept land
 The dreams of night fall soft and gray,
          The waves fade on the jeweled sand
               Like some lost hope of yesterday.

The dreams of night fall soft and gray
 Upon the summer-colored seas,
  Like some lost hope of yesterday,
               The sea-mew’s song is on the breeze.

Upon the summer-colored seas
 Sails gleam and glimmer ghostly white,
      The sea-mew’s song is on the breeze
               Lost in the monotone of night.

Sails gleam and glimmer ghostly white,
     They come and slowly drift away,
          Lost in the monotone of night,
               Like visions of a summer-day.

They shift and slowly drift away
     Like lovers’ lays that wax and wane,
          The visions of a summer-day
               Whose dreams we ne’er will dream again.

Like lovers’ lays wax and wane
     The star dawn shifts from sail to sail,
          Like dreams we ne’er will dream again;
               The sea-mews follow on their trail.

The star dawn shifts from sail to sail,
     As they drift to the dim unknown,
          The sea-mews follow on their trail
               In quest of some dreamland zone.

In quest of some far dreamland zone,
     Of some far silent sea-swept land,
          They are lost in the dim unknown,
               Where waves fade on jeweled sand
                    And dreams of night fall soft and gray,
                         Like some lost hope of yesterday.


Carl Sadakichi Hartmann ( 1867 - 1944 ) Was a poet, playwright, and art critic. He was born on the artificial island of Dejima, Nagasaki, to a Japanese mother Osada Hartmann (who died soon after childbirth) and German businessman Carl Herman Oskar Hartmann and raised in Germany. He came to the U.S. in1882 and became an American citizen in1894. (His application for naturalization shows little regard for the correct spelling of his Japanese or German names. containing two misspellings). Hartmann was an important early participant in Modernism and he was a friend of such diverse figures as  Walt Whitman, Stéphane Mallarmé and Ezra Pound. Read more

This poem is in the public domain. 

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